Discourse : What is it, Features, Use cases
Reddit or Quora, have you ever used community sites like these? Reddit is a community site where various people share opinions on specific topics, and Quora is a community site where you can ask and receive answers to various questions on different topics.
Some people may have thought about running such a community site themselves. I also have a similar thought and am constantly studying in various ways.
Discourse is an open-source community platform that helps build such community sites. It helps build community sites even if your software development or coding skills are low.
On this page, We will explore what Discourse is, how it can be used, and where it is actually used on sites.
What is Discourse
Discourse is an open-source platform for online communities that supports effective communication among users through powerful moderation tools, real-time notification features, and responsive design.
Discourse VS WordPress
Alright, let’s compare the personal website and blog creation platform WordPress with Discourse to better understand what Discourse is.
|Purpose||Website and blog creation and management||Online community forum creation and management|
|Focus||Content creation and management||User conversations and community building|
|Flexibility||Highly flexible, with many customizable themes and plugins||Less flexible, with fewer customization options|
|SEO Optimization||Provides SEO optimization tools and plugins||Provides limited SEO optimization tools|
|Multi-language Support||Provides multi-language support through plugins||Provides built-in multi-language support|
|Moderation Tools||Limited built-in moderation tools||Advanced built-in moderation tools|
|Real-time Notifications||Limited real-time notifications||Provides advanced real-time notifications|
|Chat Features||Limited chat features||Provides built-in chat features|
|Membership Levels||Limited membership levels||Provides advanced membership levels|
|Design and Layout||Customizable design and layout||Limited design and layout options|
|Integration||Integrates with many third-party tools and services||Integrates with fewer third-party tools and services|
|Ease of Use||Relatively easy to use, with a learning curve||Can be more difficult to use, with a steeper learning curve|
While both Discourse and WordPress are open-source platforms for creating and managing online content, they have different purposes and characteristics.
Discourse is an online forum platform primarily designed for community building. It provides features specialized for community formation centered around conversations between users. For example, there are real-time notifications, chat functions, various membership levels, moderation tools, search engine optimization features, and more. These features help users form a community more easily and actively engage in conversations.
On the other hand, WordPress is primarily a platform for creating and managing websites or blogs. WordPress is very flexible and user-friendly, providing numerous themes and plugins to help users personally design their website or blog and add functionality. WordPress also provides features such as SEO optimization and multilingual support.
Therefore, Discourse is primarily a platform for community formation and management, while WordPress is primarily a platform for creating and managing websites or blogs.
Features of Discourse
- Conversations, not pages: You can view conversations continuously through infinite scroll without the need to find individual pages.
- Dynamic notifications: Receive notifications in various situations, such as when someone mentions you or when you write a post.
- Chat in real time: Create channels for community members to chat with each other.
- A personal touch: Customize settings according to user preferences.
- Simple, but with context: It is simple, but you can easily see the entire conversation in various positions, such as above or below a post or in a quote section.
- Born mobile, born to touch: Provides a mobile layout for easy use on high-quality tablets or mobile devices.
- Links automatically expand: Automatically expands links to various sites to provide information.
- Single sign-on: Easily integrate with existing login systems and use a single login.
- Trust system: Grants more authority as reliability increases.
- Community moderation: Community members can censor spam and dangerous content and mediate disputes.
- Spam blocking: Provides Akismet spam protection, sandbox, user flag blocking, and more to prevent spam.
- Social login: Supports common social logins like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and GitHub.
- Summarize topics: Helps you see only the most interesting posts by summarizing long topics.
- Badges: Provides various badges to induce positive community behavior and allows for custom badges to be added.
- Emoji: Search for standard emojis or add custom emojis.
- Reply via email: Receive notifications via email and reply via email.
- Two-factor authentication: Strengthen account security by using Android or iOS authentication apps.
- Admin dashboard: Easily check important community metrics.
Discourse Use Cases
Let’s Encrypt is a certification authority that provides SSL certificates for free. An SSL certificate is one of the security technologies necessary to encrypt important information on websites to protect it.
The community page of Let’s Encrypt is made using Discourse. On this community page, Let’s Encrypt users can ask questions and provide feedback, as well as submit suggestions for new features.
Audacity is a free open-source audio editing program that has millions of users worldwide. Users of this program can edit and manipulate audio files to their individual needs.
Audacity provides user support in various languages, and for this purpose, a web forum called the Audacity Forum is being operated. The Audacity forum supports users, exchanges feedback, and shares tutorials.
Memrise is an application for language learning, including English and various other languages. Memrise also uses Discourse to create a community page for users to communicate and share information.
It is impressive that as a language learning application, Memrise caters to a diverse range of language users and has categories that are further subdivided for various language learning purposes.
The MMORPG game EVE Online has its community page designed and operated using Discourse. In this community, global players of EVE Online can interact with each other and share information.
By using Discourse, the EVE Online community page allows users to easily converse and exchange information with each other. Through bulletin boards, categories, comments, and more, users can discuss and communicate with each other on a variety of topics.
MP3TAG is a useful software that allows you to edit metadata of music files. Users of this software can perform various tasks, such as editing and organizing information about music files.
The community page for this software is also developed using Discourse, where users can discuss the usage of the software, report bugs, give feedback, and exchange opinions about the software.
Discourse is a community building platform that is easy to set up and is used by various businesses and services to communicate with their customers. If you are still considering building a community, why not try using Discourse to create one?