Existing topics on Discourse for new articles - expectations vs reality check if you don't mind

I would like to confirm that my understanding, as limited as it is, of both this plugin and platforms is matched with reality.

I am running a news website about sports. We have very often a large number of new articles regarding, basically, the same event. As such it’s somewhat stupid from our perspective to post new topics on Discourse everytime we have a new article. So we would love to use the Link to existing topic feature, but I am uncertain whether it will work as we expect. Let’s break it down:

  1. Author posts new article to WP and adds a link directly to a topic on Discourse with like 200 posts or so…
  2. An excerpt with a link to the article is posted on the topic as a new post.
  3. All replies to that post will go as a comment to WP and viceversa. Hence, if the post is not a reply to anything else but the main (first) post it goes to the right article.

Is my understanding correct? For us linkining brings zero results at this point, but we assume it’s due to some bad configuration. Hence I ask first to know what actually need to be fixed…

You can choose which posts you want to publish to Discourse. As long as you don’t select the Force Publish option (found on the Publishing settings tab) the only posts that will be published to Discourse are posts that you have checked the ‘Publish post to Discourse’ checkbox for.

If you prefer to link your posts to existing topics, you should be seeing a result similar to this in the Discourse meta-box after you publish a post. The URL will be the URL of the Discourse topic.


All that linking a post does is associate the Discourse topic with the WordPress post in the WordPress database. You will need to select either the Use Discourse Comments, or the Link to Comments Without Displaying Them option from the plugin’s Commenting settings tab. Selecting the first option will cause Discourse comments to be displayed beneath the post. Selecting the second option will display a link to the Discourse topic, but not display any comments.

Linking to an existing topic does not override the Discourse topic. If, after linking to the topic you wish to override the topic with the content from the WordPress post, you need to select the Update Discourse topic checkbox.


Ah, now I understand! So there is no posting of an excerpt or a link for an existing topics. Like only when I choose Update discourse topic it will update the first post in the topic, correct? Sorry for digging in deeper, but I really would like to understand this better…

Yes, if you select Update Discourse topic, and then update the post, the first post in the topic will be overwritten with the content of the WordPress post. There is a confirmation dialog that you need to accept before this happens.

Ideally, when a post is linked to an existing topic, the post’s permalink would be associated with the topic on Discourse. This is not yet possible.

OK, so I have to wait if it is not yet possible. Any ticket for that I can track?

To be honest, in our usecase, without it we can use this plugin. We are running a sport page and one event can take one day, five days or a whole month! We can’t and don’t want to use a topic-per-post as it will clutter our website completely! So an update to a topic with each post would make much more sense for us and would drive user interaction even furhter!..