I’m trying to create a message board for discussing things that shouldn’t be posted publicly. Does Discourse support a sort of a “invite only” feature? So you have to log in to be able to read the message board, and to register you need to be approved by a moderator?
Let’s put a simpler, clearer, more up-to-date answer here:
Your Discourse can be completely private, login required to see anything
You can make new account signup “by approval only” (anyone can sign up, but you have to approve them) or “by invite only” (only invited people can sign up at all)
You can make certain categories private
I have a potential client who wants a closed site.
He has two businesses.
Guitar Teacher and Keep Fit Instructor.
He wants one site but ideally two completely separate groups who don’t know of each other’s existence.
The reason for one site and not two is that he’s planning on buying Cometchat to broadcast an embedded video feed. 2 sites means two Cometchats @$450. Plus yearly updates.
I’m not sure if anyone has embedded Cometchat into Discourse? Plus I’d need the membership plugin. $199.
His alternative is mooSocial a Facebook clone built on Cakephp. It has membership built in and costs $150. It plays with Cometchat nicely.
Downside it is built around “friends” request/accept. As everyone will be strangers I’m dubious that the easy way will be the right way.
Is Discourse a possibility?
I would suggest using some sort of membership management software that has SSO capabilities. Use the SSO functionality in Discourse to verify logins against the 3rd party service.
If you only want to have one Discourse instance running, you’ll probably need to create Discourse groups and then create separate categories for each area. Security on categories can be adjusted so that only members of a certain group can read posts in those categories. Then manually assign users to the appropriate security group so they only have access to the area they’ve subscribed too.
Let’s go back to a basic question though, what types of discussions are actually going to be happening with this community? It might be more appropriate to look at a membership management software like Wild Apricot instead.