The world's leading open-source discussion platform for blog commenters and online article publishers today


56 Votes

Discourse is an open source digital space that allows for people to engage with each other on shared beliefs, topics, ideas or interests. Discourse is mainly used as an avenue to hold discussions or debates, but it can also be used as a mailing list and can also handle long form chats among users.


User directory

The application features a members or user directory that lists profiles of all users available on the platform.

Multilingual support

Available language plugins support over 47 languages.

Topic moderation

Different users discussing a particular topic can be assigned different roles such as those of a moderator easily making regulating discussion on the forum easy.

Trust levels

The platform provides for different levels of users depending on frequency and consistency which successfully gamifies the platform. Different trust levels and badges acquired by different users can then be used in assigning roles on the platform such as that of a moderator.

Notification panel

Comments on followed posts, mentions and replies are very conveniently displayed on the notification panel as well as sent as email to guarantee response.

Social media integration

There is seamless integration of the platform with other social networking sites.

Localization of topics

Moderators on Discourse can limit replies or contributions to posts or discussion topics to users based on their location which helps get more targeted responses.

Topic summarization

Long posts and threads are smartly condensed to more definitive and brief forms to include for example only the most popular or the most interesting posts.

Email support and integration

Users can reply to threads and posts they are following directly from their email without having to log in into their Discourse accounts. Users wishing to create a mailing list from participants in a discussion are able to easily and efficiently create one.


The dashboard on the platform generates user based analytics which show the trend of engagements in posts, threads or discussion topics.

Media file support

Replies to posts support different types of media files such as images, videos and audio files.

Infinite scrolling

Scrolling over long posts features the just-in-time feature where replies are displayed in smaller chunks and show only when in view.


  • Clean and easy to navigate and user interface.
  • Social Media integration makes it more adaptable to user preferences.
  • Ability to add other forms of media files in replies make discussions more visual.
  • It has a free version, making it more accessible to more people.
  • Categorization of the topics makes searching through them easier.
  • Infinite scrolling allows faster loading of posts and makes consumption of information from the site easy.
  • Being an open source platform, users can integrate posts on third party websites.
  • Different privacy settings allow for a moderator to limit viewers and contributors.
  • Gamification of the platform through trust levels and badges limits instances of spam.


  • Administrators can see private messages.
  • Setting up a mailing list is a bit cumbersome.
  • Costly to unlock premium features.

Highest-Rated Features:

  1. Customer Engagement
  2. All-in-one Dashboard
  3. Social Network Integration

Lowest-Rated Features:

  1. Gamification
  2. Advanced Portal Features Online Community Management
  3. Downloadable Reports
HQ Location
El Cerrito, CA
Year Founded
LinkedIn® Page (35 employees)
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