Open (anon) interaction with a forum

Hello!! :slight_smile:
Thank you very much for this tutorial, it’s an awesome functionality, ideal form my use case :slight_smile:
My only problem is that I’m unable to edit a public wiki, it’s there some other setting I’m missing?
For context, I published a topic that is inside of a private category (that might be interfering?). I’m not able to edit it even myself.

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Hi @lisandro_iaffar

What is your status there? Administrator, moderator or general user?

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Hi Anatol! Thank you very much for answering so quickly! :slight_smile:
Sorry for not clarifying, I’m the Admin of the forum, I created it

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As admin you should be able to edit anything enywhere.
As I’m checking on my Discourse instance - I can set a topic as a Wiki in “staff” private category and edit it successfully.
And of course I don’t have access to it as users that don’t have access to that private category.

To check your situation - can you change your user to “system” and try to edit?
Go to /admin/users/-1/system
and “impersonate” it (button at the bottom)

And try to edit the post.
P.S. You will need to Sign Out and Login to your usual account afterwards.


I’m very sorry Anatol, I realize I expressed myself quite incorrectly… :sweat_smile:
I’m indeed able to edit the topic in the way you indicated.

What I meant, as for what I understood from the expression:

Is that I’m not able to edit the published wiki from the public URL. Did I totally misinterpreted what he meant?.. :sweat_smile:


No worries @lisandro_iaffar :slight_smile: We are here to help.
Let me double check this.


Yes, it seems that I can’t edit published page from itself - only as a topic.


Ok!! Thank you very much for verifying Anatol :slight_smile:
So now I can be sure it’s not something I messed up :sweat_smile:
I guess it’s not possible then. That’s regretable, it could allow for excellent ad-hoc collaboration in which a forum acts as a temporal hub (then as an Archive, hopefully, public). Not forcing a user to register for what could be only a one-time collaboration can be very encouraging to actually use the forum as a social tool, indirectly encouraging future adoption.
Anyways, publishing is pretty cool already :slight_smile:

I have to abuse your kindness one last time, let me ask: it’s possible to find the published page by searching trough google? (for my current use case, I hope not :P)

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I know the answer for that \o/ (I’m so happy because normally I don’t know anything about Discourse :smile: )

Yes if your forum is open for everyone without login.

And even then no, or maybe, if there is no public links to url of that page AND it is not mentioned at sitemap. But it is good policy to see things like if something is not behind login all scrawlers can reach it.


There are a few potential options I think:


For the interaction without registration - you can probably try to adopt Custom Wizard plugin (I’m not sure if they have this feature already), but I think it can be possible to request it on marketplace.


As @angus mentioned in the same post:

We’re actually about to release a “landing pages” plugin for discourse which includes a contact forum module, which is better suited to this use case. Stay tuned for that.

The plugin exists but I’m not sure if this feature is ready - probably you can already use contact form from published Landing Page.


It’s possible to create a special user on your forum and create posts for not registered users by API - f.e. from Google Forms or any other service.
I can help with that.


Thank you for your help @Jagster , and thank you so much @4ong

Sorry for the delay, I wanted to go trough your links before answering. The Landing Pages plugin is Absolutely-Awesome :open_mouth:!!!

I’m sure that’s the functionality I’m after, I’m going to dig further, thank you very much Anatol for facilitating the links, for my use case I was not going to match the key phrases to find them :stuck_out_tongue:

As always, I hope to be able to pay back to this awesome community :grin:


The contact form module is explained in the documentation here


You can probably add that specific URL to you /robots.txt to avoid it being indexed by search engines.


Excellent!! Thank you!! :slight_smile:

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It is actually only request. Not even Google follows that, they make theirs own decision.


From their documentation, your statement is wrong. What they say is:

A robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which URLs the crawler can access on your site. This is used mainly to avoid overloading your site with requests; it is not a mechanism for keeping a web page out of Google . To keep a web page out of Google, block indexing with noindex or password-protect the page.

They do use it, but:

If other pages point to your page with descriptive text, Google could still index the URL without visiting the page.

So the best option, @lisandro_iaffar, would be to avoid linking to that page, and use noindex meta tag on that page: <meta name="robots" content="noindex">. But without using robots.txt, since the crawler needs to see the page to read the meta tag.


I’m right. Theirs documentation is… overpositive. You can google the right answer really quickly — good starting point is what googlebot itself does or not. And after that basics of robots.txt.

But you don’t need trust on me or anybody else. You can try it. First you should check out all visited bots. And after that how many of those have looked robots.txt. You will be suprised :wink: You have plenty of too active bots and you can use robots.txt to slow down them. After a couple of days you’ll get the answer.

That is more or less waste of time, though. Issues of robots.txt are widely known.


Excellent information I’m keeping for future work. Privacy is going to be important for many applications in my forum. Thank you both for your insights, @hellekin and @Jagster , it’s greatly appreciated :grin:

I’m going to have that level of care for critical situations. By now, I have tried many times yet I have been unable to find the published pages via google search (not even using complete quoted key phrases), which is already good enough for the level of privacy required in this case. (Further, the pages are not going to be published for ever, I will unpublish them once they purpose ends, so it will not pose any risk in the long term).

Thank very much again!! :pray: :grin:

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I’m getting back to you @lisandro_iaffar as there is a new thing that may be useful in your case - GitHub - alangibson/discourse-loners: Discourse Loners plugin allows unregistered users to watch and reply to topics using only their email addresses.

The Loners plugin allows unregistered users to watch and reply to topics using only their email addresses.

P.S. I’ve tried it only briefly so it’s better to test it intensively beforehand.


Hi @4ong!! :grin:
Thank very much for pointing to this plugin, this topic is becoming a complete wiki on open interaction :slight_smile:
For my particular case, it will be much better to have that kind of functionality if it could be restricted to certain categories, which is not the case for now. But I will keep an eye on it in case it gets implemented.
Thank you again Anatol, I really appreciate your time and kind help :slight_smile:
It’s my intention to pay back to the Discourse community by showing how this wonderful tool can be used as an efficient vector to implement open-source governance and open-source politics. Wish me luck :pray: :sweat_smile: