New Forum Idea, is Discourse a good fit?


I’m researching setting up a new Forum Community.

The aim of the forum is to have users find & add bikes reviews by Manufacturer & Model.

Every model of bike will have its own specific Category, this is the key to the offering.

For example:

Manufacturer 1

  • Bike Model 1
  • Bike Model 2

Canyon Bikes

  • Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0
  • Roadlite CF 8.0

The Forum isn’t actually about Bikes, but easiest way to explain it. Here is what I know about the potential users.

  • Users will probably be interested in & comparing 1 to 3 bikes, if they are interested in the Roadlite CF 8.0 for example they will have very specific questions about it and be interested in reviews on that model.

  • There are 100’s of reviews about specific bikes in many places on the web, users / content creators would link to these reviews in the specific bike model section, so users can come to one place to read about that bike model specifically.

  • The forum should ask for and display the following for each user so each review has context for other users

  • Height

  • Weight

  • Experience

So what I’m hopefully getting across is that Categories are key to this forum; there are many forums for general bike discussions & users discussing different models, but it’s very noisy and disparate.


Does it feel like Discourse be a good fit here? I’m drawn to it because it’s modern, lightweight and feels different to a more traditional forum.

However the way my Forum is to be structured being quite tight may possibly fit a more traditional Forum?

Out of the box it seems that Discourse encourages discussions based on latest topics / discussions in more of a flat structure.

Where as I feel my users will only have interest in a few topics. However interesting the chat maybe about Bike X & Y, they will have zero interest in it as Bike X & Y are not suitable for them.

Would appreciate thoughts as in early stages of research.



What do you mean by that?

When you say about “may possibly fit a more traditional Forum”, what kind of feature typical from a “more traditional forum” do you think about? :thinking:


I feel like more traditional forums are Category based, where Discourse encourages a more flat structure.

Could be wrong but that’s how I see it for now.

1 Like

Do you know a lot of forums that use more than 2 categories levels and where it couldn’t be properly reorganized?

But you’re right, here you can “only” have categories -> subcategories. Using tags is encouraged as an alternative to more category depth.


Check out the Car Talk Community. They’ve nailed what you are trying to achieve - using tags.


That’s a personal choice. You can have your Categories page as the default homepage rather than Latest if you so choose.