For a new customer with the $100 per month pricing plan, since we have a URL for our community, will Discourse host using our URL or are there other prefixes or suffixes that must be included in the URL? Our community relies upon searching for experts. If a user is posting about an expert, where should the name appear in the thread or post? ie. subject line? As users search for experts by name, does the search feature include subject line and content areas? Lastly, does Discourse include a paying feature for membership? Do they use stripe.com to process annual membership fees for our community? thanks.
Welcome here, Paul!
Only Basic plans have a
Custom domain (to be understood as: any domain you own) starts from the Standard ($100/month) plan.
Can you clarify what would be the goal of your forum? Is it a support forum?
How do you define an “expert”? What are their purpose?
Discourse has a group feature: https://meta.discourse.org/g
You could have an Experts group and put your expert users in it. You could then choose whether the group can be mentioned by other users or not. Like @lawblogger, but with a group name instead.
We also have an official assignment plugin that allow assigning topics or posts to certain people or groups:
But it’s hard to recommend features if we don’t have a better picture of what you are trying to achieve.
The search has filters.
https://meta.discourse.org/search?q=group:team will return all posts from members of the “team” group.
In the same way, https://meta.discourse.org/search?q=@codinghorror will return every posts from the user “codinghorror”.
There’s an official plugin that could fit: Discourse Subscriptions
It allows users to pay to access a certain group.
Your forum could have most categories locked for users not belonging to this group, so subscribing would unlock most of your forum’s content.
Note that the use of plugins is restricted for certain plans. Details are here: Plugin directory | Discourse - Civilized Discussion.
The assign plugin is available starting with the Business plan (assign).
Thank you for the prompt response. If I proceed with the Standard plan of $100 per month, is there a plug-in for members to pay for their membership fees ($5.00 annual)?
As for the purpose behind the community, we want members to have the ability to post about their experience with a specific expert, say Bill Smith. Other members can obviously ask question or engage in conversations. Non-members can only read the content.
I’d like to avoid groups, just a flow of posts with the experts name and state of origin in the subject line. I don’t see how groups would be better? Unless you mean a group named after the expert?