How to clean up the community

… to make it a healthy digital space.

All communities start at level zero, and will grow until the team of administrators feels comfortable … and begins to analyze why there are topics of debate that have been published for years but do not receive visits. Do you need to keep that theme? Shall we archive it? Do we delete it?

If we archive it, search engine spiders will be able to continue indexing it, so it could continue to bring new readers to the forum. But … is it really useful? Or would it be better to delete it?

On the other hand, if we delete it, we free up resources and refresh the possibility that those who come to the community open new and fresh discussions about content that is not published (or archived).

In my case, my forum is approaching 500,000 pageviews in the last 30 days, and I want to better optimize the content that I show the world.

How to optimize content? How to properly clean old content?

Some tasks that are being carried out right now:

  • In tutorial category or knowledge posts, new questions such as new topics are being moved to the support category, and messages with content are left in the appropriate sector, with the timer that new responses will be automatically removed.

  • I have changed the settings to some categories so that the search engine bots cannot index the content, which is only for registered users. (Categories sensitive to search engines only).

What else could be done?

Any idea is appreciated


Good question

It would be useful to have an understanding of what kind of community you have. My thoughts differ between support communities and CoPs (for example).


Thanks for your reply Sarah. I know that you are a consultant in digital communities so your experience in the field would be of great help. It would be great to know your opinion for both types of communities.

In my case, since 2008 I dedicate myself to consulting in ERP, exactly the SAP system, so I have been providing information and support to companies and end users for many years, who like me, once started from scratch with the system. And over time we have developed some kind of addiction for the consulting profession.

I usually manage support communities, this project is the largest I have. I have used other systems and I attest that Discourse has exceeded all my expectations. That is why I want to enhance it, and maintain ideas for debugging and cleaning the content, to offer my readers a quality space and fresh information.


Cool. In the case of support communities it’s reasonably cut and dried, IMO. Delete content that is no longer up to date or relevant.

I would assume that any deprecated advice has been replaced by an updated topic so people searching will still find a result.