When a site has permissions set to Private, by default non-members will see a generic home page suggesting logging in, or obtaining a site membership. It may be desirable to present a home page with more customized instructions for these visitors. This article notes some possibilities.

What you can modify

The home page you would normally edit does not come into play with respect to what you might show to non-members as a home page. However, you can modify the theme file so that it includes one or more sections that are shown only to non-members. This can be done with theme conditional components. The basic structure looks like this:
  <div class="wikiBox">
    <WikiIsNotSpaceMember>
      Put special non-member home-page content here
    </WikiIsNotSpaceMember>
 
    <WikiIsSpaceMember>
      <$WikiContent$>
    </WikiIsSpaceMember>
   </div>

This code shows the usual wikispaces content to members, and shows special content to non-members.

You might want to make your special content similar to the wikispaces' login form without actually showing the default form. You can copy and paste the default form's HTML, and edit to suit. You may notice that wikispaces' form contains some hidden input fields with mysterious values ("currentSlave", "wikispacesFormToken"). Simply omitting these fields does not appear to cause a problem

Issues

Auxiliary files -- special arrangements needed

Any files that your theme calls (images, CSS, Javascript), which are stored within the site, will not be available to non-members because the Private permissions prevent their access. That's mostly fine, since you don't want those non-members accessing your pages... except for the home page! If the appearance of the non-member home page depends upon auxiliary images or other files, those will not be available for the non-members.

The only workaround I've thought of for this is to set up a second, Protected (free) wikispaces site on which to host these files. (That seems rather clumsy, but it works.)

The header plant logo and default site title

Normally, if you supply your own site logo (Manage > Themes and Colors > Logo), wikispaces turns off the default "plant" logo and site title in the header at the top of the page. The logo image you supply gets saved within the site's files ([yoursite].wikispaces.com/space/showlogo/[somenumber]/logo.gif or jpg). However, not only is this image unavailable for non-members, but this causes wikispaces to include the plant logo and site title. If you've customized your theme, this result for non-members is not likely to be pretty.

My current best guess at a workaround is to modify the headerInner div to remove the WikiLogoOrSpaceName component altogether, which will avoid the problem just described, along with abandoning the built-in custom logo feature. In its place, you can patch in some HTML to incorporate your header image explicitly (including a link to the home page, if desired).

Example

Theme before:
<div id="headerInner">
  <$WikiLogoOrSpaceName$>
  <div id="headerRight">
    <$WikiHeaderNav$>
  </div>
</div>

Theme after
<style type="text/css">
...
#header {
/*  background-color: <$WikiHighlightColor$>;  */
/*----- GW Add ----*/
  background-color:transparent;
  background-image: url(http://grahamwideman.wikispaces.com/file/view/cfheader.gif);
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  height: 70px;
/*-----------------*/
  ...
}
</style>
...
<div id="headerInner" >
  <!-- Replace WikiLogoOrSpaceName with background image and transparent gif to click on -->
  <a href="/" class="WikiLogo WikiElement">
    <img src="http://SomeOtherSite.wikispaces.com/file/view/img_600x40transp.gif"
      alt="transparent gif" />
  </a>
  <div id="headerRight">
    <$WikiHeaderNav$>
  </div>
</div>

favicon issues

See separate page regarding the favicon.

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