Discourse icon

Discourse icon


Desktop Software Business

When you need a software platform that lets you communicate more effectively and engage more directly with your clients, Discourse's combination of forum and email list management systems provides the tools you demand.

Linux Browser

Alternatives to Discourse

  1. Taiga.io alternatives



    Our site uses cookies, which our Oompa Loompas munch on to keep our site running. Our lawyer, who is one tough cookie, and is himself obsessed with cookies, wants you to know that Taiga uses cookie...

    {{ alternatives[0].votes }}
  2. Mailpile alternatives



    Mailpile was built so that users would have the ability to keep control of their sensitive data by hosting email directly on your own system instead of through the internet. It features integrated...

    {{ alternatives[1].votes }}
  3. Get Satisfaction alternatives

    Get Satisfaction


    Get Satisfaction allows you to gather feedback, product ideas, build your brand, and reduce customer support costs while engaging with your customer community.

    {{ alternatives[2].votes }}
  4. Disqus alternatives



    Disqus offers the best add-on tools for websites to increase engagement. We help publishers power online discussions with comments and earn revenue with native advertising.

    {{ alternatives[3].votes }}
  5. phpBB alternatives



    phpBB is free and open source forum software that is easy to use, powerful, and highly customisable. Our community offers extensive support to end users.

    {{ alternatives[4].votes }}
  6. Flarum alternatives



    Flarum is the next-generation forum software that makes online discussion fun. It's simple, fast, and free.

    {{ alternatives[5].votes }}
  7. XenForo alternatives



    mysite. com/ <--- Custom Home Page within the XF wrapper mysite. com/forums/ <--- Forums are here. Now i was using a script called "Kotomi" to allow me to create a custom front page...

    {{ alternatives[6].votes }}
  8. Vanilla alternatives



    Vanilla is forum software that powers discussions on hundreds of thousands of sites. Built for flexibility and integration, Vanilla is the best, most powerful community solution in the world.

    {{ alternatives[7].votes }}
  9. NodeBB alternatives



    Basic CMS plugin for NodeBB - custom homepage. The default template comes with four widget areas (main, sidebar, header, footer).

    {{ alternatives[8].votes }}
  10. vBulletin alternatives



    Build a community website with the leading forum software, vBulletin 5 Connect, or in the cloud on vB Cloud!

    {{ alternatives[9].votes }}
  11. Hoop.la alternatives



    Hoop. la is an online branded community program that allows you to get your online community to come together in one place and communicate. Once you have your community put together, they can inter...

    {{ alternatives[10].votes }}
  12. PlushForums alternatives



    The easy way to build a great community. Plush is the most polished, user-friendly forum software ever. Free for 14 days, cancel any time.

    {{ alternatives[11].votes }}
  13. MUUT alternatives



    Forums, commenting and messaging right on your site. Unlimited posts, users and traffic, for free.

    {{ alternatives[12].votes }}
  14. Higher Logic alternatives

    Plug in a few numbers and automatically calculate your business’ potential cost savings through ticket deflection, attributed to your industry-leading online community platform.

    {{ alternatives[13].votes }}
  15. Vanilla Forums alternatives

    Engage your customers with a vibrant and modern online customer community forum. A customer community helps to increases loyalty, reduce support costs and deliver feedback.

    {{ alternatives[14].votes }}
  16. AnswerHub alternatives

    Devada empower developers to learn, share, grow, and succeed via the technology-specific web communities we enable.

    {{ alternatives[15].votes }}
  17. Wild Apricot alternatives

    Wild Apricot


    Rated #1 year after year, Wild Apricot is the most powerful, all-in-one membership management software. Start an instant free trial now.

    {{ alternatives[16].votes }}
  18. The Public Community alternatives

    Host your own social network. Build real, lasting relationships with your audience and turn engagement into revenue.

    {{ alternatives[17].votes }}
  19. Livefyre alternatives



    Discover the advantages Adobe Experience Manager Sites provides with a high-level overview of the content management capabilities that will accelerate time to market.

    {{ alternatives[18].votes }}
  20. SignUpGenius alternatives

    SignUpGenius is a tool for scheduling events, sending out invitations, and managing your respondents all in one place.

    {{ alternatives[19].votes }}
  21. Pensil alternatives



    Pensil is a simple and easy-to-integrate platform for creators and educators to run, manage and monetize their online communities, cohort-based courses, or micro-schools.

    {{ alternatives[20].votes }}
Suggest an Alternative

Missing a software in the list? We are always happy if you help us making our site even better.

Suggest an Alternative

Discourse Reviews

We have 1 review for Discourse. The average overall ratings is 4.0 / 5 stars.

Write a Review
grex avatar
My Opinion on Discourse
written by grex on 2018-08-03 08:05:01
Ease of Use
Customer Service
Value For Money

Overall Opinion: When Discourse first appeared on the market in 2013, it signified a pretty major move away from the patterns that had previously dominated the design philosophy of the message board development market. The most popular platforms like phpBB and Simple Machines, and Discourse pulled plenty from the standards those bulletin boards had set. It uses a flat rather than threaded structure, a seeming necessity when trying to engage with customers directly, but a divergence from the trend in popular engagement platforms like Reddit and Digg. Where Discourse has managed to so effectively distinguish itself from the competition is with its tight integration of features popularized in social media software, essentially modernizing the forum format for the modern day without tearing down the fundamentals that made these platforms strong in the first place. The first thing you'll notice about Discourse is how easy it is to install and configure. Whether you're looking to set up a fan blog for your favorite passion or create a means for your customers to engage with one another and get in touch with your customer service departments, you can have something nice looking up and running in no time. Like most forum software, the design fundamentals of Discourse are strong, so customizing it to suit the personality you want your forum to convey can be accomplished with just a little HTML and CSS understanding. Unlike many of its contemporary forum platforms, Discourse is built from Ruby on Rails rather than from PHP. But it's those social media features that really lets Discourse shine. Fundamentally, the Discourse user interface doesn't look that different from its competitors. Your interface can be broken down into any number of forums and sub forums to more neatly categorize your content and guide your customers where you want them to be, but a number of quality of life options make it easier to browse altogether, especially on mobile devices. Infinite scrolling means your customers can spend less time clicking through pages and pages of content. There are also a number of smart functions that make it easier for customers to engage with conversations. The popularity of a conversation in the forum can be denoted with threads, while smart notifications inform you whenever anyone mentions your name or responds to you post. That's a great choice for customer service reps who want to stay on top of the needs of their users, and it's effectively combined with very smart and robust search options. Sharing options are embedded directly into any conversation, and users will receive notifications whenever anyone responds to their post or mentions their name. Discourse is an open source platform, meaning that you can customize it to your heart's delight or pull from a number of user generated extensions. There is also native integration wit a number of popular platforms like slack, ZenDesk, and Patreon.

Pros: Ease of use features much higher out of the box than other BB platforms Open source structure allows for immense flexibility Simple to set up

Cons: Can only be used with a virtual private server Hosting services can be expensive

grex is using Discourse every other week recently.


Discourse screenshot 1
Discourse screenshot 2
Discourse screenshot 3
Discourse screenshot 4
Discourse screenshot 5
Discourse screenshot 6
Discourse screenshot 7
Discourse screenshot 8
Discourse screenshot 9
Discourse screenshot 10

Discourse Videos

Youtube Video: Discourse Forum Platform Overview - Why I Love It But No Longer Use It

Here's a walk around the front and back end of a Discourse forum. This is a great platform to host your own community forum. I love the feature rich forum software but can't at this time justify...

Disclaimer: This video was not made by us, but we found it interesting enough to embed it here.


Commenting on this article is disabled right now.

About This Article

This page was composed by Alternative.me and published by Alternative.me. It was created at 2018-04-29 01:48:56 and last edited by Alternative.me at 2020-03-06 07:51:04. This page has been viewed 12511 times.

Did you like this article about Discourse? Please rate it!
6 of 7 liked this article. This is equivalent to a star rating of 4.29 / 5.

More Software in Desktop Software > Business

More Popular Desktop Software

Filter Platforms


Filter Features

Open-Source Mail Client Premium Security Hoop. You can use Hoop. They can use Hoop. Community-Based Forums Branding SOCIAL NETWORKS Social Community software Social Networking Hundreds of templates to draw from Event calendar with email and SMS reminders Community based text messaging system. Chat and instant messaging Website and visitor tracking Integrate calendars Payment processing Event Displays Mobile App Audio / Video Conferencing Audio / Video Recording Website Analytics Integration Payment gateway integration iOS and Android apps
Suggest an Alternative to Discourse
{{ suggestSubmitSuccess }}
You can only sugggest alternatives that are already published on our platform. If you want to submit a software or app, please visit your account page to submit a software.
List of Suggestions
Please start typing the name of the software you want to suggest as alternative to Discourse in the field above.
{{ suggestSubmitError }}
Suggest {{ suggestedAlternatives.length }} Alternative(s)
This action requires user authentication. Please log in.
Don't have an account yet? Sign up.