Questions about using Discourse in a small (<10 people) community

Hello there!

I would like to use a service like discourse to manage a small community of developers and specialists which are distributed in various parts of the world.

I’ve looked around and discourse seems to be very elegant as a solution to manage the discussions.

I would like it to run as a private install so i have a few questions regarding the privacy:

  • Is it possible to hide the whole forum behind a login/password request ? (like .htpassword of Apache, even though Discourse run under Nginx so it surely has a different way to password protect folders).
  • if the answer is yes, what kind of limitations will the service have?
  • for example is still possibile to use the email to interact with the forum?

Thanks in advance!

Yes, this is possible, and is a built-in feature of the software. No need to get your hands dirty directly with Nginx.

The main limitation is that folks won’t be able to browse the forum without logging in :wink: That includes Google and other web crawlers, so the information in your forum will be less “discoverable” by the rest of the web. (But the built-in search features will still work great for your logged in users!)

If you want to do later enable folks to browse some parts of your site without logging in, you could turn the login-required setting off, and manage access to different parts of the site by using groups and categories instead.

Yep, no limitations there. See the #howto topics on setting up email integration:


fantastic, thank you @mcwumbly!