Guide to Subscribers

Guild Exclusive

This is a guild-only feature. To get access, Join the Worldbuilder's Guild!

Sometimes you want to hide parts of your content to most people but make it visible to certain people. You can achieve this by using the Subscribers feature.  

What is a subscriber?

A subscriber is somebody who can read the secrets and other private content that you can pepper throughout your world. You can read about secrets and how to make them by clicking here.   You can have several groups with subscribers, meaning that you can give different secrets to different groups of subscribers. The higher your Guild rank, the more subscribers you can have.   If you are a Guild member you can also make your world private, but you can make articles viewable by your subscribers.  

Let's do it!

Creating a group

Before adding subscribers, you will need to create a subscriber group. To do so, first go the Access Rights page of your world from the left sidebar (link highlighted in red):  

Access Rights links

  In the Access Rights page, choose the option Groups and use the right sidebar to create a group.  

Create subs group

  Only Title is mandatory; you can leave Description and Position empty. In Position, you can enter a number between 1 and 100. Groups with higher numbers appear first in the list of groups.   There are three checkboxes that you can use to toggle additional group settings:
  • Visibility: make the group name invisible from their subscribers.
  • Self assigning: let your readers assign themselves to a subscriber group (see the sidebar section for more information).
  • Default: if you want all of you private articles to be available to this group by default, check this box. Any players you invite to a campaign of this world will be automatically added to the default group.
  After you have created the group, you will see it listed:  

Groups list

  Each group in the list has three buttons, from left to right:
  • Edit: it will take you to a page to edit the group's settings (title, description and position).
  • Subscribers: it will show you who is part of this group.
  • Group Assets: it contains a list of all pages that this group can view.

Adding subscribers

It's time to add people to the group! Select Subscribers and use the sidebar to add a subscriber to a group. Note that the subscriber needs a World Anvil account. You can add a subscriber to multiple groups, but all subscribers need to be in at least one group.  

Add subscriber

  After adding it to the group, the subscriber will appear in the list of subscribers. Use the red — sign to remove it from a group, and the green + sign to add it to another group:  

Subs list

  And we are done! But keep reading to know how to make content available to subscribers only!  

Adding subscribers to your content


manage article subscriber groups.gif
To let your subscribers read private articles you first go to the article you want to make available. Go to the article you want to make available for subscribers and find the top panel in the right sidebar. Make sure that it's set as Private. Then, click the green + button and choose from the list of subscriber groups. To remove a group, click the red - button next to the group you want to remove.   The article will then be visible to you and the selected group(s) only.  


Secrets are always private. When creating them, you can optionally choose subscribers groups so that they can see the secret. If you don't choose any, only you and your co-authors will be able to see it. When creating a secret, you can choose one or more groups from the list. Afterwards, you can also edit the secret and change the subscriber groups, of course.  
Secret subscriber groups


You can also give your subscribers access to an entire category. To do so, go edit your category and, at the bottom of the page, set it as Private and choose the subscriber group.   See also: Guide to Creating and Using Categories  


Maps have different parameters to set their level of privacy. You can make the whole map available to subscribers only from the Map Settings (Display & Privacy) tab you will find in the map edit page:  

Map configuration tab

  Set it as private and choose the subscriber groups. You can do the same with specific layers, marker groups or individual markers, from their respective tabs.   See also: Guide to Maps  


Timelines as a whole can also be hidden from everyone except subscribers. Edit your timeline and edit the visibility setting in the Edit Timeline box of the right sidebar. Note that you will have to click on Show advanced options to see the visibility settings (they will show up at the bottom of the section).   You can do the same for individual historical entries, from their respective edit pages.   See also: Guide to Timelines  


Finally, images can also be private. At the bottom of the image edit page (or when you are first uploading it), you can find the usual visibility settings. In both cases, you will have to click the Show advanced options link to edit visibility settings.   See also: Guide to Images  

Self-assignable groups

Self-assignable are Grandmaster (and above) feature!
If you want to make use of this feature, consider supporting World Anvil or upgrading your subscription.
  You can also let your readers to assign themselves into a specific subscriber group. To do so, go to the Subscriber groups section of the Access Rights page and click the copy button next to the name of the group you want to make self-assignable:  
self-assignable group.png
  This will copy a BBCode tag into your clipboard that you can paste in any BBCode-enabled text field of your world (it will look something like [subgroup:GROUP-ID|WORLD-ID]). Use the following syntax to generate the result in the screenshot below: [subgroup:XX]Party[/subgroup] (replace the first tag by the proper one you have copied).  
self-assignable group result.png
  When a logged-in reader clicks on Party, they will be added to the subscriber group and the checkbox will be filled with a check mark.    

Use Cases for Subscriber Groups

How to create a bilingual world
Generic article | Apr 21, 2020

Mutually exclusive groups

Sometimes you might want your readers to be in a single self-assignable group. To do this, use the Mutually exclusive tag field when you are creating or editing a subscriber group. All self-assignable groups with the same tag will be mutually exclusive.  

Access codes

Subscriber Access Codes are Sage (and above) feature!
If you want to make use of this feature, consider supporting World Anvil or upgrading your subscription.
  This feature allows you to send an access code to someone so that they can activate their subscription to your world without you adding them manually. In your world's Access Rights page, select "Subscriber Access Codes" and fill in the sidebar. You will need to have created at least one subscriber group. The empty form looks like this:  
create subscriber code.png
  After clicking the "Create Code" button, it will appear in the list, like that:  
subscriber codes list.png
  Your subscribers will be able to activate their subscription from a special page of your world, located at your world's URL followed by /activate (e.g. It looks like this:  
activate subscriber code.png
  When the subscription is activated, your new subscriber will see a confirmation message at the top of the page:  
subscriber code activated.png


Do subscribers need to be Guild members?
No, they don't. Only the world creator needs a Guild account.
How many subscribers can I have?
The higher your guild rank, the more subscribers you can have. Note that the subscriber slots count for all your worlds (i.e. If you have ten subscriber slots, you can have ten in a single world or five in two different worlds, but not ten in each world).
If the world is set as Private, can certain articles be Public?
Yes, but since the main page will be private, public articles will have to be accessed from a direct link.

See also

Subscriber Containers
Spell | May 1, 2021

An easy way to share content only with a specific group of people.

Guide to Authors
Generic article | Feb 8, 2021

Got a friend? Have them help you work on your world by adding them as an author.


Articles under Guide to Subscribers

Cover image: by Belleco


Please Login in order to comment!
12 Nov, 2019 20:52

Just gonna stick this here so i can find it again easy.
Link to the most recent Dimi twitch tutorial on the matter.

~Confused Soup
30 Nov, 2019 00:29

I'm looking for a way to have my subscribers add their own pins to the map, as part of a hexcrawl. Any way to do this, without having them register as Co-authors or editors?

4 Dec, 2019 02:48

I don't know much about maps so I've asked the others. I'll get back to you when I've gotten a reply. :)

5 Dec, 2019 01:38

Sorry, it's not possible for subscribers to do that.

5 May, 2020 17:18

Is there any way for me to view an article as if I was a member of a subscriber group (as opposed to the author)? I want to be sure that my article (which contains some public and some sub-only content) is displaying the way I want.

6 May, 2020 02:25

I don't think so, but if you are viewing your article it should say in the secret container which subscriber groups can see it.

6 May, 2020 03:15

I'm actually using the subscriber group only container instead of secrets. Since I couldn't find any documentation mentioning these containers even existed (I happened to notice the button next to the group in my Subscribers Group list), I wasn't sure I was using it correctly and wanted to verify. I actually visited the article in another browser without logging in, which at least let's me see a public view. That wouldn't work if trying to compare views between different Subscriber Group views though.

6 May, 2020 03:23

Yeah, it would be good to be able to see how it looks for different subscriber groups, I'll ask the other enchanters if they know of any way to do it and if they don't I'll put in a feature request.

27 Jun, 2020 04:36

Is there any way to hide things from specific subscriber groups? For example, I'm trying to write a story for a roleplay group, and while I'd like the information to be public for anyone who wants to read what I've written, I would like to keep it a secret from my players, as they haven't discovered that information yet. If it's not possible with subscriber groups, I'd love to hear any other possible ways to accomplish this.

-Don't be upsetti in your spaghetti, stresses make messes. *+*Just breathe!*+* ^w^ -
27 Jun, 2020 17:53

A feature request for that has been logged. However, right now the only way you can have the public view something is with [spoiler-]omg a spoiler |Label[/spoiler-] (remove the two '-' ) and trust that your players won't look at it without your permission.

28 Jun, 2020 18:24

Thanks for the tip! One of my players is responsible, but the other loves spoilers, so I'll cross my fingers XD

-Don't be upsetti in your spaghetti, stresses make messes. *+*Just breathe!*+* ^w^ -
28 Jun, 2020 22:42

Haha! yeah XD

13 Sep, 2020 20:54

Thank you for the article.   I was wondering if there was a possibility so that subscriber can see the title of some page, but cannot access them. For instance, I want for them to be able to see the members of an organisation, but not the page said members. For the moment, my word is private, so puting the character pages as public achieves that (I am not sure why), but that feels quite like a hack and I would like to know if there is more proper way of doing that.

14 Sep, 2020 01:26

I think that if you use the mentioning system they will see the links but if they click them they will come to a 404 page.

14 Sep, 2020 06:12

That sounds like a solution, indeed. However, it means I cannot take advantage of the automatic tools of the organization (in the example above) that automatically list its member, I have to duplicate it on the main page, doesn't it?

14 Sep, 2020 19:48

I'm a bit unsure about what you mean with organizations. If there is a specific feature that you want WorldAnvil to have you can make a feature request over here; and Dimi will have a look at it when he has time. (He's busy with a secret project right now though)

18 Sep, 2020 17:09

Thank you very much for the explanation, and sorry for answering that late. By "organization", I meant the article type with this name you can create. You can them add character to them in the character template, and they will appear listed in the article left column. But looking a bit more, I think I may be able to do things by upgrading as Grand Master. Still have to think a bit about it, though ^^'.

19 Sep, 2020 02:46

<3 Great! :) Also consider joining the community over on the discord if you haven't already. Questions is easier and fast to ask and answer over there with quick screenshots.

28 Nov, 2020 20:13

Right under the "Adding subscribers to your content" part in the article above:   Do I need to have the available-to-subscribers things set to Draft/Private/Done in order for my beta readers to see it? Or is the Private setting the only important one?   Also, where do they go to see these not-yet-posted things?

28 Nov, 2020 21:58

If your beta readers are only subscribers and don't have access to your world any way else (writer, editor co-owner) then your articles need to be Published/Private. If it's a draft only people who have backdoor access to your world (writer/editor/co-owner) will be able to see it while if it's published everyone can see it. If it's not set to private. If it's private and published only the subscribers and the backdoor folks can see it.   Published and private articles can be found by your subscribers where you put them on your world. So if you make a beta reader category you can post everything there that they should beta read... it's also possible to post secrets in articles that only subscribers can see in certain published/public articles.

28 Nov, 2020 22:21

Okay, so for beta readers (that's exactly what I have!) it's Published/Private -- does the WIP/Done part matter?

29 Nov, 2020 04:02

Yep :) Nope, WIP/Done only matters for you. Just so you can see what you have marked "I'm not gonna work any more on this" ...people will be able to see that in the meta data on the article as well so they will know that the article won't get any more work done, which I suppose is nice to know for the readers/followers of your world. :)

29 Nov, 2020 04:15

People...write things...and *don't* keep editing them forever? O.O What madness is this?!? ^^   You are the bestest; thank you SO much!

29 Nov, 2020 04:55

Lol! Yeah, strange...isn't it? XD (I still have never clicked the done button and I've been here since the beginning of 2018 XD;; )   I'm glad I could be helpful. :)

17 Apr, 2021 10:07

Hey, right now I want to add a subcontainer of one of my subscriber groups to read some sub-only content on one of my articles. But when I try to find the subcontainer tag on the subscriber group list, I can't see the button for receiving the tag. Am I just blind or is there a new way to embed a subcontainer?

17 Apr, 2021 15:02

Subcontainers are a grandmaster feature.

17 Apr, 2021 16:46

Ah, that explains it. Thank you for the fast answer.

17 Apr, 2021 17:31

<3 No problem. :)