We have a community site set up with several different categories. All those categories use the Category.aspx page to pull discussions from the discussion list.

Users who set an alert on a page expect to get alerted when somebody posts to that category, but that isn't how it works! SP sets the alert on the Category.aspx page and only sends out the alert when that page is updated -- which is very rare and something we actually would prefer the users not notice.

I found this post which describes how to set an alert for the discussion list by going to ribbon > Page > Alerts > Manage alerts > Add alert > select Discussion List > configure alert.

That is just a ridiculous series of steps to ask a user to do and far to many places where something could go wrong. And even if they were successful they would only get an alert on the whole discussion list, not just the specific category they were interested in.

So the question: How to provide a simple one or two click way for users to set an alert for the discussion category they are interested in?

Is there some add on or other way to make alerts a user focused feature?

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure about an add-on, but here's how I would do it without an add-on.

  1. Create a view of the discussion list filtered to show only items in one of the categories. Repeat for each category. (You'll probably have to base the views off of the "Management" view, but I think that's ok because users won't really ever look at these views.)

  2. You (or another site owner) follow the steps you provided above to access the alerts page: Go to the ribbon > Page > Alerts > Manage alerts > Add alert > select Discussion List

  3. After you've selected Discussion List, copy the URL for that page. It'll look something like this: http://communitysite/_layouts/15/SubNew.aspx?List=[ListID]

  4. Send the link to your users or put it on a "How to set up alerts" page someplace on your site.

  5. Now with a direct link to that page, the only specific step they need to follow when setting up the alert is to choose "Send me an alert when: Someone changes an item that appears in the following view" and then select a category. You could include these steps in your instructions to users.

Perhaps not ideal, but still only a couple clicks for the user. Once to get to the alerts page for the discussion list. And once to choose the view they want to be alerted on.

Good luck! I see you asked this awhile ago, so let us know if you found another solution!

  • Haven't found another answer. Working on another project deadline, but will be coming back to this next month as a feature enhancement for our previous client. I'll work through your suggestion then. Thanks.
    – Rothrock
    Oct 9, 2015 at 3:55

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