XF 2.2 Writing before registering

Participation. It's the life blood of a forum, and once you have a group of dedicated members creating and discussing content, your forum will flourish.

But there's a barrier to entry when it comes to participation. When a new visitor stumbles upon your forum from a search engine, they may read the content that piqued their interest and then feel inclined to add their own thought-provoking response, but at that point they are confronted with the dreaded


... at which point, in many cases, the whim disappears and they disappear like a stranger in the night.

The prospect of having to complete a form and go through the rigmarole of signing-up to a new service is quite a turn-off to new visitors, for obvious reasons. Visitors have a reticence to registration because they often consider it not to be worth their time.

So, what if they had something to lose by not completing the registration process?

This is the thought behind Writing Before Registering. When enabled, guest users will be granted access to the New Thread button and the Quick Reply editor and various other tools that are available to registered members. The experience is almost identical to that of a logged-in user, allowing the guest to create rich content before having registered, such that they can compose the message they want without obstructions.

What a lovely post. Now register or lose it.

And then, when they've spent time lovingly crafting their message and hit the submit button, then we smack them with the registration form.

Now, the hapless visitor has a conundrum. Are they prepared to have wasted the time they spent composing their message and abandon their contribution, or will they spend a few moments completing the annoying registration form? We're betting that a good proportion will choose the latter.


Once the guest has completed registration, the content they composed will be submitted automatically, and they'll be sent an alert with a link to it.


The landscape has changed

Occasionally, there may be instances where the environment in which the content was created changes during the registration process, such as the thread being locked by a moderator or moved to a forum to which regular users do not have access. In these cases, where the created content can no longer be submitted, the newly registered user will receive an alert similar to the one below.



The experience afforded to guests is configurable. Behind the scenes, administrators can configure how this works by setting which permissions should be inherited by guests. For example, if users in the "Registered" user group are able to post in a particular forum, it'll be possible for guests to also post in that forum but they will need to register before their post is submitted.

Normally, you will want to inherit permissions from whichever group or groups users automatically become members upon registration, but the scope is there to allow whatever weird and wonderful combinations may be required by your particular setup.


Of course, sometimes visitors will not complete the registration process, especially if they are not particularly committed to a short response they composed. In order to prevent that stuff clogging up your database, content that was submitted but did not lead to a completed registration will be pruned after a short period of time.

Developer goodies

Initially, we're supporting the creation of threads and replies but as you'd expect from a XenForo core system, "writing before registering" is entirely open and extensible and can apply to any registration-privileged action, so third-party developers will be able to incorporate this functionality within their add-ons, wherever it makes sense to do so.

Post scriptum

A few questions have been raised already as to what happens if email verification or manual registration approval is enabled on your forum.

In these instances, the content that has been posted is kept in a pending state, awaiting whatever steps are required for registration to complete. The content is automatically posted as soon as registration is completed, whether that is by means of email verification, manual approval or whatever other things may be set up in the registration process.

If registration is not completed within a reasonable period, the content is purged.
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Is this the expected behaviour? It seems highly undesirable.
This is similar to the "by design" behaviour which makes it incredibly error prone to mix "require approval" + "require email confirmation" for user registration and spam-checking;

This is a design limitation in that XenForo doesn't actually record that content (user or post!) has been in the approval queue after it has been approved or what the state was before it entered the approval queue. This means there are various flows which break as XF doesn't know where to resume from.
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In short: a pre-registration post that does not trip the spam filters ends up awaiting email confirmation for the account, and in the meantime it doesn't go into the moderation queue. All good, and as expected.
However: a pre-reg post that DOES trip the spam filter goes straight into the approval queue as a pre-registration action, and (here's the bad bit) if a moderator approves it at that point, the account state instantly becomes "Valid" and the email confirmation step is entirely skipped.**
Have you filled out a bug report already? If not, you can so here: https://xenforo.com/community/forums/bugs/
I may be in the wrong thread but I am trying to find info if there is an add on that makes it so people must write a reason for registering before they register. I manually approve them all anyways. Does that exist at all? Thanks
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