How is this Forum Software Better Than Other Existing Ones?

I just want to know why should I use this forum software instead of other existing one that has been around for ages.

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Go try

And you tell us.

Personally, I would recommend it above all others


But you shouldn’t, it depends on your needs.
Discourse fullfil many of my needs, thus I chose it.

I recommend that you compare the features list of different forum engines, and also that you try them.

As for Discourse itself here they are:


If you’re asking the question, and have no idea of the differences between this and any other software, you probably shouldn’t. What prompted you to ask the question?

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I’ll give you a one-liner. Discourse resonates with the space and time we’re living in. :slight_smile:


Hello @JimmySky :wave:

Because other software is stuck in the early 2000 or even further back. It doesn’t look appealing to the user. Whereas, Discourse has a modern feel to it. We live in a modern era, time for modern forum software. Personally, I would feel embarrassed to suggest any other software other than Discourse to other people.
Once you get to known the software it is really good! However, the question is:

Will Discourse meet my needs?

Currently we have a wide range of companies using Discourse for various purposes such as but not limited to: gaming, education & development (github use discourse)

Additionally, have a look through the features and customer testimonials Discourse has to offer

Some celebrated features of discourse are trust levels which are configurable by admins. Also, the moderation tools are awesome! We (Discourse) provide them and you use them as you feel is suitable for you.

For more info see:

Thanks @jonobacon for the video :smiley:

It’s interesting to me that both of you think this is the most important thing to point out–AFAIAC, there’s a great deal about the “space and time we’re living in” that’s simply abominable, so the claimed fact that Discourse “resonates with” it does nothing at all to endear it to me (it isn’t automatically a bad thing, but it also isn’t automatically a good thing).

And really, the layout vs. more traditional forum software is kind of “meh” for me–I don’t hate it, but I certainly don’t love it. I’m not convinced that it does anything to help organization or appearance, and I actually tend to think it harms both.

Now, as an admin, there’s a lot to like. It’s brain-dead simple to install, and just as simple to upgrade. It’s very extensible, with plugins to do a lot of things that can be handy. There’s a nice assortment of canned themes, and I understand that with a little bit of HTML/CSS knowledge (which I don’t have), it’s straightforward enough to edit them or make your own. It can pretty much replace a mailing list, which is a good thing for the group I’m running (I migrated it from a Yahoo group, which was almost exclusively being used in that way). Moderation really hasn’t been an issue for my group, but there are lots of tools there as well.

Would any of this matter to OP? Who knows? He doesn’t seem to have given any thought to the question himself, so I doubt anyone here can give any useful insight. But to me, at least, “it looks modern” doesn’t do anything to convince me.

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Its a free world :joy:. To each their own.

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@JimmySky, like Canapin said, there is no “you should”, here.
If you want to run a forum, you have to use a software to do it. The choice is yours. Try the different platforms, just as a user, and see for yourself. There are a lot of small things with Discourse which I find really great. Just look at your experience with this topic and the answers. The ability to tag users, how you can quote by just selecting text, the 2 arrows in the right upper corner of quotes which let you see the whole message for context or go back to it, etc. You can also browse the forum while you’re preparing an answer, for example. Need an information in another topic or by doing a search ? You can, while your reply stays open.

As many said, it’s quite more modern and advanced than most older softwares.
You try it, and you see if you like it. If not, go with what you like better.


From sysadmin point of view, easy maintenance is definitely the strongest feature. Every now and then I look at the competition, but have not seen anything that comes even close in sysadmin friendliness.

Basically, you only need to apt upgrade and launcher rebuild every now and then to stay up to date. A trained monkey could administrate a Discourse instance.


Here’s a personal, short list of features I submitted to a vBulletin5 forum administrator in order to suggest him migrate to Discourse:

For users:

  • Mention system to notify users, great for users interactions
  • Drag’n drop of images or other media
  • Mobile optimization
  • Built-in social logins (facebook, twitter, google, etc)
  • Being able to browse the forum while composing or editing a message
  • Real time forum notifications (email and/or push and/or non-invasive visual clues)
  • Real time topics updates (no need to reload to see new posts)
  • Reply-to-post system that avoids unnecessary quotes and quick system to partially quote users (better readability because there aren’t tons of repeated text over the pages)
  • Ability to reply to topics or private messages directly by email ; very useful as it removes the step of actually going on the forum to reply after receiving an email notification. It makes the forum interactions more ubiquitous.
  • Smart topic navigation system, without pagination, but with a timeline that remembers our topic position and quick ability to jump from and to older/newer posts.
  • Emoji selector :smile: (that may seem a negligible point, but nowadays standardized emojis are important part of online communication)

For admins and moderators:

  • Built-in spam protection
  • User trust automated system that helps the community to maintain itself
  • Painless 1-click updates
  • Local and remote automatic backups system
  • Powerful and well-documented API.
    For example, we use it in several ways on our French forum:
    • The login is shared between our site and forum
    • Wordpress publications are pushed on the forum
    • Comments are synchronized between the site and forum
    • The site displays the last forum topics in the sidebar

The API may not be useful at first, but it may in the future. For example if we need to connect public or private applications with the forum.

Lots of official and unofficial plugins, themes and theme components.
A lot of customizations are available, and the forum can be modded/redesigned extensively if necessary.

I added that regarding the interface, old engines like phpBB and vBulletin are bloated with information and features of questionable usefulness (example below) since they’re from an era when “more” was “better”, while modern applications like Discourse tend to focus on clarity, simplicity, and accessibility.

Example with vBulletin5: who needs 2 tabs and 15 fields and options just to display an image in their message?


Something to keep in mind JimmySky - you’ve asked this question on the Discourse Meta forum. This is the site where development of Discourse is discussed, people here use Discourse, and thus answers are likely to be biased. You’re going to hear great things about Discourse, and why people chose it for their community, but you’re not going to hear much about other software. For more neutral opinions, I’d suggest looking at sites/communities focused on community, not on a particular software. Feverbee comes to mind as one such site.

All that said, quite a few of the replies here are pretty unbiased. No software fits every community. You need to pick the right platform for yours. Without knowing about your community, its history, its users, its needs, all we can share is general information about Discourse, which may be completely irrelevant to you.


That’s quite … incredible :).


@JimmySky, i have been using discourse for almost 3 years, from my experience i can tell you that i love it because it simply works…

all the above is only a little glance of the huge potential of the beast.


I’ve been using Discourse for years and it works all the time and is super fast. It’s not bloated with a bunch of stuff you don’t use (vbulletin) and the support community here is great. Years ago I tried to donate $$ to the developers for their amazing work, and was given a free t-shirt instead. My dogs have chewed holes through the “T” and I continue to wear it proudly!

I’ve been through countless upgrades, migrations, restores, S3 migrations, CDN upgrades, SSL changes… everything. And the software ALWAYS works. I’ve never had a failed upgrade after years of use.