Problem with "Publish as Unlisted Topics"

We have Discourse linked to a WordPress site and automatically publish articles to Discourse as hidden through the WordPress plugin.

So to make it work, we have a checkbox set in the WordPress plugin for the value “Publish as Unlisted Topics”.

This is all functional.

The problem is that when I create a new article in WordPress and look in the “Publish as Unlisted” settings, the checkbox is unchecked. And yet it works as if it is checked :).

So far we are still using the classic WP editor.

There’s something that should get fixed here. If posts are published with the Classic editor, the WP Discourse plugin has two ways of marking posts to be published as unlisted. There’s a “Publish as Unlisted Topics” option on the plugin’s Publishing settings tab, and a “Publish as Unlisted” checkbox on the post edit page. If the option on the Publishing settings tab is enabled, posts will be published as unlisted to Discourse and the value of the “Publish as Unlisted” checkbox on the post edit page will be ignored.

When the Block editor is used to publish posts, there is only the site wide option on the Publishing settings tab to mark posts to be published as unlisted.

For your issue, I’m assuming you have the site wide option enabled:

Let me know if that isn’t the case.

For the larger issue. Things work as they do for historical reasons. For some reason, when support for the Block editor was added to the plugin, the decision was made (by me) to move the “unlisted” setting from being a per-post option to being a site wide option. I can’t remember what the reason for that was, but the way that setting now works with the Classic editor is confusing. There are a few ways it could be improved.

Also, after the publish as unlisted functionality was added to the WP Discourse plugin, Discourse introduced similar functionality for Discourse topics that are pulled in from another site with Javascript: Embed Discourse comments on another website via Javascript. This is controlled with the embed unlisted Discourse site setting. It would be great if that setting could handle topics that were published to Discourse via the WordPress plugin. If it could, the WordPress plugin could remove its “publish as unlisted” setting.


It’s exactly as you describe. Thanks for the insight into the background and the reasons why it has historically been handled this way.

The current setup works fine, it’s just confusing there, made me wonder whether it’s a bug or a feature. But from my perspective, it’s nothing super major.

I think this is the move here. I’ve made a PR to discourse/discourse


Latest WP, latest beta discourse, latest plugin and it’s not working for a good month now… :frowning:

I hope we’ll get a fix soon.

Hey @Cafeine, could you elaborate on what is not working for you?

Note that the above issue (unlisted topics) was addressed with the change to Discourse mentioned in the post above yours. You can control embed listing, including WP Discourse topic listing, with the site setting “embed unlisted”.

OK then I fail to understand what we need to do to make it work again.

When we publish in WP using post programming, setting up a date for the next day for exemple, the associated thread in Discourse is published hidden when the post goes online, despite the settings, which I think are well configured…

Sorry to hear you’re still having issues. Are either of these settings enabled?

  1. “Publish as Unlisted Topics” in the “Publishing” section of the WP Discourse settings.
  2. “Embed Unlisted” in your Discourse Site Settings.

If either of these settings are enabled the topics posted by WP Discourse will be unlisted.

Aaaannnd that was point 2. Why was that ON, no idea… :man_facepalming:

Thanks for the patience and explanations! But what is the use case of this feature? I mean how people can use the thread if it’s hidden?

Glad you got it sorted.

The idea is that not all embedded topics will lead to discussion. Depending on the frequency of new posts in Wordpress, this may mean that you end up with a lot of topics with no replies in your main Discourse topic lists. Seeing a lot of topics without replies in your main topic lists is not great for your community health as it gives the impression of an inactive community.

When a topic is unlisted it can still be seen in topic lists normally by staff and users with trust level 4. It can still be visited by any user (e.g. if they click on the link to the topic from Wordpress). It will automatically be “listed” (i.e. appear normally in topic lists) after the first reply. You can read more about the rationale and history of this feature here:

And about unlisted topics here

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