Orientating users with a Discourse 'homepage'

I’m an unashamed Discourse fan and have been for years but there is one thing that the enterprise platforms do better out of the box IMO, and that is orientate new users.

Members that are new to either Discourse, forums or a specific community sometimes need handholding in order to transition past lurking.

I’ve been working on a homepage/portal that directs people to try and overcome that.

We only launched today and are still tweaking, but you can see it in action here. It uses no plugins so is feasible for hosted sites. If you like it, talk to @joebuhlig – he did the hard work.


That looks awesome! Is there some other server involved, or is it entirely built with discourse themes & theme components?

Thanks. It’s entirely Discourse.


Very cool.

Just a small bug report @joebuhlig: the “Start Discussion”, “Post” and “Share Link” buttons all do nothing when logged out.


Good point. They should redirect to the registration page. Thanks.

I looks really good, a couple of nitpicks.

  • As anon clicking “start discussion”/ “share link” / “post” does nothing.

  • On mobile it is a bit hard to grok all the huge amount of data


Yeah, I’m torn on this one. I considered not having it available for mobile, but our audience isn’t mobile heavy.

Good catch, @LeoMcA and @sam. I’ve got that one resolved. :+1:


This is brilliant – awesome work @joebuhlig and @HAWK! :heart:

Are you planning on making it available for people to hack on? This is one of those things which, now that I’ve seen it, I’ve always wanted. :wink:


Not in this particular case, I’m afraid. I’m not going to be staying in the organisation much longer so it’s not my call. Joe may have other ideas or examples.

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:slight_smile: @ grok. Heinlein. Haven’t heard that for decades.

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That is a fantastic looking site. You did a great job of ‘blending’ your Wordpress website with your Discourse community – it all looks quite seamless.


I did most of it myself by hacking around with the CSS and I’m a real novice, so anyone can do it. It’s one of the things that I love most about Discourse. I’d recommend giving it a go.

The clever bits at the top are the work of a pro, obviously, so I won’t claim those.

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How can I get something like your “about-us” page? Where in Discourse management interface did you write that code into? Or is it some ruby hack?

All the pages in the main nav outside of Community are built with WordPress.

This seems related to the work @erlend_sh did with us to make category landing pages more “knowledge base” like, using the box subcategory style:

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Any pointers as how to do this, @codinghorror, @erlend_sh? I would really like to implement this look for my community’s howto category.


For the look @codinghorror screenshotted, here’s some instructions:


That’s brilliant, David. Thanks!

apologies for resurrecting this thread, but @joebuhlig is there a way you could share how you did the “Popular topics” buttons as well as the “Can you help these people?” component?