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This relates to a Joomla 3.8.7 site where most of the content is available only to logged in users which is done by setting the Access Level on menus/articles to Registered.

There are a few pages that should be publicly accessible, so those are in a category called Public with Public access and the Articles are also set to Public. Those pages need to be accessed by direct URL (ie links in an email that show the article, not accessed via menus).

The problem is that those links are redirected to the login page for anonymous users.

After a bit of experimenting, it seems that this is related to the access setting of the home page menu item: if the home page menu item is set to Registered then all anonymous access is redirected to the login page. This works well for our needs, except for the public pages. If the home page menu item is Public, then the public links work but we lose the redirection for other pages.

a) Is this expected behaviour? ie setting the home page menu item to Registered redirects attempts to access other URL's overriding the Public access configured for them

b) How can I keep the redirect for most access but let the public pages be accessed anonymously?

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    Public menu items are still accessible, even if you set the home menu item to registered, as long as they are on the same level and are not children of the home menu item. – Dennis Heiden May 16 '18 at 13:33
  • Thanks @DennisHeiden - that was the clue I needed: create them as menu items. I was trying to use a url of site/category/article - that works when logged in but not anonymously. If you want to put it as an answer, I can mark as resolved. – Aidan May 18 '18 at 13:37
  • @Aidan It seems that Dennis is disinterested in posting an answer. Please take the time to post a clear/educational answer that will be helpful to future researchers and then accept your own answer. This shows that your issue is resolved and prevents your question being "bumped" to the home page by the system. – mickmackusa Sep 11 '18 at 0:25
  • I have missed the request for the answer. I am always interested in giving rich answers. Sorry for that. I've upvoted Aidans answers instead. – Dennis Heiden Sep 14 '18 at 10:58
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[Prompted by @mickmackusa, I'll add an answer here although it's a while back and I haven't needed to look at this recently. Edit if you can improve!]

I was constructing the URL using the site/category/article pattern. This works when logged in but when accessing anonymously it produced the behaviour described in the question.

However, if you create a menu item (I used the Single Article type) for the article, set the Access to Public, and access it as site/alias then the permissioning works as expected.

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