Make Your Site Private
By default, a new site on Free-Conversant is open to the public.
That means that anybody that knows about your site can read all of the
pages, sign up as a member of the site, and then post new messages to the
site. This is known as a public site.
A basic feature of Conversant is the private site. This is a
site that's actively managed by an administrator (or a group of administrators),
and which people can't read all of the pages without already being members,
and they can't sign up to be members: the administrator must set up their
There are two ways to change the security settings on your site. Using
the main admin pages in your site, or using the wizards. In this document
we'll look only at the Security Wizard.
Setting Security Through the Wizard
You can access the wizards page by tacking __wizards__ to
the end of your site's root path. So, if your site is named "example",
then the wizards page would be found at
From there, click on the link to the security wizard
. This wizard
is completely self explanatory. You just change one setting (or small group
of settings) at a time, and then click on the next button. When you're
all done, you can return to your site.
Let's go through it step by step:
From the first page of the wizard, click the Continue>> button
If you want your site to be completely private, and you want the members
of the site to sign on every time they visit, then change the Authentication
Method from Cookies to HTTP Authentication. If you leave
it on Cookies, then your members will only have to sign on once, and they'll
be given a cookie. The cookie will allow them (or anyone using the member's
computer) to return to the site without signing in again.
If you chose HTTP Authentication then you're done.
If you chose Cookie-based authentication, then you've got three
more decisions to make.
Do you want to allow people to sign up for this site? If so, then click
on Yes in the first group of radio buttons. If you want to manage
the membership yourself, click on No
Do you want to allow guests (non-members) to view the full site (discussion-
group pages and published pages)? If so, click on Yes. If
you don't want to give them full access, then click on No.
Finally (and this only applies if you clicked No in the previous
question), do you want to allow guests (non-members) to view published
pages ("bound URL's") only? If so, then click Yes.** If you don't
want the public to even see your published pages, then click No.
** This is good if you're using your Free-Conversant site as a regular
web site: you'll write and store your messages in the regular "Conversation"
area (discussion group), and then publish them to public pages. Totally
optional, of course.
You can also change the security settings for your site through
the preferences for the MainResponder Plugin, at
You'll find the same options there, as well as many others for setting
other site preferences.