Can't recommend Substack site: Unprocessable content

I’m trying to link to a recommended site, and it won’t let me. Instead, it throws the following (ungrammatical) error:

Something went wrong while checking this URL, please try again.

Trying again changes nothing. When tried with developer console open I get a little more detail:

POST https://domain.com/ghost/api/admin/recommendations/check/ 422 (Unprocessable Content)

It is a substack site I’m trying to recommend, and other Substack sites work fine as recommendations. This one is thezvi.substack.com.

It took a second to figure out what was happening.

The TLDR is that the page in question doesn’t provide the necessary metadata in its source (it seems to be added after load), which causes the error in Ghost.
Unfortunately, this is a Substack thing, based on how they generate this page, and can’t be fixed until those elements are included. It is weird that it only affects some pages and not all.

A workaround is to use one of the individual posts from this author. They seem to work perfectly fine.

1 Like

Ah, that’s very strange. As you say, doing it from a post works,

Thanks.

I opened a related Ghost bug report because Ghost is returning “Please try again” for classes of errors that are not transient and won’t be helped by waiting and trying again.

It would be better to tell the user that it won’t work and give them the details of the error.