Discourse Patreon Integration


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #1

Discourse Patreon

Enable syncronization between Discourse Groups and Patreon rewards, and enable Patreon Social Login.

Github Repo: https://github.com/discourse/discourse-patreon

In depth configuration


Proceed with a normal installation of a plugin.

Social Login

This plugin will also enable a Social Login with Patreon, making it easier for your patron to sign up on Discourse.


  • Button to invite patrons who aren’t on Discourse yet.

Discourse users on Patreon

Pay option plugin
Monetization facilities/infrastructure
Ability to merge users
Free hosting to test out Discourse?
How to add verified mark to team profiles?
Payment option plugin
Plugin to charge for membership?
Is there anybody being able to profit from a website based on discourse
Which is Better? Discourse or Flarum?
Token Controlled Permissions
Updating Font Awesome icons?
Are these plugins possible?
(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #2

Now you can sync your Patreon patrons :dollar: with groups on Discourse!

(ampburner) #3

I’m here because I spoke with @erlend_sh and have a substantial gaming forum which runs on (manually operated) patreon donations.

My forum: http://www.hitmanforum.com/
My patreon page: Stephan is creating Hitman Forum | Patreon

What I already have
I have a patreon page with two types of pledges - 1$/mo (anonymous) and 10$/mo (generous sponsor)
Once a month, I manually synchronise the active $10 donations to a discourse usergroup. The people in this group automatically get a custom user title. This is a small ‘thank you’ which they can use to show their support in the community.

People who are in that special group also get publicly mentioned in a super hacky custom group page that I put together using custom jquery code that I put in the Discourse header.

Check it out

Interestingly, some people choose to donate $10, but would rather remain anonymous in the community.
I’ve found that people who donate sometimes get verbal abuse (“ass kissers”) and moderators are accused of giving them preferentialy status or treatment. Some people just want to help, but don’t want that hassle.

I also have added a button called “support hitmanforum” to the main navigation. This is supposed to be a subtle reminder to people that they can donate (I don’t like spammy ads)

So far the patreon system has been good to me. I raise about $50/$60 per month in pledges.
This ammount is - after patreon takes it’s share - about enough to pay for the site’s expenses.

What I would like

  • for any of the above things to be automated or to replace my hacky implementation with something more solid
  • for the plugin to be super secure. when you ask people to donate and something goes wrong, it can backfire and I do not want to lose the trust of my community

What I can do

  • I can try out the plugin on my forum.
  • I can give you feedback and feature requests.
  • I’m a .net developer - so I know a little bit of web development. hardly “full stack” though.
  • I can not, unfortunately, spend a lot of time on the project.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #4

Hey! That’s great news!!

To me one of the most challenging stuff was not having a test case (my wife is paying me a dollar on patreon atm :laughing:).

Let’s work trough the features list.

I guess the first point would be making a cut of specifics pledges? Right @erlend_sh?

(ampburner) #5

What do you mean by “making a cut”?

@ampburner Feature request list

  • As a webmaster I want to advertise my patreon page on the forum so I can increase my income
  • As a patron I want to donate (automatically) so I can help the webmaster and the community
  • As a forum citizen I want to see who are active patrons so I can stone them and accuse the moderatos of nepotism and censorship
  • As an introverted patron I want to remain anonymous so I can enjoy the forum in peace.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #6

I don’t think this is in the plugin territory, some communities will put an banner, other a pinned topic, others a popup, and others make it required.

Patreon for the win!

Group page of a group exclusively of patrons. This is already done using native Discourse Group page. A community can style it as it fits.

This I can do :smile:. What do you think of a user setting to opt-out of the Hall of asskissers Patrons group page?

(ampburner) #7

I think the user’s expectations are important here.
I would not suggest an system where they can donate, become instantly visible in the group, and then have to manually opt-out of the group.

Instead I think it should be a one-time, per-group configuration by the administrator.
In other words, the admin can configure “people with pledge X are automatically added to group A”. “people with pledge B are ignored”, etc.

Please note that you should discriminate by pledge type, not pledge ammount, as people can manually change their ammounts.

Basically user should be able to know up-front what they can expect in terms of perks / anonimity.

Your call. I think the adoption of this plugin will be higher if it has some out of the box promotion (a default promotion to make the patreon functionality visible, with as little configuration as possible).

What are the options for styling? You can only do so much with CSS. A group page is still just a group page and does not have the context of donations.

I used some javascript to add an explanation and donate buttons to my group page.

I figured that people who are looking at that list are potential patrons, so I should give them some context and make it easy for them to participate.

Improving the Groups page for 1.7
(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #8

What would be the user flow then? User opt-in visibility in the group? A admin curated whitelist?

Now I get what you mean. A new page with a good design that can be promoted on the UI would be a good feature indeed.

Yeah, a out of box promotion would be good, but I need more feedback to tackle this. Maybe something using the user education messages? thinking aloud, no stones plz

(ampburner) #9

I can tell you what I currently have.

User flow for anonymous donors:

  • my patreon page explicitly states two types of donations. “anonymous” and “generous sponsor (credited)”. This is communicated on the patreon page itself and you read it before you sign up.
  • after you sign up, I send a thank you note but don’t add the user to the group. They also get an automated patreon confirmation I think.

I just have an extra navigation item in the main menu which says “support hitmanforum”. it links to an information page.



  • not very visible


  • not too “in your face”
  • users can read the page, think on it a bit, and come back later if they decide to donate

I think most patrons are people who visit the site on a regular basis, so a non-aggressive but still “findable” page makes sense to me.
Not saying those are perfect, but that’s what I have right now.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #10

Thanks a bunch for all your input @ampburner! This is :100:

Like @Falco pointed out, this is outside the scope of the plugin, at least for this next upcoming sprint. That’s not to say campaign advertisement isn’t important; it definitely is. But let’s see how far we can go with existing Discourse features first: Pinned topics, FAQ edits etc.

As for the rest…

all good stuff!

Optional pledge anonymity is the tricky part. Two possible solutions:

  1. Poll the Patreon API (theoretical until further notice)
    Patreon has a concept of anonymity. As far as I know, there’s no way to check for this yet in the API though. I’ve forwarded this question to the Patreon team.

  2. Making titles optional (Patron visibility is only suppressed, not perfectly anonymous)
    As long as patrons don’t need to be super-duper anonymous, this could be a simple but effective workaround. All we need to do is make sure to properly notify Patrons when they receive their title-granting badge. This could be a sponsored PR @Falco.

As for this:

@Falco any new findings with regards to differentiating between users of different pledge levels? Is it currently possible?

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #11

It does seen possible!

@ampburner can you share a json of the patreon api with me so I can attest this and further develop the plugin?

(ampburner) #12

Not sure where to look or what it is exactly that you need.

I’ve been doing this stuff by hand, remember? :wink:

(Daniela) #13

Very Interesting.
In our forum we are discussing about donations against advertisements (ads) and about methods of payment (who prefer paypal, who bitcoin, who stripe etc…). They’re driving me crazy.

I’d like very much your solution (dedicated page for supporter) instead ads.

Can you share your js code please?

I want to try making a similar page.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #14

Hey Trash, we are very interested on this. Altough I admitedly had some time constraits.

Did you guys evaluate patreon? The plugin already supports giving your patrons a group automatically, so this is a way to get then recogniziton (more permissions, badges, avatar badges, post color, etc.).

Please share your findings.

(Daniela) #15

I want to install patreon plugin because of this

but I want the dedicated page too.

Personally I don’t like ads (plus many people use ADBlock or something similar so it’s useless).
Patreon is very interesting, it’s simple to use and make payments.

I’d like @ampburner’s approach too:

[quote] Running a website costs money. Your contribution helps pay for:

  • Hitmanforum, free of Advertisements.
    Funds will go towards paying for hosting and related costs. [/quote]
    and the method he use to promote donations, a simple button that bring you in a dedicated page, the same page you can find on your Patreon account, where the button is visible but not prominent.

If Patreon plugin can make via admin site-setting (or in another way) a similar page - some text that you can customize, the best patreons visible to all the other users and a button “Support XYZ” that goes to your patreon page - it’s super-fantastic.

Add the button in Discourse.ExternalNavItem is not a problem with the script made by @techAPJ.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #16

So the top priority for the plugin is a page with

  • text about supporting the site

  • call to action that sends you to patreon pledge page

  • list of patrons, with privacy options.

Looks ok?

(Daniela) #17

Yes, so the payments are only on a Patreon page that is safe to use and the users stay positive.

(Daniela) #18

I was thinking if you could improve more than one patreon link.

An example:

  • my community likes some softwares we created
  • like community we have a patreon link (via patreon plugin) where users can support us
  • but we have 2 (or more) softwares in development and some users want to support the software A and another group want to support the software B
  • via site-setting I can add new patreon links, one for “my community software A” and another one for “my community software B” and so on…
  • in the dedicated page for patreons now I can see 3 buttons (the bigger “Support community”, the second “Support Software A” and the last “Support Software B”)

In this way users are encouraged to support the project which they prefer.

I’m using software and project like example, in the same way I can support a developer, an author or a group of them (approved by admins).

Here on Discourse for example, users can support the plugins (or the developer) they like.
In a community of gamers users can support a game etc…

I don’t know if this is possible but it would be interesting to have a similar function.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #19

That’ll definitely have to wait until a later iteration. First we gotta nail the experience of a community connected to a single Patreon project.

(Daniela) #20

Absolutely, the example I expose is something I was thinking can happens in the future. It’s only an idea