Notification levels - understanding and communicating category notification levels

Having used Discourse for ~1 year, I’ve underestimated category notification levels, both in terms of how much there is to comprehend, and how much they influence the user experience - too low, and things seem dead, but too high, and people (and spam filters!) get snarky at the quantity of emails.

I’ve created this table to break down the differences between the various options. I’ve been testing it for a few weeks, and I’m mostly confident it’s accurate (which is to say there’s a good chance it’s inaccurate).
Does anyone (a) know of a similar or better resource, or (b) have any edits / updates / suggestions to make this more accurate?

Discourse Notifications testing.pdf (12.7 KB)


There’s some Notification info in the New User Guide that may be useful.

Maybe some links to the sections in Preferences where you can change the settings may be good? (you can make them generic for your site by adding ‘my’ instead of u/username - eg


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Thanks @JammyDodger.
This is great info, that will be very helpful in training up our users. I think I’ll still add in more info about category level notifications, but you’ve definitely made my task easier.
Thanks for taking time with the links.

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Thanks for your table, it will be very useful. I’ve not done much of anything to communicate the use of notification levels in my community, and find because our visitors are more infrequent, many are missing out.

I don’t find a screenshot of the different levels helps much, I struggle to understand the impact of changing them myself. Your table makes it more clear to me.

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Since I just wrote this reply, I’ll quote it again here. Still applies…

(Emails are only sent if none of your web browsers have touched the website in the last 10 minutes.)

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