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Restricting Access to the Knowledge Base

This functionality is available in the latest versions of either KnowAll or Heroic Knowledge Base.

The knowledge base allows you to restrict access at two levels – your entire knowledge base or just individual knowledge base categories. WordPress itself also allows you to restrict access to individual articles.

There are two visibility options for the knowledge base access restriction – Public and Logged In. Public means anyone visiting your site can access the knowledge base. Logged In requires visitors to Log In before knowledge base content is displayed. Visitors that are not logged in will not be shown content, as though it does not exist.

Restricting access to the entire Knowledge Base

Restricting access to the entire knowledge base
Restricting access to the entire knowledge base

To lock down the entire Knowledge Base, from the WordPress administration panel, select Knowledge Base > Settings > General. The Restrict Access setting specifies the visibility setting for the entire Knowledge Base.

Note: Remember that when Restricting the entire knowledge base users will not see any message that they must log in to access content, it will be as though the content does not exist. You will need to ensure this is communicated to authorised users where appropriate. If you wish to tease content in search, restrict specific categories, documented below.

Restricting access to specific article categories

Restricting access to a specific category with the article edit screen
Restricting access to a specific category with the article edit screen

If you wish to restrict access to a specific article category, this can be done when the article category is created. It can also be done from the edit article category screen.

There are two visibility options for the category restriction – Public and Logged In. Public means anyone visiting your site can access the articles assigned to that category. Logged In requires visitors to Log In before the content assigned to that category is displayed.

Visitors that are not logged in will be shown a message that the content is not available and the title will appear as private article. The article title and excerpt will still be displayed in search results, but  the user will be prompted to log in when they click through to the article from search results. This allows you to tease content, and also reminds users to log in to access the full article. To hide knowledge base content completely, use the Restrict entire knowledge base option above.

Take care when assigning articles to multiple categories, as they will exhibit the behaviour of the most restrictive. So if a single article is assigned to a public and logged in category, the user will need to log in to view that article.

Previewing Restrictions

When logged in with the WordPress admin toolbar you can also see restriction details by hovering on the i icon in the toolbar when viewing any article. This will display information about the current restriction level.

Limitations

The restrict functionality does not currently limit visibility of:-

  • Content in the Popular Articles widget
  • Article title and except in search results (for articles restricted by category)
  • Article attachments
  • It’s effectiveness and interactions with third party plugins and themes is untested
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