User journey issue from private message notifications

If a user is logged out and tries to follow a link (for example from an email notification) to a page that is restricted (for example, a private message or a closed category), they see a page with the message ‘Oops that page doesn’t exist or is private’. However, this page is lacking a log-in link, so they cannot log in and see the message without navigating separately to the community home to log in.

Our developers have managed to put a log in link on the page (although just a text hyper-link and not particularly prominent) but if you log in, it just takes you to the homepage, not the message you were originally trying to view.

Is this supposed to happen? I would have expected a forum to have a more user-friendly way of dealing with this situation.

Desired behaviour would be:

  • Land on the ‘oops’ page but there is a log-in link on the page (ideally the text could also be updated to read: “That page doesn’t exist or is private. You may need to log in to see it.”)
  • Log in
  • Be redirected to the link they originally clicked on

I can’t reproduce this problem? Are you on an old version of Discourse? When I click on a PM link in an incognito window, I get both sign up and log in buttons as you can see in the below screenshot…


Oh, that’s interesting, thanks very much for getting back to me. We have only just moved to Discourse, so I think we are on the latest version, but maybe it is something in how we have implemented it. I will pass this on to our developers to have a look at.

Are you perhaps using SSO?


No, we’re not using SSO.

Apparently I did not quite describe this correctly and this issue is actually specific to links to private messages. @codinghorror - did you try to replicate it for a private message link?

Not discounting the issue you’re facing Priscilla but I’m not able to reproduce it even when I try with private message links. The login and sign up buttons are always there in the header.

Can you please post reproduction steps in [1,2,3] terms to help us narrow the issue down?

It does sound as though it may be something specific to our site, then. The only steps would be:

  • Receive a private message notification by email
  • Click on the link while not already logged in to your account

Does the screen-cap in your post represent everything you see when you visit that page? I ask because the entire Discourse header - which is where the login / signup links are - is missing.

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Yes, if you click the link in that specific scenario, you don’t see the header. This is what it looks like normally for a logged out user. We are now looking into whether any of our front end template customisations have caused the problem.

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I’ve looked into this issue further on a development version of the site. To add to the information @Priscilla8’s provided above: I’ve tried switching to a non-custom theme, and disabling plugins and components, but the header elements are still missing.

It looks to me like the page source is missing anything related to Ember - might this be related / give some clue as to the root cause?