Manual approval by me but seamless to WordPress SSO user

So, following up on my other post about automatic approval of users, I’ve decided that for launch of my forum I’m OK with manual approval initially (and will worry about automation later).

But I still feel I am missing a fundamental point about approvals vs. invites. Perhaps this is best asked by explaining what I’d like to achieve.

In short, I have no problem with having some manual steps for ME as the admin up front. But I want to make this as simple and straightforward for my members.

I know I can send invites and do that in bulk. But I don’t want to send out invitations. That seems like an unnecessary step to me.

Instead, I plan to have a link to my forums from my main site (integrated with WordPress SSO) that is only visible to my logged on members. When they click on that link - having already logged on to my site - I want them to simple jump to my forum and start using it. The concept of invites and approvals are both unnecessary complexity to my members.

So, summing all this up, how can I bulk approve a subset of users manually, without bothering them with an invitation first?

As I say, I suspect I am missing a simple point here :slight_smile:

Thank you.

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If you’re using WordPress as your SSO master then it already works as you describe.


I suspect this is the part I am missing.

When I log on to my WordPress site with a member account (nothing configured in my forum)and then access my forum URL, I a) see the following and b) the admin is required to approve.

I am looking for a way to approve appropriate users ahead of time, so the user doesn’t see that message and the admin doesn’t have to approve.

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PS: Yes, WordPress is the master SSO.

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Confirm that must approve users in the Settings is unchecked.

I’ve seen this but wonder if this open the door to anyone who knows the URL. I only want to approve a specific set of users - I just want to do it before they try to access the forum.

It doesn’t. WP SSO gives the initial access.

Right…but that opens access to everyone who has an account on my server, not just the specific set (my members), no? About 25% of the accounts I have on my WordPress site are members, which is why I am looking to manually approve just that set and not the other 75% or so. Make sense?

Yes. In that case you will need to either

  1. put members into a Discourse group with all-access privileges and restrict the other users’ access, or
  2. suspend users who move out of the member status in WP.

I currently use no. 2 above, but I suspend users whose membership lapses manually. One of these days I’ll get around to automating that, but it’s a low volume of expirations, and doing it manually allows for a grace period of sorts for users to renew expired memberships.

Ah - so 1. looks like a good option for me, on one condition. Is the implication that I provide all-access for the Members group and that’s all I need? The fact that non-members are NOT in that group (which I would manage manually) is all I need to block them i.e. no invites sent out, etc for non-members?

I will research and test all this but hoping the answer is simply to add the group and manage it’s members, without having to be explicit about how non-members are handled. I don’t want non-members to have any “footprint” on my forum :slight_smile:, even if just to exclude them from access.

Thank you for your patience with me. Your responses are greatly appreciated.

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The default for each Discourse category is that everyone can Create / Reply / See, so you would replace everyone with current_members or your specific group name in the category options.

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OK. I’m back for more :slight_smile: Just thinking this through a little more, it seems that allowing access at the group level (creating a Members group and managing its participants and permissions) will work for members.

However, for non-members they will be able to log on (since I will have unchecked the option requiring approval), but just don’t have access to anything. I can see that generating a support burden.

I can imagine folks who are not members, but are customers, trying to access the forum directly (especially since I plan to heavily promote the forum as one of my member benefits). With the proposed approach they would actually be allowed to log on (consuming resources, at least to some extent) but blocked from seeing anything.

That seems like an inefficiency I’d like to avoid, if possible. I don’t want non-members to ever be logged on, since that leads down a path that is confusing.

Unfortunately, the absence of a “proactive approval” feature i.e. allowing the admin to pre-approve a set of users and avoiding invitations and blocking anyone else from even logging on, is a bit of a game of wack-a-mole, as I can tell.

The logical experience I am seeking, which doesn’t seem like it can be easily done, is…

  1. Logged on members just click on a link and access the forum, with no prompts, since I have already approved them.

  2. If someone is logged on (a customer, as opposed to a member) they are just told they are not a member, preferabbly linking to a sales page.

Rock and a hard place, I suspect.

Thank you again.

If you manage memberships in WP, then you need this for no. 1:

Valid users from WP will be automatically created in Discourse.

For no. 2 you can customize text that’s shown to suspended users and include a message and link where they should go to renew. They would see something like this, but with your customized message.