Can I set up discourse so that some, but not all , categories require the user to be logged in?
You certainly can. Each category has its own security settings. By default, each category allows everyone to create, reply, and see. If you change it from everyone to
trust level 0, then only logged in users can see it.
I forgot to mention that I did not make the site public when I answered questions at set up , so by default people need to login. Do I need to change a setting to make the site public ? If so where is it, given that I missed the opportunity at set up.
You will need to change the setting
login required to make the site public. You can also simply rerun the initial setup wizard
yoursite.com/wizard - the wizard will remember all your previous answers, just change your selection about public vs private.
That was easy. Thank you.