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URL redirect and cloaking?

cloaking, masking, url redirect

1:06 am on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I will ask my question by presenting a situation, hope someone can help me. Totally newbie in HTML and PHP.

main site:

concern url to "hide"

I have a forum where there's an exclusive redirect link/board that is visible for certain group of people only.

Question is, how can I redirect the link to www.mainsite.com/url.php, without having to expose the url? So that for that certain group of people to access the url, they need to go thru the forum. And of course, so as not to expose the URL to people outside the circle (doesnt have access to forum)

4:16 am on July 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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:: shuffling papers ::

Hm, thought this question sounded familiar. Did you make your forum from scratch or are you using php/bb? If you're using their setup, there's a button you click that makes a forum invisible to anyone who isn't allowed in, so you don't need to do anything yourself. (The WebmasterWorld forums do not have an equivalent function ;) though I have never had the nerve to try what happens* if I click on a Members Only area.)

I'm having trouble figuring out the scenario. Are you talking about people randomly entering the name of an url they're not allowed to go to, so they have to be unceremoniously kicked back home? Or about making the link visible only to people who are allowed to follow it?

This definitely isn't a cloaking question: that's a technical term having to do with search engines. (You will, of course, flag the protected url as no-index.) There are multiple ways to achieve what you want, including the raw-php way (don't look at me) and the htaccess/htpasswd way.

It is probably a good idea to describe what you want to see from the user's side. This should make it easier to figure out exactly what you want to do.

* I did finally screw up the courage to send my browser to on purpose. I got a screen that said happily "It works!"
5:11 pm on July 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Nearly all forum software has private forum capability. You generally create a group, add users to the group, and allow access to that forum based on the group. It usually uses the user's password so only one login is needed, but you can also set them up so the forum itself has a password which would allow anyone with the password to access it (useful for gathering interest from people who don't want to be board members.)

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