An overview of features in Discourse Sidebar

This tutorial demonstrates how to use the sidebar in Discourse-powered forums.


The community tab is your main navigation throughout the forums. This tab has several functions:

Everything brings you to the latest posts on your forum.
My Posts will allow you to see the posts you have written.
Clicking on More will expand the details, and you can perform more functions.
Groups takes you to the page where you can see your groups.
Users takes you to the leaderboard for the users on your forum, if enabled.
Badges will take you to a gallery of badges if enabled.

Please note that there may be additional buttons if you have plugins installed. For example, if you have Cakeday installed on your forum, Anniversaries and Birthdays will appear on your forum.

About brings you to the page on your forum that explains details about your forum.
FAQ brings you to your FAQ Page

If you an admin, then Review and Admin will be avaliable. Review is where you can review other people’s posts, and Admin takes you to the settings for your forum.

Categories and Tags


Categories and tags display the tags in the sidebar for easy access. Clicking on the categories wil bring you to the category you selected.

In order to edit these categories, you need to click on the pencil icon. You will be brought to the sidebar settings page, where you can select your categories.
Theen, click on the plus icon and add the categories or tags that you need.

Clicking on “All categories” will bring you to the menu where all the categories are displayed. Same goes if you click on “All tags”, this will bring you to a menu with all the tags.


Messages is a quick menu that can allow you to view and compose messages. To compose messages, press the “+” button next to the Messages tab. To view messages, click on “Inbox”. If you are in a group, you may have multiple inboxes.


The Channels tab allows you to view chats, and edit them. To enter a chat, click on the channel you want to go to. To edit channels, click on the pencil icon next to “Channels.”

From there, you can edit which channels you want to join or leave.
The Personal chat tab allows you to view personal chats. To compose a new personal chat, click the “+” button next to the personal chat tab. To remove a person, click on the “X” next to the user you want to remove.


There is a section in the Preferences tab of your profile where you can edit your sidebar settings.

From there, you can edit your categories, tags, and change the way the sidebar dispays new posts.
There is a setting for the blue badges next to the posts. There is aso a setting to link to unread and show a count of new items, which looks like this:


How do we hide the sidebar by default for people who are coming the the side for the first time?

1 Like

There is a theme-component to hide the sidebar from people who are not logged in