Convert Public Forum To Private for paid clients only

Hello. I originally set up my Discourse forum as a public forum. I also have included some Private categories that I was using for private discussions with clients.

However, I am changing my strategy for the forum. I now want the forum to be for paid clients only. I will eliminate the public component. (I don’t have any content that needs to be saved in the conversion.)

What is the best way to change this to a Private forum without starting from scratch? Is there some way to simply convert it to private, or will I need to re-install Discourse from scratch? I’m trying to avoid having to set up all of my admin settings and integrations again. I don’t have any users or posts that need to be kept, but I would like to hold on to the structure of the categories, etc. if that’s possible.

Thank you!

Yes, just enable ‘Login Required’ under Settings/Login:


That’s too easy. I want something harder! :wink:

Thank you. I was hoping for an answer like that…


  1. spin up a new VM
  2. buy a new domain, the old one is dead to you
  3. configure DNS
  4. configure MailGun
  5. follow the standard install guide
  6. reconfigure your community
  7. realise you got the header the wrong shade of teal, return to step 1.

Actually, I guess my question is a little more complicated. @Stephen answered part of it for me.

What I did not state is that I have set up SSO with my WordPress site to share the login. On WordPress, my users will be tagged to indicate that they should have access to the forum.

So, how can I control who gets to log in based on my WordPress tags (because that will indicate that they have paid)? Do I have to do this manually inside of Discourse (as I did for my clients previously)? Or is there a better way to accomplish this?


If your WordPress users are a mixture of paying customers and registrants who aren’t allowed access then a common apporach is to use a plugin such as PaidMembershipsPro. By adding code to your themes functions.php your WordPress site can send group memberships over to your Discourse site.

Then in addition to ‘Login Required’ you can secure your categories behind groups which are populated by the WordPress plugin and SSO process.

The example code is in this post:

It’s not perfect, I believe @dfriestedt was working with @justin to clean it up and make the code more widely available:

You’ve not elaborated on how you’re managing users or selling memberships on the WordPress side, so that’s the best I can do for now.


Thank you. I will take a close look at the links you provided.

I am managing my membership with MemberPress.

In which case check out this topic:


Thank you. I’ll take a look. I expect this will be enough to close this topic. I appreciate your help…