General Support: permissions
This is actually not a new problem, but a problem I raised a few days ago and haven't had an answer. I want most of the website to be seen by the general public, but one page to be seen by members only. I can't find any way of treating one page differently from the rest. Is it possible?
Thanks to Alan for help with another problem.
Voice has fairly flexible permissions system for controlling what people can see and do on your site. However, it isn't necessarily suitable for all situations - sometimes a less sophisticated approach is a better option.
It's a fairly chunky topic, so I'll only cover a couple of (hopefully relevant) points here. If they don't answer your question, or if they prompt further questions, then reply here.
Firstly, it's worth asking yourself how important it is that only specific people can see the page.
If it isn't that important (for example, if the information on the page isn't confidential, but just wouldn't be interesting to non-members) then you may just want to publish the page as normal.
Or, to make it slightly more discreet, publish it but don't include it in your site's navigation menu (untick the 'show in navigation menu' option on the edit screen for the page). You can then give the page's address to anyone who needs to see it (you'll find the address on the page's 'index' tab). Note that this isn't secure - people could still guess the address and see the page if they wanted to. But for non-confidential information, it may be all you need.
If you want to keep the page confidential, then you'll need to use the permissions system. The permissions system works not by adding a password to the page but by checking if the person is logged in to your site/Voice and that you have given them permission to view it.
This is a two-step process. First you need to change the permissions for the page so it only displays for logged in members. To do this:
- Open the page to edit it and click on the page's permissions tab. (Note: the page must be directly under your site's home page - if the permissions tab isn't showing, that's why).
- Click the button 'do not inherit permissions'.
- Untick the box next to 'public' and make sure the box next to members is ticked.
- Click the 'confirm' button.
The page can now only be viewed by people who have logged in to your site. If you've included the link to the page in your navigation menu, the link will be shown to people who are logged in and have permission to view the page and hidden from everyone else.
So, the second step is to add people as members of your site. To do this:
- Go to the Users and permissions tab on your admin page
- Click the invite others to join link just below the list of current members. A new screen will appear where you can type in the details of the people that you want to invite.
- Add their details in the Invitees box in the following order: email, first name, last name (eg; firstname.lastname@example.org, Jim, Smith). Use a new line for each person if you are inviting more than one.
- Enter the text of your invitation message in the custom message box.
- Click the OK button.
If the people are not already registered on Voice they will receive an email invitation with a link to register for an account. Once they have registered, they will automatically become an approved member of your site.
If they are already registered with Voice they will receive an email inviting them to join your group. The email contains a link for them to click to accept the invitation. If they click it, they will automatically be added as an approved member of your site.
To view the page, your members must log in on your site (if your site uses the Modern theme, the login link is normally at the top right of the pages on desktops, and in the hamburger menu on phones/tablets).
For what it is worth, my experience is that often the most time-consuming element of this is managing your site members - sending the invitations, getting them to remember to log in, telling them how to reset their password that they've forgotten, reminding them of the page address if you haven't included it in the navigation menu etc. If your page is merely uninteresting rather than confidential then 'protecting' it may not be worth the effort involved (but if the content is confidential, it probably is worth the effort).
There's a help page about permissions here that goes into more detail:
Hope this helps - there's quite a lot to permissions and I've simplified some of the above, so don't hesitate to ask if you have questions or it doesn't make sense!
Thanks John. Not for the first time, I hadn't found the answer because I hadn't looked.
I'm still puzzled, though. On most websites with restricted access, the user has to enter a user name and password. Without this, how does the system know who the user is, and therefore whether the user has the necessary permission?
It does require a username and password.
Hence I couldn't reply to this posting until I'd logged in. Before I logged in I was just "The Public", but after logging in I was a "Registered User", and the permission on the forums only allows posting by registered users.
So for your site you can change the permissions to just allow registered users to see a section if you wish to.
Or, take it further by only allowing specific users access, by managing the membership of your site (i.e., controlling exactly which users are members of your site, then setting the permissions to only allow Members to read sections of your site).
On your site you can control the Membership Policy - i.e., whether users can become members at all, whether they need approval from you, or whether anyone can be a member without approval. You can also invite people to be members, as John covered above.
Thanks Joe. The bits of documentation I read didn't mention the password, but it is mentioned elsewhere.
Set up a private area.
I have a section that contains documentation only our committee can see. If you go into the Help documentation and go to 'Standard Applications', 'Private Area' and click on the red 'Private Area' link you will find how to do this.
On logging in to your site, only those who have been given access to the private area will see the link in your menus.
Below is a clip from the Help pages.
'Private areas are commonly used to create a members only area of the site with exclusive content and interactive applications.
To enable and configure a private area, click the Content Management tab and select the Applications page. Next click the Add Private Area button and supply a name and URL stub for the private area. Once you have enabled the private area it will be added to the list of applications and clicking the Manage This Application link will display the standard administration interface. Within a private area the administration interface operates in the same way as the administration interface for your main site.'