Wordpress posts are now unlisted from latest update of forum and plugin

Just updated the software, now it seems that topics created via Wordpress are unlisted.


This is becoming infuriating…

The only related setting I can see from the Wordpress Plugin for Discourse has the following setting:

I don’t want to roll back an update, weird that no one else is getting this.

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I got that. But there is something else related to this going on too. Even updating connection/link to Discourse direction make this happening too — but not always. In most of cases it doesn’t make posts unlisted.

I didn’t bother to do any requests because this is too inconsistent and I can’t give even semi-solid guidance how to test it. Plus I’m not totally sure is there WordPress, the plugin or Discourse the actual source of headache now.

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I changed the site setting of embed unlisted and now my new WordPress posts are showing as listed. I’m not sure what’s the long-term solution, but it seemed to work for now.


this quick fix doesn’t work for me, I’m using Version 2.5.1, no matter if I enable or not the “Publish posts as unlisted Discourse topics” setting.
any ideas how to fix this?

I’m having this same issue. Any guidance?

Just ran into this myself. The post in Wordpress has a checkbox to make the topic unlisted in Discourse. It isn’t checked. But the post in Discourse is unlisted anyway.

In Discourse I have now unchecked the setting called “embed unlisted,” and I’ll see whether it works, but clearly there is a problem with the wordpress plugin and the way it is interacting with Discourse right now.

Yes, that will solve the problem: Comments not appearing and posts unlisted - #5 by simon.

It’s working as intended, but I think some way should be found to make it clear that topics can be unlisted either from the WordPress or the Discourse end.

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It hasn’t worked this way for the last 5 years, and in my opinion it shouldn’t work this way.

If the setting on the Wordpress side doesn’t work to override the default setting on Discourse, it should be removed.

ETA: I haven’t tested this, but your comment seems to imply that the WP side can override the Discourse side, but only to unlist topics. That’s very confusing behavior. The setting should work to override the Discourse setting consistently (list when default is unlisted, unlist when default is listed) or people are always going to be confused in WordPress.

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But that isn’t true, right? As you wrote:

Surely that option is no longer working as intended.

Here’s my understanding:

This seems really bad to me. At a minimum, I would expect:

  • embed unlisted should be false by default. (I can’t understand why anyone would want that behavior at all, and especially not by default!)
  • Since the plugin’s “Publish as Unlisted Topics” option no longer has any effect, it should be removed.
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Hey guys, both settings are working as intended. They work like this.

  1. If the WP Discourse setting “Publish as Unlisted Topics” is checked, the WP discourse plugin will publish Discourse topics as unlisted.

  2. If the Discourse site setting “embed unlisted” is checked, embedded topics, which include (but are not limited to) WP Discourse topics, will be unlisted.

If either setting is enabled then the topics published by the WP Discourse plugin will be unlisted. If you don’t want the topics published by the WP Discourse plugin to be unlisted then don’t have either setting enabled. I think I’m going to make a video covering this as there still seems to be confusion about it.

WP Discourse topics have always been embedded topics. The status quo ante, i.e. that embed unlisted excludes WP Discourse topics was inconsistent, more a quirk of history, and had usability issues of its own. As a rule, embed site settings include WP Discourse topics.

There are a number of topics on this forum where this is discussed, and some in which the alternate view is expressed. Nevertheless, on balance, and after seeing some of the reaction to the change, I do think a false default makes sense.

Let’s see if others agree.


I’d suggest a clarification to the WP side then, saying something like “This setting will be overridden by the embed unlisted Discourse setting if it is enabled”

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I understand where you’re coming from, however neither setting overrides the other. Both just make WP Discourse topics unlisted when turned on. That’s it. Nevertheless, if my PR is not accepted for some reason, I’ll add a note about looking at the embed unlisted site setting.


I’ve done more research on this; I now think I understand how you reached this conclusion logically, but I think that your PR #24294 should be rolled back.

Embedded topics are normally created by users browsing

The embedded topics feature of Discourse has very little documentation. This is it. Embed Discourse comments on another website via Javascript In that documentation, it describes how you could integrate Discourse into any blog, without a WordPress plugin.

In the implementation that Discourse recommends, merely visiting a blog post would automatically create a topic for that post on Discourse.

Since the blog might well have hundreds of posts, that would mean that user visitors might automatically create hundreds of empty topic threads just by browsing the blog, which would effectively spam the forum. That’s why embed unlisted is true by default, to ensure that blog readers don’t automatically create hundreds of empty topics.

WordPress topics can be created by the blog owner clicking Publish, which is totally different

In the WP plugin, there’s a box you can check to “Publish” blog posts to the forum at the same time as the posts are published to WordPress.

When the blog owner clicks Publish, we want a forum topic to be created and listed. That’s why the “Publish unlisted” setting was created in the WP Plugin as a _separate_setting, not honoring the embed unlisted setting.

You could imagine the WP plugin just not having a Publish feature at all. The blog owner would publish a blog post, then view the blog post; viewing the post (as a user) would create a topic on the forum, unlisted. Then the blog owner could navigate to the forum and manually click on the embedded topic to make it visible.

But that’s annoying/confusing when, as the blog owner, I really do want a listed, visible topic to appear on the forum, i.e. when I want to cross-publish the blog post to the forum.

That’s why the WP plugin had a separate setting, to override and punch through the embed unlisted setting and really, truly, cross-post to the forum.

Having a separate setting for Publishing was not a quirk of history

I think what happened here is that you asked, “does anybody know why the WP plugin doesn’t honor the embed unlisted feature?” and nobody happened to be able to remember why.

But I hope I’ve shown why that feature existed. It was by design, and now it’s broken.

It really sucks that embedded unlisted topics have to exist at all

As many, many people have said, it’s weird that end users can create a topic on Discourse just by reading a blog post.

Ideally, publicly listed embedded topics would be created when the blog owner Publishes the post. Then, users could reply to those topics normally.

But if the blog post was published without creating a topic, then it still makes no sense to create the topic when the user views a blog post. Instead, the embedded topic should be created when someone replies to the blog post.

Creating unlisted embedded topics is a hack to simulate that behavior. The unlisted topics get automatically listed when someone replies.

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I appreciate that you’ve done you’re research. I also appreciate why you don’t want to use the feature. Nevertheless, there are other parts to the story, and there are people who use the feature. As mentioned, a change to the default is probably appropriate.

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But changing the default will screw over everyone whose embedded topics are being created by users browsing their site!

Undoing the PR is the best compromise that I can see.

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I appreciate you have a firm view on this, however keep in mind that others use the plugin differently from you - quite a few people want their WP Discourse topics to be unlisted by default - and that the change was also made for usability issues from the opposite direction, for example see

I had encountered versions of the same problem in other contexts. I also appreciate what you’re saying. The situation here is more one of weighing up options. I’ll take another look at this tomorrow.


This is simply not true. I set it in WP to post, and it doesn’t. It gets hidden instead. The only explanation for this is that it is being overridden by the setting in Discourse.

If it is going to keep working this way, it needs clarification in WP.

Edited to add: It would also help to change the name of the Discourse setting to “Force hidden” or something like that.

Yes, that’s what I said. I reviewed that thread carefully before summarizing the issue here.

I agree that quite a few people want their WP Discourse topics to be unlisted by default, even when Publishing. In 2023, those users were able to make their WP Discourse topics unlisted by default by checking the “Publish as Unlisted Topics” box, so rolling back your PR would fulfill their use case.

I feel like maybe you missed my point? My point is that the WP plugin’s checkbox exists separately from the embed unlisted feature not merely as a historical accident, but to address multiple overlapping, conflicting use cases:

  • Users using embedded topics without WordPress (who use embed unlisted)
  • WP plugin users who want the Publish button to cross-post a listed topic
  • WP plugin users who don’t want the Publish button to cross-post a listed topic; they’re more like non-WordPress users, in that way

I don’t think everyone uses the WP plugin the way I do. But having separate checkboxes (the “Publish unlisted” checkbox in the WP plugin separate from the embed unlisted checkbox in Discourse site setting) addresses all of these different users’ needs effectively.

Combining them into one is what creates the conflict. That’s why the PR should be rolled back, to support all kinds of users with different use cases.

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Sorry, I should have been clearer. I am using the word “overridden” in a causative sense. Semantics aside, I understand your concern.

I do understand your point Dan, and I appreciate you making it. Yes, the status quo ante worked to a degree, however it had its own issues and inconsistencies.

Thanks everyone for your input. I do appreciate you’re coming at this from good faith positions, and I understand your concerns. We are also discussing this internally. I’ll share another update here soon.

:point_right: Please note that if you just want your WP Discourse topics unlisted, and you’re not bothered by this debate, just make sure both the WP Discourse setting and the embed unlisted site setting in Discourse are turned off and you’re good to go.