Feedback button

As individual sites can have a lot of configuration and customisation differences it could get confusing when to report issues directly to here rather than through the site feedback category on the sites themselves in the first instance. I’m not sure a typical end user could identify which of their issues were caused by a misapplied setting, a site-specific customised theme, or a third-party plugin, etc. And they also wouldn’t be best placed to take any advice on how to implement a fix for that site, or provide key information that may be required to debug the issue further.

It is of course possible for users to provide feedback here on Meta, though it does require taking a bit of time to gain a deeper understanding of how everything fits together for it to be truly useful. I think having a prominent link for users on every forum would lead to a lot of topics that could probably be better solved by site admins.


Anyway, I was just thinking, there is no direct route, for end users on thousands of sites, to communicate directly with you guys. There is no official pathway they can find.

This contrasts with very many other pieces of software, where there’s always a feedback button in the corner somewhere.

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Perhaps because of main purpose of Discourse is… feedback? Those other pieces are doing something different things, where is no other way get contact.

Mine is showing email address, for example. It is possible that someone can’t use email but I doubt.

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How much do you talk with the administrators of the sites you use?

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Well I’m saying a vanilla installation of… Of what? No, the software doesn’t have any name at all. At least to the end user. Anyway a vanilla installation of it should come with deep down in the menu somewhere a way to contact you guys with some ux improvement suggestions.

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Let’s see, I use the open street map installation of this software, the bitwarden installation of this software… I never checked who the administrators were.


Again. Why are you calling yourself as end user?

Every single one of my visitors who has something to ask and doesn’t create account for that know for what and why there is /about-page. You don’t want to use it because by your opinion dozens of buttons is sign of the very best UX. No, it is not. Doing things such way that is easy for an user is good practise of UX. Like using /about page as about majority of sites has solved out same thing.

But it isn’t suitable for you for some reason.

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Then again, the discoverability the /about page has taken a hit imho due to the sidebar … much prefer the way it was/is with the top Hamburger …


I am saying, for example, on About - Bitwarden Community Forums , or About - OpenStreetMap Community , or anywhere else on those sites, users are to be under the impression that the entire site was constructed by the organization who is administrating it. And there was nobody else in the picture.

Not every site has one, but it’s pretty common for sites to have a meta category of their own.

For example, linked from

is the category one would use to give feedback on their site:


By the way, I finally found the way end users are officially allowed to know what software they are using!

$ w3m -dump https://community.*.com/ | grep -i discourse
Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled

That’s right! They need to turn off javascript.

Alas, now that I told the secret, I am sure that “crews will be sent in to wreck it.”

OK, back to

We note the HTML tag

meta name=“description” content="Report issues with this Discourse site and also request new features, categories or changes.

looks great in link previews, but when the user visits the page, no such words exist!

OK, we find a

but the word Discourse isn’t even hyperlinked there when we visit the message.

is what I am trying to say.

Or use here in an example:

I’m not sure your concern makes a lot of sense.

Legally the full suite of software you are using, add-ins and all is up to each individual site and its owners.

You aren’t necessarily just using a specific version of Discourse. Even if that version number was exposed it might be misleading.

Just because a site uses “Discourse version 3.1” does not in any way preclude the possibility that the site in queston is using significant local customisations which could affect the behaviour of anything.

I think you are missing the significant point here that Discourse is a platform not a single entity and that platform can be downloaded, installed and then customised in significant ways and in ways the core developers didn’t necessarily intend.

You can glean some information from the version number but not enough to pin down all the exact code you are interacting with.

Nor will any of that guarantee the trustworthiness of a specific site and the way it is run.

That is why you should take these questions to the actual site you are using.

Don’t expect the core Discourse community to always deal with specific issues you have with the sites you are using.

Have you approached the sites you are using and given them any feedback?

It smacks a little of “going above their heads” if you only discuss these issues on meta and not with the site owners themselves?

Are you hoping to make changes to the software to that might override what the site owners might want or prefer?

Are you involving them in the discussion?

Let’s take

We are supposed to enter all the Discourse sites one reads.

But it is Discourse’s policy not to reveal that a Discourse site is a
Discourse site, unless one turns off javascript, to reveal the Powered
By message.

So one needs to check.

Which indeed even gives the version of Discourse.

Which might not be accurate, because the real version is secret.

Anyway, the user has no official way to figure out if a site is using Discourse!

Again — and why is this so important? Users aren’t wandering all over the internet wondering what is the platform behind everything.

There in one situation when an user needs to know if a forum is Discourse or not: DiscourseHub. And I’m totally sure that everyone who’s using the Hub sees right away if a forum is Discourse or not.

You are avoiding answering to one question all the time: why. Yes, we know for you it is important piece of data for some reason, but you are talking about general users here.

And even if you check the version, the next questions here like:

  • which plugins are active?
  • what theme/ theme component/ custom change is used?
  • how is setting xyz configured?

Are all questions only an admin can answer. That’s why you report the problem to the admin of that special discourse site.

Discourse can be customized in many ways to fit the different needs of different communities. So if it does not fit the admin of that site is the one, who can decide where a change is needed.

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Just to note, Discourse Land is a third-party app:

As @Jagster says, DiscourseHub is the official version.

Though this also seems off-topic in regards to adding a specific button to provide feedback.

The idea is to give the user a way to send feedback directly, instead of
going through a third party.

It’s not a third party though. The site you are using is the entity responsible for providing the service. They can escalate to the core team/open source community as appropriate.

For example, they might be leveraging a plugin that is made by a third party. Only they will know who to contact.


I think raising any issues with the forum itself in the first instance is the best route to take. As has been said previously, this would allow any site-specific issues to be remedied in place, and any other more universal feedback can be forwarded along if relevant.

I don’t think you’ve made a compelling case for this addition, and the discussion seems to have stalled on this point. I shall mark this topic for closing. :+1: