Customizing FAQs and Guidelines

:discourse: This is a explanation guide for #documentation:admins about customizing the FAQs and Guidelines pages on a Discourse site.

Customizing the FAQ and Guidelines pages in Discourse allows you to tailor the content to fit the specific needs and rules of your community. These pages are often the first point of reference for new users to understand what is expected of them and can also serve as a resource for existing members.

FAQ and Guidelines Pages

By default, Discourse only includes a FAQ page.

However, you can also create a Guidelines page. This allows for more focused content on each page, with the FAQ handling common questions and the Guidelines outlining community rules.

To add a Guidelines page to your site, you will need to add a topic URL, or external URL to the faq url admin setting. You can also use a published page URL here.

This will create a Guidelines page (accessible at .../guidelines) along with the existing FAQ tab.

FAQs and Guidelines Content

The FAQ page in Discourse comes with default content that serves as a template for forum guidelines and frequently asked questions. To edit this content:

  1. Navigate to the FAQ/Guidelines topic on your forum, which is typically created by default when your Discourse instance is set up. This topic is usually pinned in the staff category but can be found in other categories if moved.
  2. Edit the post as you would with any other topic on the forum. As an admin or moderator, you can revise the text to suit your community’s rules and expectations.
  3. After making the necessary changes, save the edits to update the FAQ page content.

If you want to link to an external FAQ page instead, you can change the faq_url site setting to point to the URL of your external FAQ page.

If you’ve added a Guidelines page, this page will use the FAQ/Guidelines topic for its content, and you can customize the content of the Guidelines page by following a similar process as above.

Navigation Label Names

You can customize the text labels used in the navigation menus for FAQs and Guidelines on the Admin → Customize → Text page (.../admin/customize/site_texts/).

Search for js.guidelines and js.faq to find the text content that corresponds to the navigation labels and change them to your preferred terms.

You can also update the navigation label used in the sidebar for FAQ by editing js.sidebar.sections.community.links.faq.content

image

See Customize text in Discourse for additional details on this process.

URL Routes

If a site does not include a Guidelines page, you can access the FAQs page from the following URL Slugs:

  • /faq
  • /guidelines
  • /rules
  • /conduct

If a site does include a Guidelines page, the following URLs can be used to access the Guidelines page:

  • /guidelines
  • /rules
  • /conduct

When a Guidelines page is present, the FAQ page can only be accessed from /faq or the SiteSetting.faq_url.

:person_raising_hand:Is there any way to change the URL routes like /faq and /guidelines ?

No. Discourse doesn’t have any core features to change those routes, although it is possible with a plugin.

Hiding Navigation Labels

Depending on how you want to structure your site, you may want to hide the navigation links for the FAQ and Guidelines pages. This can be done by making CSS changes on your site.

Specifically, you can hide the FAQ and Guidelines navigation label names with the following CSS:

Hide FAQ Navigation Label

.nav-pills .nav-item-faq {
    display: none;
}

Hide Guidelines Navigation Label

.nav-pills .nav-item-guidelines {
    display: none;
}

image

Additionally, you can hide the FAQ button from the sidebar / hamburger menu using:

li[data-list-item-name="faq"]{
    display: none;
}

Adding Guidelines to Sidebar

You can use the Custom Hamburger Menu Links theme component to add a link to the Guidelines page to your hamburger menu or sidebar. See Install a theme or theme component for details on how to install this component.

Once the theme component has been installed, you can use the following entry to add a link to the Guidelines page.

Guidelines,/guidelines,g

image

Community Management Tips

Customizing your FAQs and Guidelines on Discourse is important for shaping the unique identity and culture of your community, along with the expectations of your space. This not only helps in fostering a sense of community but also provides clarity on the dos and don’ts, which can significantly reduce moderation workload and improve user experience.

A well-structured FAQ section is invaluable for onboarding new members efficiently, as it can preemptively answer common queries, allowing for more in-depth and engaging discussions.

It’s beneficial to craft these documents with a positive tone, highlighting encouraged behaviors with clear examples. Keeping content concise and well-organized with bullet points and headers can also help make information more digestible.

Last edited by @SaraDev 2024-06-04T00:03:38Z

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