Best practices for managing old content?

I run a Discourse installation that hosts a number of technical support documents in addition to other discussion. We have a problem with our users finding really old (several years old in some cases) dated content that has been superseded by newer documents but as everything looks the same they may not notice they’re reading very old and dated content.

I did find some old discussions related to auto archiving but not specifically to this use case. Specifically I’d like there to be a distinction between archived and obsolete content. (Some discussions What would be the best way to mark this dated content as obsolete? Does this have to be a manual process?

In an optimal situation there would be a plugin or some other way to give topics an expiration time or date (ie. “this content should be marked as obsolete after 180 days since last edit”) and after a topic would be marked either manually or automatically obsolete, it would display a clearly visible warning in the lines of “This topic has been marked obsolete as it is 2 years old. Please use the search to find for up to date information on this matter”.


You can close new replies to a topic in a particular category automatically after n number of days. It will also show a padlock next to the topic title implying the topic is closed (can be perceived as archived)


Maybe this topic can help?

Also, in topics you could add a topic timer in category settings?


Auto close 1440 hours equals 3 months and will add timer to posts Automatically.

Also adjust suggested topics days old settings can help old topics not being suggested.


Haven’t looked into it but Knowledge base? Plugin might have options as well.

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@Uninen I don’t know if this helps in your case, but it may show more recent entries first which could help meet your needs?

SETTINGS - Search - prefer recent posts

If searching your large forum is slow, this option tries an index of more recent posts first

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Move all the old topics to a category called “obsolete” or similar.

Ideally delete all the old content if it is obsolete to the point that it creates search land mines that will blow people up if they accidentally step on them!


This sounds like a good plan. After thinking about different solutions for a while, it’s kind of obvious that valid and good content needs to be produced by humans, not an automated process.

Thank you, I didn’t know about this setting. May try this as well (even though this particular site isn’t that large).

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