Info and Suggestions for your Discourse forum


First of all, congratulations on selecting a great board, for users, moderators, admins, and owners.

I’m not sure what Discourse admin/setup documentation you have, but it seems sparse to me.
So the first thing I’ll share is this:
Discourse Documentation

You might also look at this on the forum site:

###Suggestions for Features to Enable

  1. Discourse Solved (Accepted answer plugin) – aka “Best Answer” or “Issue Solved”
  • If it is not clear/obvious what this does or how it is used, let me know. I have a brief tutorial.
  • Would allow you to identify when a help question is answered, a bug is fixed, a feature request has been implemented.
  1. Enable Tags – See Tagging support is now part of Discourse
  • Used to be a plugin, but I think it is now part of the forum software
  • Creation of Tags
    • It is tough to strike a balance between having a good comprehensive set of tags, vs having too many tags to be managable.
    • While it can be opened up to all users, I highly recommend against it. Allow uses to select tags, but not create them.
    • I’d suggest that you appoint a “Tag Master” (moderator) to manage tags
    • First solicit suggestions from a closed, trusted group.
      • Then announce to users that they can suggest tags (but no guarantees)
    • I’d suggest starting with a limit (admin setting) of 50 tags, and only go above that if you really have to.
    • After you get an initial set of tags, allow moderators to create tags as well.
    • Encourage all to use tags, and moderators to assign tags if needed
  1. Tags vs Categories
  • Sometimes it is hard to decide/distinguish
  • IMO, Categories (really sub-forums) should be broad classifications, where it is very unlikely that a topic could fall under more than one Category (because it can’t)
  • Tags, OTOH, are designed to cut across categories.
  • Each Topic can be in only one Category, but can have many tags
  • Each tag can be used in all allowed Categories
  1. Categories
  • Name
    • Best to keep Category name short, and use one word
    • If you must have multiple words, then use underscore to separate words
    • Otherwise Searches won’t work properly.
  • Types
    • You can have at least these “types” (restrictions):
      • Public read/write (like most of the categories that users post to)
      • Public read only, restricted write (Announcements)
      • Restricted read only (except for admin) (Site level instructions)
      • Restricted read, restricted write (Beta, Moderators, Staff, etc)
  • Sub-Categories
    • Can be useful
    • Some people like them, others don’t
    • IMO, design it for what you think works best for your users
  • Main Categories
    • I suggest keeping this to a small number, or users can get confused or just won’t go to the trouble to post in the right Category. IOW, make it easy on your users.
    • OTOH, create a many as you really need to keep the users, you, and your free helpers organized.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for the suggestions. I’ve installed the Discourse Solved plugin and enabled tags, as you suggest.

The volume of documentation is daunting, but I’ll try and get through it in my spare moments.

I was trying to find a way to move the beta mailing list into this forum, and while I can see there are groups, its not clear how to make part of the forum hidden and invite only. Is this something you have any experience with?

Mark, see this topic on the site:

You may find this category there helpful:

If you have not already, you may want to setup an account there.
Generally, they are pretty helpful, and respond quickly.

Mark, would you consider creating a symlink (or some sort of redirection) so that going to (the original forum link) redirects to I think it’s more natural, and it makes for nice auto-recall when you hit the browser address bar and start typing ‘lateni…’

Sure, sounds reasonable. Done…