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View Full Version : Hidden forums - advise please



limebrook1
05-04-2007, 07:31 PM
On our forum we have a private hidden forum for select people, and another one for moderators. If I don't log in I cannot see the hidden forums.

However today, one of the moderators noticed the system said a 'guest' was browsing one of the hidden forums.

I just need to be assured that this cannot really happen, otherwise a few people might be done for libel!! :) or lose some friends!

Anyone know if guests can somehow can access to hidden forums, or whether this is impossible?

Many thanks

Aliens Anonymous
05-04-2007, 10:37 PM
You have been Googled. that is all no need to panic.

limebrook1
05-04-2007, 10:49 PM
Cheers Mate! That makes sense now. We can go back to the bitching! Sorry, should read meaningful discussions!

racefan20
05-05-2007, 05:56 AM
Cheers Mate! That makes sense now. We can go back to the bitching! Sorry, should read meaningful discussions!


Not so good, actually. If a bot somehow managed to read that area, the information would be searchable on Google or whatever search engine the bot came from. I doubt that it was able to read it, but you never know. Since phpBB doesn't show any errors the 'guest' may have encountered, there's no way of knowing for sure.

If I were you, I'd put a robots.txt file on there just to be sure. At the very least, include this:


User-agent: *
Disallow: /forum/forumid# here/

If you want to make indexing of your forum more efficient, you should make a more detailed file. The below is from a vBulletin forum rather than phpBB, but the aesthetics are similar - just adjust the variables a little to more closely match your forum and add any you'd like to add.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /forum/admincp/
Disallow: /forum/clientscript/
Disallow: /forum/cpstyles/
Disallow: /forum/customavatars/
Disallow: /forum/customprofilepics/
Disallow: /forum/images/
Disallow: /forum/modcp/
Disallow: /forum/ajax.php
Disallow: /forum/attachment.php
Disallow: /forum/calendar.php
Disallow: /forum/cron.php
Disallow: /forum/editpost.php
Disallow: /forum/global.php
Disallow: /forum/image.php
Disallow: /forum/inlinemod.php
Disallow: /forum/joinrequests.php
Disallow: /forum/login.php
Disallow: /forum/misc.php
Disallow: /forum/moderator.php
Disallow: /forum/newattachment.php
Disallow: /forum/newreply.php
Disallow: /forum/newthread.php
Disallow: /forum/online.php
Disallow: /forum/poll.php
Disallow: /forum/postings.php
Disallow: /forum/printthread.php
Disallow: /forum/private.php
Disallow: /forum/profile.php
Disallow: /forum/register.php
Disallow: /forum/report.php
Disallow: /forum/reputation.php
Disallow: /forum/search.php
Disallow: /forum/sendmessage.php
Disallow: /forum/subscription.php
Disallow: /forum/threadrate.php
Disallow: /forum/usercp.php
Disallow: /forum/usernote.php

Doing this allows bots to concentrate more on the areas of your forum you want to be indexed.

limebrook1
05-05-2007, 07:56 PM
As always - many thanks again Racefan! Will do this. Cheers