Learn how to integrate your Discourse forum with WordPress blog using the recently released official Discourse WordPress plugin in this tutorial.
Many websites maintain a forum for their support issues and other general community discussions.
For websites powered by WordPress, integrating forums can be a challenge. Although there are dozens of WordPress plugins to help set up discussion forums, it can be difficult maintaining a huge community forum.
Plugins like bbPress and BuddyPress are often the go-to solutions for adding forums within WordPress websites, but they are way behind some of the modern platforms solely dedicated to discussion forums.
Keeping such requests in mind, Discourse has recently released an official WordPress plugin that makes the integration really easy.
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Discourse WordPress Plugin
WP Discourse is the official Discourse WordPress plugin and is available to download for free from the repository. The plugin has been available for a while on Github and gone through several updates finally to publish a polished version on the official WordPress repository.
Discourse WordPress plugin lets you use Discourse to power your community and in this tutorial, I will go through installing the plugin and the features that are available to integrate Discourse forum with WordPress.
Features of WP Discourse Plugin
The WP Discourse plugin enables you to use Discourse as a community engine for your WordPress blog.
As you install and configure the settings for WP Discourse plugin, you will explore several features of the plugin but here’re the main highlights of what you can achieve with the plugin.
- Ability to publish selected posts as Forum topics on Discourse
- Use Discourse for comments and discussions for WordPress posts
- Define category and format of posts on Discourse
- Set author of published posts on Discourse
- Ability to configure which comments from Discourse can be displayed on the WordPress posts
- Enable SSO to use your WordPress blog as the Single Sign-On provider for your Discourse forum
Installing Discourse WordPress Plugin
You can easily install the plugin by searching for WP Discourse within your WordPress dashboard. Follow the quick instructions below.
- From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New
- Search for ‘WP Discourse'.
- Install and activate the WP Discourse plugin.
Alternatively, you can download and upload the ‘wp-discourse' folder to your ‘/wp-content/plugins/' directory and activate the plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
Configuring WP Discourse Plugin
Once you have installed and activated the WP Discourse plugin, head over to Settings > Discourse where you will need to configure settings to connect your WordPress blog with your Discourse forum.
First, you will need to fill in the values for common settings that establish the connection between two platforms. You will need to fill in the settings for ‘Discourse URL', ‘API Key', and ‘Publishing username'. You should also have already set up your Discourse forum at this point.
- Discourse URL: The base URL of your Discourse forum
- API Key: Found under Admin/API of your Discourse forum – (Go to /admin/api to locate the key)
- Publishing username: Any administrator username on your Discourse forum. (The default administrator username on your Discourse forum is system and if you haven't changed that you should be fine with leaving system as username here.)
See the screenshot above for common settings.
Next, Publishing Settings allow you to choose your category and the ability to publish all new posts to Discourse.
You can also opt to publish the full post for content rather than the default excerpt and define post types to publish to Discourse in this section.
You can choose to replace WordPress default comments completely or add Discourse forum discussions in addition to your WordPress comments for Discourse published posts.
The settings in this section also allow you to define and configure other comments related features.
SSO Settings allow you to enable single sign-on between your WordPress site and your Discourse forum. Check the box next to Enable SSO and fill in the SSO Secret Key for the single sign on to work.
You should also configure the SSO settings for your Discourse forum available under – Admin\Settings\Login section.
Then SSO Secret Key settings here at WordPress blog should match the value for SSO Secret that is entered on your Discourse forum settings.
Final Words on Discourse WordPress Integration
Discourse has definitely made it easy to build a modern and extensive forum. Besides, easy integration with WordPress will be helpful for many users that are finding it difficult to manage their community natively on WordPress.
This can also be really helpful if you already have a Discourse Forum and are looking to integrate with WordPress.
If you are looking to set up a Discourse forum for your WordPress blog, follow this tutorial to quickly setup Discourse with One-Click Application on DigitalOcean.
Use this link to get $10 in referral credit instantly if you need to sign up for DigitalOcean.
What do you think of Discourse WordPress integration? Let us know if you are using this for your website.