Discourse Category Lockdown

This plugin allows you to restrict access to topic pages in a category. Topic titles will still show up in topic lists, search, user activity & digest emails. This is a great way to advertise the activity in a “members-only” category, which may charge for access.

It IS NOT designed to keep the contents of the category 100% private - if someone is determined enough they will be able to piece together the content from search results.

Each category has a couple of new settings in the Security tab:

“Locked down” topics will show a (configurable) icon in the topic list if the user does not have access:

Once clicked, unauthorised users will be redirected to a defined URL (e.g. your payment gateway). This link can be internal or external. The static pages plugin works great for this.

Plugin repository: https://github.com/paviliondev/discourse-category-lockdown

Thanks to @DiscourseMetrics.com for funding the development of this plugin.

Authored by @david
Now maintained by Pavilion


just checked in on this plugin (which looks exactly like what i’ve been looking for) and it looks like the build is failing. anyone using in production?

what should be put for Groups?

Just wondering: why is this plugin in #plugin:broken-plugin ? We’re using it without any issues.

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Not sure but @david probably did that for a reason back in mid-2019?

Remember 2019? :woozy_face:

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Hmm, I think I moved it because

I’ll move it back to plugin since it sounds like it’s working :slight_smile:

I don’t use or maintain this plugin any more, and it’s not official. If anyone would like to adopt it, let me know.


I’m willing to adopt this, as I’m doing some work for @davidkingham on this.


Great, thanks for taking this on @fzngagan. I’ve re-assigned the OP to you, and started the GitHub transfer.


Thanks for all of that David. :slight_smile:

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I just installed this plugin and noticed that it allows users to create new topics in a locked down category. Can this be fixed?

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You need to change your category’s security settings so everyone can ‘see’ but only those in the correct group can create topics, here’s how mine is set up:



Ah, okay, so I change “everyone” to see only and then grant my “paid member” group the full permissions. Got it. Thank you!


With the Discourse Subscriptions plugin advancing in development, I’d love to see a tight integration with the Category Lockdown plugin.

Testing now with latest, a user who is not a member of the specified group can see the category and posts in it.

The plugin is active and the category security setting is this:

If I remove the everyone can see setting, the category is no longer visible to the non-member user. So, the behavior is as if there was no Category Lockdown plugin active.

There are no errors in the log. Could it be that I’m missing another setting to get this to work?


yes, that is correct, because:


What are the entry restrictions for the current_member group?

I have a forum running both plugins, it worked fine with a private group last time I checked


Gah! :man_facepalming: I was missing the obvious and didn’t have this checked at the bottom of the category settings:

All is well!


The subscriptions plugin should already be doing that. Its tightly integrated with discourse groups which is tightly integrated with category security settings. :wink:


I’ve been looking for a plugin that does almost exactly this (and didn’t realize it existed!). Can you clarify what this statement means though? Just that the thread will be indexed in Google?

If a user not in the group or a user who isn’t logged in navigates to the thread, they will always go to the payment gateway (or whatever link), right?

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Yes, but the topic entry and some bits and pieces of the content appear in the search results. If that’s ok for you, then that’s it.

Recently, I added a feature to allow category specific redirects.

If you want something more comprehensive, you can look at Discourse Subscriptions


This seems more ideal for my use than Discourse subscriptions because I’m using WordPress and SSO for the membership. I will give it a try.

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