Partial view of hidden content


I run a membership site and use Discourse for discussion. Members are assigned to a group which can then view threads in certain categories.

If someone who isn’t logged in and a member of that group tries to access those threads, they just get a message that says “Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private.”

Is there any way to make those threads viewable, maybe even the first few posts, but hide the rest and show some kind of message that it is only for members of that group?

Envisioning something like this:

1 Like

We are kind of opposed to this sort of paywall thing.

You could manually advertise in a bannered topic if you want to promote “secret” content, though.


I guess the bigger issue is that content in a members-only space (which is supported in Discourse) comes up more like a 404 error than a note that there’s something there.

Even a way to customize that “Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private.” screen would be helpful.

1 Like

Maybe the message should be like ‘‘You must be a member of X Group to see this page.’’ instead of ‘‘Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private’’.

1 Like

@dylanb install the static pages plugin (I think it’s Procourse-something-something) and put a custom link on the navbar or something (there are theme-components for this) pointing to it.

The static page can be something like this one on TekInvestor: Bli en Insider
Or take a screenshot of the topic list of one of your “invisible” categories and people can get a preview of what it looks like.

I’m up for something like “This page exists, but you don’t have access” it can help both for unlogged users, and just right out not allowed ones. And have a difference from the 404.

Not an urgent feature, just a nice to have.

Could something like this potentially be helpful with SEO since it’s not a completely private area?

Yes and no. It can make content more discoverable because there’s something Google can index… but if the vast majority of traffic instantly bounces off the page because they’re annoyed about having to register to view the full content… then you’re unlikely to rank highly anyway.


That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

From a membership site POV, yes. That’s what I was going for/hoping for, but Discoursers have outlined pretty effectively why they are against it.

1 Like

For a membership site you usually have a main domain with a website at with tons of cool content, and then or where members can go, yes?

1 Like

An improvement is to have a “clearer” 404 that distinguish between “it doesn’t exist” and “it’s private”

1 Like

Awesome. Is there any way to add custom content to this page? Essentially a link to login or register/subscribe under neath the “it’s private” text?

it’s a bit unclear and has an extra “go to the group” page, but yeah, that’s what it does out of the box

but if you were able to contribute/fund this “no access” page customisation, that would be awesome!

When I turned the setting on, I’m just seeing:

ah? I have a “request membership” link. Not sure why you don’t have that. are you on the latest discourse?

or are you trying to access a specific post within the private category?

1 Like

Was trying to access a specific post in the category.

The category still gives this in incognito mode:

I’ll upgrade but appeared to be on recent version other than a few recent commits.

What I have is a category restricted to a single group, and I have a clear(er) error page.

How did you configure the access to your category? do you have more than a group?

1 Like

Just one group and can’t seem to access the page you have. Perhaps because I’m using SSO through WordPress?