Multisite Questions

(Carson) #1


I have attempted to find the answers to these questions by searching meta, but they remained unresolved. Here goes:

  1. Does each instance of a multisite Discourse have its own…
  • trust levels
  • moderators
  • admins
  1. Can each instance of a multisite Discourse have its own…
  • Permissions (e.g., only users in these groups have access)
  • Privacy settings (e.g., this instance is private, this one is 90% public and indexed, etc.)
  1. How does a user with access to multiple instances navigate between them? Can there be a shared navigation menu across the multisite that links to all the various Discourse instances?

  2. Analytics.

  • Does multisite offer analytics for each instance?
  • Can we export the users from each instance? (E.g., to add to regional email lists).

In advance, thank you for assistance in understanding this feature.

(Jay Pfaffman) #2

The sites are all entirely separate. None of them has any connection to the others.

The thing they share is the same set of plugins.

(Carson) #3

Ok. In that case…

The answer to (1) is yes. They are all separate.

The answer to (2) is yes. Still separate.

The answer to (3) could be yes?

  • SSO could be implemented to allow users to sign into other instances? Privacy would be maintained via private categories that are given access via defined groups.
  • Does Discourse allow for a navigation menu? If each instance has the same navigation menu then that would enable navigating to the different instances.

The answer to (4) would be yes.

(Jay Pfaffman) #4


If you want them to share a user base you can configure one as the SSO master and the others as SSO slaves. You could do the same if they weren’t multisite, though.

(Brendan Schlagel) #5

Yes to this as well :smiley: Discourse has highly configurable custom HTML/CSS you can use to add any top nav you like, so this would definitely be doable.

Plenty of examples of this to be found via search; here’s one w/ some of the basics:

(Jay Pfaffman) #6

Mostly, the consensus is that you’d rather have one Discourse than a bunch of connected Discourses. I can contrive some cases where it might make sense, but it’s probably not what you want to do.

(Carson) #7

Hi @pfaffman,

I’m open to that! It is important to me to understand Discourse as a platform and what it is intended to accomplish - vs attempting to rework it for something that doesn’t make sense in this environment.

In my own context, we are a global organization with a lot of distinct initiatives. E.g.:

  • Multiple country offices (some in different languages)
  • A graduate-level academic program
  • Humanitarian projects
  • Media initiatives

So for instance, I can see a Discourse instance for employees, English language members, and Spanish language members. It seems like it would be rather jumbled up to have those all in one instance?

(Jay Pfaffman) #8

Perhaps. If you think that most people will be in just one of those communities and not care about stuff that’s of general interest to others, then that might make sense. If you think that most people will be in multiple communities, you might try making just one work.

Do you have multiple mail servers? Other systems?

You can configure things such that users can select the language that Discourse uses (e.g., defaults to English, but you can change it in your own profile).

(Daniela) #9

Hi @CarsonWeitnauer, take a look at this multilingual discourse forum, it might interest you how it has been structured:

(Carson) #10

Hi @Trash,

Thank you, that is an interesting site. It is good proof of concept that Discourse can work for large, complex forums.

Do you know - is that a multisite Discourse - or one instance?

It was interesting that their header information was in English on every site - wouldn’t it be better to have that be language specific too?

(Carson) #11

Hi @pfaffman,

I think the clearest demarcation is different languages. I am just not going to be interested in forum discussions in a language I don’t understand.

The other factor would be if one part of our global organization has so many categories/areas of discussion that it needs the two levels of organization on its own. This is also part of honoring other languages as equal. If the English language forums have two levels of organization available to them, but the other languages only one, then that is privileging the English experience on the forum.

(Daniela) #12

One instance.
Basically their forum is in english, but they created a category per language and the same subcategories for each language

So they have:

Italian category > WD Programmi & Accessori
Spanish category > Software y Accesorios
French category > WD Logiciels & Accessoires

and so on…

They add a simple menu to the top right where users can choose their own language with a simple link to the parent category (e.g. /c/wd-forum-italiano , /c/foro-espanol etc…)

(Carson) #13

I see. That’s why they don’t have the second level of sub-category forums on the other language sites.

Still, a clever and really nice implementation of a single instance. Definitely worth considering.

Thank you!