How to add a featured topic list to your Discourse homepage

In this #howto we’ll add a topic list populated by a tag or a category on top of your homepage’s main topic list, like this:

All of the code below can be added to the </head> (head_tag.html) section of your theme.

This first part checks which page we’re on, then sets up our topics. For the purpose of this how-to we’re pulling topics tagged featured. If you want to pull topics from another tag or a category you need to change the /tags/featured.json url in here.

<script type="text/discourse-plugin" version="0.8">
  const ajax = require('discourse/lib/ajax').ajax;
  const Topic = require('discourse/models/topic').default;
  // We're using ajax and the Topic model from Discourse

  api.registerConnectorClass('above-main-container', 'featured-topics', {
    // above-main-container is the plugin outlet,
    // featured-topics is your custom component name

    setupComponent(args, component) {

      api.onPageChange((url, title) => {
        if ((url == "/") || (url == "/latest") ){
        // on page change, check if url matches
        // if your homepage isn't /latest change this to /categories
          // add a class to the HTML tag for easy CSS targetting

          component.set('displayfeaturedTopics', true);
          // we'll use this later to show our template

          component.set("loadingTopics", true);
          // helps us show a loading spinner until topics are ready

          ajax("/tags/featured.json").then (function(result){
          // Get posts from tag "featured" using AJAX
          // if this were a category you'd use /c/featured.json

            featuredTopics = [];
            // Create an empty array, we'll push topics into it

            var featuredUsers = result.users;
            // Get the relevant users

            // We're extracting the topics starting at 0 and ending at 4
            // This means we'll show 3 total. Increase 4 to see more.

                poster.user = $.grep(featuredUsers, function(e){ return == poster.user_id; })[0];
              // Associate users with our topic

              // Push our topics into the featuredTopics array

            component.set("loadingTopics", false);
            // Topics are loaded, stop showing the loading spinner

            component.set('featuredTopics', featuredTopics);
            // Setup our component with the topics from the array

        } else {
        // If the page doesn't match the urls above, do this:

          // Remove our custom class

          component.set('displayfeaturedTopics', false);
          // Don't display our customization

This second part is your handlebars template. This is your HTML. Note how the script tag references the relevant plugin outlet and the custom component name set above.


  {{#if displayfeaturedTopics}}
  <!-- If our component is true, show this content: -->

      <div class="custom-featured-topics-wrapper">
        {{conditional-loading-spinner condition=loadingTopics}}
        <!-- Show a loading spinner if topics are loading -->

        {{#unless loadingTopics}}
        <!-- Unless topics are still loading... -->
          {{topic-list topics=featuredTopics showPosters=true}}
          <!-- Show the topic list -->



Now you’ll have a featured topic list on your homepage.

If you want to add custom CSS (common.scss) for some additional styling, you’d do it like this:

.custom-featured-topics {
  .custom-featured-topics-wrapper .topic-list {
    // your css here, at minimum you'll probably want some margin:
    margin-bottom: 2em;

If you want to learn more about the topics covered in this example or see what else you can do with the Plugin API, check out our Developer’s guide to Discourse Themes