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created better error messages using context

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I am struggling with many of the error messages seen throughout Invision Community. Many of these errors are default errors used everywhere without paying attention to the context.

Let me tell you what I am doing so you can see what I mean. I created a Page with a database, added some categories and records. Then one of those categories will have a permission different to the database so that only a certain User Group can see it. It’s homework for a course that only members that are within User Group X can have access to.


Throughout IPS the error messages are usually out of context, the error is spitted without considering the context and why it's happening. In this case this error is misleading and does not take into account any subscription plans and user groups. A personalized subscription plan will have access to Trendlines work (category/articles). 


That is not the "error". The article cannot be shown because the user does not have permissions to do, he’s not allowed because he is not enrolled in a subscription plan or belongs to a certain user group. Admins should be able to add custom error texts. In this case something like “This article/category is only available to personalised plans, please learn about this plans HERE..." and then a URL to view the plans available. 

Instead IPS spits an generic message error. Imagine you are a client reading a course you just bought, you see a category with homework to do, etc...You click on it and you get the error "We could not locate the item you are trying to view". The file IS there, but he cannot view it because he does not have the rights to do it. What would you think? You'd think there is a problem with the web site. It does not have to be course, which is what I am doing...The category has a different permission, only a certain user group can view it. Why doesn't it say that? Why is it a generic error message? Why isn't it possible to maybe create custom error messages? 

With this kind of approach those admins trying to monetize their forums are losing potential clients, because the errors are not such errors but wrongly written messages that will lead to confusion amongst those potential clients willing to pay for extra content. Error messages like this is destroying any monetization of the forum 😞

Is there a way to create a way to customize error messages so that the forum administrators can add the right message? 


Another example default error message created in the wrong context can be seen below. I created a manual template, saved it and was sent to the user by email. The client is supposed to click on the link to PAY or VIEW ORDER, both links will display nothing if the user is not logged in.  If not logged in as the user this is the error message that will be seen:


If I am a client that is going to pay an invoice and I see that message then I will contact support to ask for advice, thus giving support extra work for something that shouldn't generate a problem in the first place. Shouldn't it ask the user to sign in to pay the invoice at least?


As a client I received an email to pay an invoice generated in ACP. That is NOT the kind the message I should read as a client when I am going to pay, or is it? 

We want to see something like 'Im order to pay the invoice you must log in your account'. Of something like that. That generic error message is creating confusion and it's being shown to someone who is willing to pay you, not someone that reached the wrong page or anything.

From a business and logical point, it's definitely the wrong message.

Thanks for reading me! Have a great day and stay safe!

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So I understand your plight but one thing to consider is how do you provide that information when the groups can be modular. Obviously your custom category won't just be available to this specific group, it has to be available to the staff team too and how does IPS determine which is more important in this case? Its not easily defined?

What if you have a subscription that includes one set of classes but another that includes that class and a few others (on a deal)?

Beta testers?


They would also possibly have permissions to this category.

I will agree that some errors do need a little more information as they are confusing for the end user however, personally, I know that you can do some of this at the Pages database level "You must subscribe to gain access to this class... click here to view our subscription options". You can alternatively edit the verbiage of ANY error message in the ACP using Languages.

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3 hours ago, Alfonso Moreno said:

Imagine you are a client reading a course you just bought, you see a category with homework to do, etc...You click on it and you get the error "We could not locate the item you are trying to view". The file IS there, but he cannot view it because he does not have the rights to do it. What would you think?

This sounds a bit strange. The point of the permission system is that content without access wouldn’t appear at all, so clicking on it and receiving an error shouldn’t even happen. 

Not that I have anything against the request to have category specific error messages. 

One option to consider would be to use field permissions instead of category permissions. That’s what I use in my Typography.Guru Academy section, which shows and limits content access based on three member groups (guest/normal member/paying member). Even as guest you will be able to access EVERY record, but the course content (an editor field) might be hidden because of your member group. But in the end, for a good custom solution, it usually requires some custom Pages templates.

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