'Categories & Latest posts' for visitors and only 'Latest posts' for users

I feel that the ‘Latest posts’ homepage is perfect for conversations just as Discourse itself encourages.

But for the first time visitor (not-logged-in users), a ‘Categories & Latest posts’ gives a better idea of what the forum is about, as the ‘Categories’ section can define really well what you can expect there, while also having a peek at the ‘Latest posts’ on the forum.

This could also have some SEO implications as the search engines will crawl the ‘Categories & Latest posts’ homepage, which you can control a bit better in terms of keywords, text on page through the ‘Categories’ section. Also, the categories/sub-categories are linked directly from the homepage (better link flowing).

This could be the best of both worlds.


Last I knew, categories were linked directly from the Latest page. If this is not the case for you, have you checked any plugins / modifications you might be using to make sure they didn’t break this?

True, the categories for those posts appearing as ‘Latest posts’ are being linked in the ‘Category’ column, but that’s not the point I was trying to make, but rather that the ‘Categories & Latest posts’ front page might be more suitable for visitors & possibly search engines and vice-versa (‘Latest posts’ is more suitable for already registered users).

So, my question is whether others feel the same and if such an ability to set different front pages is practical or not ?

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I’m too lazy busy to find it now, but there has been discussion about having member selectable “home” pages.

If that can happen it would be easy enough to have a default home page and let members decide for themselves which they prefer. IMHO, that would be better than having code make a decision for them.

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It’s not even that, but just 2 homepages that already exist in Discourse. The difference would be to serve one for users, and one for visitors (not-logged-in) for the above mentioned reasons.

I guess I’m not understanding what you’re getting at. AFAIK, it is exactly that. The default of all the possible home pages will display for not-logged-in visitors, and once logged in, members would (when / if it happens) be able to choose another if they wanted to.

I agree, having a landing page with categories and latest posts is better for new users to understand the community.

Looks like this has been discussed a long time back, is there a way this has been enabled?

This is something that I would be interested in as well: the original idea of having a separate admin-configured landing page for visitor vs. logged-in user, not the later suggestion for a user-preference.

  • Visitor / web-crawler arrives at forum and sees the top-level list of Categories (possibly with Featured/Latest/Top posts next to it) which gives them an immediate high-level view of what this forum is about, which categories are active/popular, and where they should go next.
  • Logged-in user arrives at forum (already familiar with categories) and sees Latest posts, allowing them to quickly follow / resume conversations across categories.

Each landing page supports the audience’s favored use case but detracts from the other. Visitors are not yet oriented so a live-stream of the Latest posts doesn’t convey much about the community’s structure. Logged-in users already know the categories so the Categories page distracts from “what’s happened since I was last here?”.

Using “Categories + Featured/Latest/Top” for both audiences kinda/sorta meets the need, but it’s still added visual noise for logged-in users who already have the category picker as a dropdown (and heavily weighted too, in the leftmost “primary” column).