What happens when I enable read-only mode?

Hi all,

I’m currently dealing with an active crisis – our site is under heavy load and barely surviving. There are thousands of folks trying to read & post, choking our infrastructure and making moderation impossible.

While we work to stabilize, it would be really helpful to turn on read-only mode for all users, but allow admins and moderators to continue making edits so they can clean up the deluge of new posts.

If I enable read-only mode in Admin > Backup, will admins and moderators still be able to edit posts?

No, they will not. Read only applies to all.

You may want to look into our hosting service. We can help with big spikes on traffic!


Thanks for the reply @Falco!

Did you make it through?

Discourse has a built in feature that detects when a site is under heavy load and puts topics into read only (anonymous, logged out user) mode. Did you experience this behavior on your site?

Truly heavy load – lots of simultaneously active users – is a difficult problem, so we’d need more detail to help.


We made it! Thanks for checking in. I haven’t gotten the full story from our devops team yet, but we’re back to normal.

Read only mode did kick in, though it seemed to turn on sporadically and didn’t really slow down new posts – almost as if it wasn’t shown for all visitors.

If there’s one thing I wish we could have done, it would have been to keep read-only mode enabled while staff cleaned up. A pause button, if you will. We had loads of duplicate topics, off-topic or miscategorized posts, etc, but we were outnumbered and moderation actions were timing out or taking 15s+.

Again, thanks for the follow up. We :heart: Discourse and I really don’t think there’s much y’all could have done, this was very much an infrastructure problem on our end.


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