Invite only topic?

My company runs a discussion board that operates like most I expect, open topics that any of our members can post to.

However, we now have a need to provide a locked ‘‘invite only’’ topic… is this possible? and if so what’s the easiest way of doing it?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


Could the topic be secured in a subcategory which is only accessible via invite-based group membership?

Does it need to be a topic? Could it be a message?

If not could you elaborate further on your use case? What is it you’re trying to achieve exactly? A topic may not be the best fit once we have more of an idea of the requirements.


Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your reply.

I think it needs to be a secured ‘‘invite only’’ category looking at it now… We run a membership site for government employee’s, the discourse discussion boards are part of a wider membership portal that you need login details to access. To get those login details you need to be a government employee.

As per the image below, we have a bunch of categories that don’t need to have an invite-only rating and are open to all members… Finance, Procurement, and Diversity & Inclusion etc… we are just starting out with our discussion boards by the way :slight_smile:

The one board that does need to be ‘invite-only’ is the National Security board… for obvious reasons.

So I what I need to know is if we can, first of all, have a locked board showing in the list of other boards that are available and then if access to that board can be invite-only to make sure we can close off the board to those not involved in National Security… if that makes sense?

Also, by locking the category am I right in thinking that any topic under that category would then be only accessible by those that have to invite only access?

Please let me know if you need any further details to make this clearer if it’s not already.

If you secure a category with a group then neither the category nor the topics will be visible to users outside of said group.

You could use an announcement or theme component to advertise the existence of the group and detail any application process.

OK… sounds good, I’m assuming that all categories would be visible to those that could access the secure category.

How would I go about doing that? Securing the category and inviting people to only that category? any suggestions?

In broad terms you’re going to:

  • Create a group via /groups
  • Create the new category and delete the ‘everyone’ permission, replacing it with the group which will have access and the appropriate permission. If your users will be allowed to create topics they will need ‘create/reply/see’, whereas if they’re only going to be allowed to respond to existing topics you can go with ‘reply/see’.

It will only be visible to those within the group, with a padlock next to the category name to indicate that it’s secured from general users.

Users can either be added to the group manually, or you can add the Access option “Allow users to send membership requests to group owners” which will let them apply, and the owner(s) approve as necessary.


Hi Stephen,
Just setting his up now and I can’t seem to tick the box ‘‘allow users to send membership requests to the group owners box’’

I can’t seem to tick the required box, it’s grayed out as it were… is this because I have set something else up wrong so where else?

The group visibility needs to be set to ‘Everyone’, otherwise people can’t see the group to be able to ask to join it.

If you change it from Everyone then the box gets disabled automatically.


Shouldn’t that bottom most one also have the parenthesized disclaimer as well (requires publicly visible group) @sam?

We may need to rework the wording a bit given @pmusaraj pending changes. Some groups may be only visible to logged on users, not public per se


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