Idea Teasers - Read list of topics but not be able to view the contents unless you are registered

  • sozzled
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5 years 2 months ago - 5 years 2 months ago #23 by sozzled
The whole discussion about "teasers" has been going on for nearly 5 years. I believe that it's possible to actually do something about this issue in a relatively short amount of time.

The approach I am seriously considering is to make some changes to the Kunena template design and to offer the solution to members of this community.

The ideal solution is to create a plugin or modify the Kunena core product by making the teaser function operate on a per-category basis. I do not intend anything so complicated but, rather, a simpler approach that can operate until the "ideal solution" is implemented. When (or whether) an ideal solution will ever evolve is unknown.

While it is (relatively) easy to implement a simple solution—not the ideal solution—people need to understand that I intend to disable the links on the category index pages only. I do not intend to disable any other links (if they exist) elesewhere. This means that, if someone is exceedingly skilled in Kunena and is able to figure out a forum's structure, someone eventually gain access to a topic's contents after a while or if someone is careless and posts a link to that topic in another website. So, while I can make a relatively simple change, I cannot guarantee that topic contents will remain forever 100% secure from "prying eyes".

The approach that I am taking is to create an option in my templates that people can select if they want. If people choose to use the option topic links on the index pages would be "disabled" for guests; if guests try to click the topic subject, they will get a response like "You need to be a registered user to view this information."

The solution needs to be done in two parts. The first part is to make a few adjustments to your website—I will go on to describe those things next—and the second part will be to install one of my templates that incorporates the feature.

In thinking about how to address this issue, the following factors are involved:

(a) forum category permissions;
(b) menu permissions;
(c) Kunena configuration settings; and
(d) search engine access restrictions

The category permissions would be:

Access Control Type = User Groups
Primary User Group = Public
Primary includes Child Groups = Yes
Secondary User Group =
Secondary includes Child Groups = Yes
User Groups Allowed To Post = Manager, Registered, Super Users
User Groups Allowed To Reply = Manager, Registered, Super Users

(these are the default settings, anyway)

There are 6 points where people can access the contents of topics:

  1. Index
  2. Recent Topics
  3. No Replies
  4. via the user profile
  5. via the forum Search
  6. via internet search engines

In the first case, you want the Public to be able to access topics (but have the topic links disabled). This essentially what people want but this is the area that I need to work on.

In the second case, you will probably need to change the permission of the menu item so that only Registered users have access to it. See the image below to help you understand which menu item needs to be changed.

The third case should not be an issue because only Registered users normally cannot access this menu item (unless you have changed its permissions from the default).

To prevent the Public accessing your members' user profiles to be able to see what messages they have posted (and from there see the contents of the topics they may have posted), you need to change the following Kunena configuration setting:

Configuration » Security » Security Settings » Allow Guests to see User Profiles = No

To prevent the Public accessing your forum topics through the forum search facility, you need to change the permission on the Search menu option in the same way as I've mentioned for the Recent Topics item above (see the image above).

The last case (how to stop search engines crawling your site and displaying the contents of topics) is handled by changing the file /robots.txt (in your site root folder). If you do not prevent search engines from accessing your forum then your forum topics (and everything that your topics contain) will be available to anyone using internet search engines where your site has been submitted (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.)

These tips are not the whole solution—they're only part of the overall solution to the problem and they're matters that each site owner needs to consider individually and on a case-by-case basis.
Last edit: 5 years 2 months ago by sozzled.

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