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What do members of the public see when an activity is unpublished?

Jess Henderson -

Please note: while the written guidance in this article should be up to date, the screenshots may not be. Please bear with us. We’re carrying out work to update all the screenshots in the Knowledge Base for Citizen Space 7 and (hopefully) to automate the process for future. Thank you for your patience!

Activities are in the 'unpublished' state if they have not yet been published or if they have been retracted after publication. Unpublished activities are not listed on the homepage or included in any public search results.  However, there are some cases where a member of the public may have access to an unpublished activity, for example:

  • Its URL (web address) is included in publicity materials released prior to publication of the activity
  • The activity has been retracted after publication, and the visitor had the page bookmarked or in their browser history
  • The visitor guesses the URL

If a member of the public tries to view an unpublished activity, they will be shown an 'Activity Unavailable' message. The default message says: "This activity is currently unavailable. Please try again later or contact us."

The message can be reviewed and edited before retracting a published activity, or at any time while the activity is unpublished.  It can contain formatted text, links and images.

Editing the 'Activity Unavailable' message for an unpublished activity

While the activity is in the unpublished state, there is a link on the Activity Dashboard entitled 'Edit Unavailable Message'.  Click this link to review and edit the message.

Edit unavailable message' link for an unpublished consultation. Screenshot.

You could use the message to display a 'Coming soon' holding page for an activity that has not yet been published, or to explain that it has been temporarily taken offline and provide an estimate of when it will be available again. 

Editing the 'Activity Unavailable' message when retracting an activity

The red Retract button for a published consultation. Screenshot.

If you need to edit a published activity or remove it from public view, click the 'Retract...' button on the dashboard.  Before the activity is retracted, you will be invited to review and edit the 'Activity Unavailable' message.

You could use the message to encourage anyone in the middle of filling in a survey to come back later to finish their response, for example.