Changing the default 'sort by' setting for search

Is it possible to have the default search order be order:latest, either as a user preference or globally on an instance of Discourse?


Sorry for the delay… no this is not possible, but I could add a site setting for it.

I also usually prefer order:latest as a default for stuff I am searching for. Cause I like to use search to recall a topic I recently looked at.

Another option could be to give significantly more weight to recent stuff while leaving it as a “smart search” But… to be honest … maybe order:latest is simply a better default… @codinghorror?


I favor weighting recent stuff a bit more, personally. order:latest as a default would be awfully strong.


It would be nice to have a simpler search shortcut for order:latest even a single character, as that is a lot to type plus a colon.

Both my users and myself find having to use the “latest post” to find what we need. We are probably a niche case because we have a lot of topics with the same keywords, so searching often good-naturedly surfaces old, but seemingly relevant topics. I’d appreciate the option to make “latest” the system default. It would help us a lot. I’m not suggesting it should be the default in general :slight_smile:

There is already a one character shortcut to order by latest; just add “l” to your search and it will be ordered latest. So instead of searching for


search for

hotdogs l

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I wasn’t aware of that shortcut. That’s helpful for me, though I already have an Alfred search that does what I need.

For my users though, it would be better to change the default behavior of the forum. It’s been requested a lot of times, and I’ve seen users use the forum over screen sharing as they try to find some piece of information tucked away in a post.

Again, I’m not suggesting this is a good practice for most forums, but because we have a lot of similarly named topics, it would help with retrieval.


Google and other webcrawlers will struggle with this as well, I strongly suggest you should fix the root cause here and have more uniquely named topics.

We are a private community and don’t care about SEO. The root cause is have repeating events with the same title. For example, we have a lot of topics like this: “XYZ (October 2018”).

I understand that we’re a niche case. But it would be helpful to have the option for just such niche cases.


I think adding a site setting that allows you to pick default site sort order would be useful in some cases:


I agree with @codinghorror 100% that our default of “Relevance” is correct, but can see cases where there is a very strong preference for latest (either post or topic).

I am not keen on making this a strong per user setting quite yet though. @codinghorror should we slot adding this site setting, or wait on this for a bit?


Closed to focus discussion in Default search results sort by latest post instead of relevance