Value of integrating Discourse and WordPress



Hey Tumi,

I’ll tell you. I am a Community Manager at a software vendor and am responsible for the platforms the community (at least most of it’s members) wants to use, keeping these platforms viral, cross-linked and functioning as HUBs (entry points).

On the one hand, there’s a WP installation including a blog (kind of a planet) that is stuffed by several members as well as core devs with tutorials and similar stuff. Before using WP-Discourse, I always had to announce the presence of a new blog post/tutorial manually in the boards. This is done “electrically” with WP-Discourse now - so one step less work for me in announcements. Of course, this WP installation keeps main and so called static content like a “Getting started”, a download area etc. as well.

Before using WP-Discourse, community members somehow found the WP post and started commenting on it. In WP, at least by default, only the author of this blog post and the admin get to know about this comment and had to answer it (although they might have been busy with totally different topics at this time). The other community members didn’t even notice that there’s a comment as they might have visited the post before or someat. An example:

  • Blog post about a new software version (to spread the news)
  • Comment: "I cannot install it… " or "I cannot update… " because of this and that error message.

Actually, you want to have this discussion in your boards, right? Additionally, these kind of discussions appear in the boards. When using WP-Discourse, all active members of the boards not only get informed about the new blog post, they also see a new comment on it and can react, most likely in a much shorter time than author or admin of the WP blog post could have ever done.
Thanks to the seven gods and @Simon_Cossar, these reactions in the boards can appear as comments on the original blog post within WP.
From my point of view, this is gold as it is possible to create quick reactions, broadly scattered, involve different peeps into platforms, that they mightn’t have know before and (SEO-wise) generate user generated content.

And here it comes to the point you see:

You’re 100% right! And with WP-Discourse options it is possible to sort that out using Max Visible Comments, Min Trust Level or Only Import Moderator-Liked. And yes, activating these options it is absolutely possible to break the communication flow - so heads up when using it!

In doubt - or when this DC issue comes up in Google Search Console - you might set the canonical tag in WP onto the Discourse discussion. On the other hand you want to have the original focused on your blog entry.

I’m not really sure about it: is this mayhap worth a feature request @Simon_Cossar:
[Story] As a WP-Discourse user I want to have an option whether I want to set a canonical tag to the original WP blog post or not.


WP Discourse plugin installation and setup
(Tumi) #2

Thanks for review for me :slight_smile:

Sounds good. But tell me. This plugin is recomended for only Admin Worpress Blog -> Discourse ?
Its would be better when the others users can connect with your own blogs with forum (if they have this blog. BUT / And so MUCH more better would be When other users of my/yours forum will be creating (if they want) new blog (wordpress) and it will be automatically conecting with this plugin (after creating a wordpress blog for them on my subdomain for example) . Do you understand what i mean ?. I see here potential

(Simon Cossar) #3

With a multisite WordPress setup, it is possible to enable the plugin for all subsites on the network. Doing this will allow all subsites to connect with a single forum.

Another thing that could be possible in the future would be for WordPress sites that are not in a multisite setup to connect to a single forum. This could be done by using Discourse individual user API keys, instead of the All Users API key. With this setup, it would not be possible to use SSO, but the owner of the site would be able to publish to the Discourse forum to categories that they had access to.


This aspect of Discourse/WP seems great, and a big encouragement for me to start using Discourse.
(I think this aspect is a HUGE benefit for getting Discourse in use beyond the audience who only have a need for a pure forum).

And I would definitely also see a big potential if several WP installations from different domains could be hooked up to the same Discourse forum. Ie. using Discourse as the comment system, publishing posts in it and syncing the comments.
(Since this could be different domains/owners, a multisite network is not an option).

Each WP installation could have a category/area assigned for publishing posts as threads. (This would not have to be shared between them).

I am not talking about the SSO part (although it would be a bonus if several blogs could also sign on new users though. But not a must).

This would allow for Discourse to be used as more of a “hub” or collaboration between several blogs. (I have a use case for that).

How far is the current technical feature set from being able to do this?
Any plans on taking that step?


(Simon Cossar) #5

If SSO isn’t being used, there are no technical limitations to doing this now. The biggest problem that I see at the moment is sharing the forum’s admin API key. I’d like to make a few changes to the plugin to make it clearer that it can be used with a regular user’s API key. When this is done, all posts from WordPress will be published under the username of the user who’s API key is supplied. Different websites can use different user’s API keys without a problem.

When using multiple WordPress sites with a single forum, if a webhook is being used to refresh comments, a webhook needs to be configured for each WordPress site.

If multiple sites are connected in a multisite setup, the issues with the admin API key, SSO, and webhooks are all taken care of by the plugin - they are all configured on the Network Plugins screen.


Thanks for the quick response. That’s awesome news!
Sounds like this (without SSO) is something that could work in the foreseeable future then, without much work.

As I see it, Discourse also has a benefit in that it steps into territory that the WP plugin-based fora do not cover. As far as I know, they are not able to share “community users” between different WP installations.
It makes it possible to elevate Discourse to a sort of “hub” as mentioned. Not “only” a forum and not “only” a backend to one single blog/site.