Discourse is growing rapidly into the WordPress of online communities

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by R0binHood, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    I believe it can take you to your last unread just the same.

    And there is quick navigation in the bottom left to skip to the end if you'd like.
     
  2. pierce

    pierce Habitué

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    It's definitely moving forward. I've tried it and liked it.

    As I originally said it's just different to the lamp stack.
     
  3. R0binHood

    R0binHood Adherent

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    Good for user experience, but not great for ad impressions. At least you can ensure there's definitely an ad impression on the next page load.

    Is it acceptable to load AdSense ads via continuous scroll every x posts?

    I've not been a fan of continuous scroll in general on any website in the past, as it means you can never reach the bottom of the page. It was a major shortcoming. But I noticed that HotUKDeals solved this issue with their recent redesign where there's a floating nav bar at the bottom of the screen instead of the top, so you can toggle the footer and all it's contents and features.

    It even still tracks exactly which post you've made it to and what page that would be if your scrolling was paginated so you can jump back to certain pages, it seems very well done.

    https://www.hotukdeals.com/


    I can see that happening with a small team, hopefully problems like that get mitigated as the company grows and becomes more diverse, and you can get input from more people on each issue that arises. Seeing as they're at 20+ staff now, I'd hope the chance of something like that happening now would be pretty negligible.
     
  4. Pete

    Pete Habitué

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    I dunno. Jeff is a pretty fair cult of personality... but maybe.
     
  5. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

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    Eh, I'm not sure I'd call it the WordPress of online communities. WordPress has about 25% of the internet or so, whereas Discourse is outnumbered by various other forum scripts as far as popularity goes.

    As for the features... well it's okay I guess, but it doesn't seem to do that well with longtime forum users or established communities, and most of the new sites I've seen using it still struggle against social media platforms.
     
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  6. R0binHood

    R0binHood Adherent

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    I agree it certainly not far enough along yet to take the crown of 'The Wordpress of Online Communities', it was a quote from the interview. However if that's their goal, then I think they'll be one to watch to compete against the likes of IPS and XF over time.

    They're definitely getting there though. The hosted platform I think is a big part of that. As easy and cheap as it is to get some basic hosting these days, taking away the hassle of the server admin tasks so the site owner can focus on community growth and engagement is a big part of it. Especially seeing as it looks like they have built in Adsense DFP integration to help recoup the monthly cost.

    I'm keen to see how they manage to emulate the plugin repo system of WordPress. That will be the key part of it.

    If they can create a plugin repo that can be accessed and searched from the ACP, with one click install and upgrade, with notifications of updates, I think that will be a big step forward.

    It looks like currently they just have a single plugin forum on their site where you can search and download them.

    https://meta.discourse.org/c/plugin

    One feature I really like, is that as a visitor if I leave the tab open, it will auto update with the number of new posts that have been created since I last visited the tab. That re-engages me far more often than any other forum and I'm not even logged in.

    In XF 2 you don't even get your own personal notifications updating in the background. I get that there's performance reasons for doing so and they have to cater to big boards...but still. It's very useful, especially without any other kind of notifications apart from email.
     
  7. Matthew S

    Matthew S Enthusiast

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    From where I sit, they seem to be eating the lunch of traditional GPL favourites phpbb and SMF right now. Several FOSS sites I visit are using Discourse. I know one migrated from phpbb, and another is also looking to change to Discourse.
     
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  8. pierce

    pierce Habitué

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    $100 a month for 100k page views? I do that daily and I'm a small forum.

    Enterprise is "contact us".

    I sure don't generate enough revenue to consider their paid plans.
     
  9. Pete

    Pete Habitué

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    Pedantic note: SMF isn't GPL, it's BSD.

    A fair amount of the transition is because it's trendy and modern in a way phpBB and SMF aren't. But flashy isn't everything - Discourse will happily consume vastly more battery life to sit and browse on it than either phpBB or SMF ever would. I think after a while it consumes more data too.
     
  10. R0binHood

    R0binHood Adherent

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    Users won't care if the benefits of an improved user experience outweighs those issues, which I imagine most would be fine with.

    Battery life? Non issue on desktop, negated on mobile if it's got a decent app as it's not loading full responsive web pages.

    Data? Non issue on desktop. And probably a non issue for most mobile users too. You could spend a month browsing a discourse forum daily and probably not hit the data usage of one short YouTube video.
     
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  11. Mark Wilkin

    Mark Wilkin Neophyte

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    Has anyone done any testing of Discourse on mobile, compared to other forums or say the FB app? As I've not seen it eating my data allowance or battery life, but I'm not a heavy user so I might not come across this. The main thing I'm happy with is that I can moderate the forum quite cheerfully on my mobile while out and about if I need to, unlike Vbulletin which was a nightmare :).

    I've been running a small forum with it for about a year and I'm quite happy with it, managed to get it up and running on digitalocean in about 30 mins and it's been zero hassle to update, even with the odd "you'll have to run some update commands manually" moments 90% of the time it's just a one click update.

    One thing I've noticed is that they hired their own community manager, Sarah Hawk, who used to work for Feverbee doing community consulting. So that it's not just Attwood doing the talking now :).

    I was wondering now that it's reached it's version 2.0 how well it had done in adding features that people had previously said were missing in comparison to other forum and forum plugin ecosystems. Has it managed to fill in the gaps people saw?
     
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  12. Mark Wilkin

    Mark Wilkin Neophyte

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    (Whoops looks like version 1.9 is latest stable build and 2.0 is in beta atm)
     
  13. pierce

    pierce Habitué

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    upload_2018-1-15_17-54-54.png

    The only issue is mobile.

    28 users on a desktop
    35 users on a tablet
     
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