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What is Discourse?

Discourse is an open-source community management and moderation product.

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What is Discourse?

Discourse is an open-source community management and moderation product.

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  • No setup fee


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

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Product Demos

UC Discourse Demo


Demo Tamil Discourse


One Late Night - Dead Line (Demo DEV.) (Discourse : Thai)


Demo How To Move Discourse Forum Posts to new Topic


Discourse Live Demo | Joshua Rosenfeld


Discourse Demo | Sarah Hawk

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Product Details

What is Discourse?

Discourse Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo
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Reviews and Ratings



(1-3 of 3)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Discourse is the core platform that we use for our online Community. It is the main area where our 1100+ members communicate on a daily basis and provides us with a reliable, easy-to-use, highly customizable experience for our members.
  • It is a super-easy way for members to have online discussions
  • Very easy to administer and moderate discussions
  • The pricing is fair and the support is top-notch
  • I'd like a more robust plugin community to easily add functionality that doesn't currently exist
  • I'd love to see a live chat feature and more 'live' options like users online.
[Discourse is by] far the best online forum platform in the industry. It may be a little pricey for people looking for a cheap option for their hobby forum, but for any type of business that relies on a forum, the pricing is more than fair.
  • Ability to define groups and have private categories
  • Ability to import/export data via API
  • Ability to see detailed metrics on the health of the community
  • Since it is the core of our business, all of our success is because of Discourse!
  • We are able to do almost everything we need without expensive custom development
Vanilla's mobile functionality was downright awful and it felt like it was stuck in the 2000s. While they have similar features, Discourse blows them away in almost every department. We don't regret switching at all.
David McCann | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
At a previous organization, Discourse was the main public-facing community support tool for discussing our project, and the services we provided. We also migrated another community we supported away from google groups, exporting the existing data and importing it into discourse. We also used it to manage a (financial) grant application process where proposals and other documentation could be submitted. At my current organization, it's used minimally by some teams.
  • Versatility
  • Customizability
  • Good product support services
  • Engaging metrics around user activity
  • Some configuration UIs are difficult to follow
  • Not well-suited for managing workflows (grant management as an example)
  • Bulk operations across multiple threads either impossible or difficult to figure out
Discourse is great for asynchronous community discussion threads. As stated previously, it didn't handle more complicated workflows where state mattered (and needed to be filtered by), and potentially documents and other attachments needed to be passed back and forth. It also wouldn't be well-suited as a replacement for real-time chat products like Slack or Hipchat.
  • Customizabililty/white-labelling
  • Engagement/activity statistics
  • User-friendly UI
  • It allowed us to stand up multiple community discussion forums for various project
  • It caused some difficulty when navigating our grant application process
  • It allowed us to track public interest in different discussions
Discourse was primarily selected because it was open source and well-known by the team. Open source was a requirement for any tool we selected, and it is by far the easiest to set up, largest/most active contributor community and offers the best customer support.
Elio Qoshi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our organization has over 1300 employees and even more volunteer contributors. Discourse was used as a pilot project years ago and positioned itself in a more canonical position, turning it into the main communication channel for the whole organization. It has been highly useful to replace old mailing list software with an open source and user friendly experience which didn't alienate power users as they could continue use Discourse via its mailing list mode.
  • User Privileges : Teams, Trust Levels, Moderation, Private and Public Threads make it possible to have as much transparency, privacy or power decentralization as one wishes.
  • Gamification: Badges and Achievements can be customized for User Activity and frequent readers and writers.
  • Mailing List mode: Users can choose to use forum threads without the User Interface by subscribing via mailing list mode.
  • Unsure of how to use tags, since they are all lowercase and it feels a bit messy for a user-centric experience.
  • Private Messages can be seen by Administrators, something which might not be clear to everybody.
  • Mailing List Mode is very powerful but it's a bit tiresome to set-up consistently compared to the experience of the Graphical User Interface.
Discourse is perfect for communities and basically the best forum software out there. Wherever a forum would make sense, Discourse is probably the best solution. Having said that, small corporations with little external outreach have limited advantages with Discourse, since it's designed to facilitate discussions which happen at a slower pace while startups and small corporations will probably want to move faster with software like Slack.
  • Community Members are eager to jump into the discussion.
  • Conversations can be tracked easier without the risk of being lost in a sea of messages as people tend to construct their posts more carefully than on any workspace messenger.
  • It's open source and configurable with many other add-ons to help integration with other services.
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