Creating a User Forum within MODX

Hi there,
I have a MODX site for a local charity.
They have asked if i can add a forum so that registered users on the site can post topics etc.

I have noticed that the MODX forums are created using Discourse - which points to the fact that maybe it’s not possible to create a forum within MODX?

I’m trying to keep cost down (as it’s a charity) and thought there may be a way to create a simple built in forum within MODX.

Any one tried this?

Thanks in advance

PS - I’ve see the extra called Discuss, but it seems as though it’s not maintained - it’s not been updated since 2013. But maybe it’s still a good choice?

Forum software is generally quite complex so rather than reinventing the wheel, it’s usually a lot easier to just use one of the available forums (Discuss, PhpBB, Vanilla, etc.) and style it to match the rest of your site.

Discourse is an excellent choice. Discuss not so much.

The modmore forum also uses Discourse, on a $10/mo digital ocean droplet. Now, that’s not a super active forum, and there’s a little bit of maintenance every month or so to keep it up-to-date, but I’d definitely say it’s one of the best choices in forum software you have today.

The hosted discourse (SaaS) is a fair bit more expensive ($99/mo), but then you don’t have to worry about any maintenance with that. And you probably get some support for that, too.

For something MODX-native, Tickets may also be interesting.

The old MODX forums were using Discuss, something that was written a long time ago for that purpose. The reality is, it’s a bit of a mess and it’s not (and probably will never) be maintained going forward. I heavily recommend that you use an external piece of software, such as Discourse.

1 Like

Thanks all - sounds like Discourse is the way forward.
I will have a read.


Thanks Mark - I’ll take a look at tickets too!

Thanks for the advice Bob

I’m using PhpBB for a small forum. It was relatively easy to install (Softaculous) and set up and seems to be working well (and it’s free).

I tried Vanilla (also free), but didn’t care for it, though it’s quite popular.

Ah Ok I’l take a look at that. as it’s for a charity a free software would be ideal, as we don’t know how many people will actually use it and they don’t have much to spend.

have you integrated it into your MODX users, or do people have to register for the forum separately?

It’s separate. I’m skeptical about how much the forum will be used, so I’m holding off on any SSO work.

Yep - sounds like a good plan for me too!

tm2000 what did you end up using? i’m facing the same choice now

I haven’t done it yet - but I think I will use Discourse.

Any idea how to do the login ? SSO ? Marks suggestion of having discourse on a droplet sounds doable but very tech -savvy. Let me know what you decide since i’m in the same boat :slight_smile:RDG

There’s a one-click install option for Discourse on DigitalOcean now:

Not sure what that does for maintenance, I suppose you’re still expected to SSH in to the server every now and then to upgrade a few things from there. Of course you can also buy a managed service for it to offset the tech-savviness with cash :wink:

There’s an extra available for the SSO-bit, usage instructions are here.

1 Like

Hi How much maintainance are we talking about? and what needs to be maintained? is it like hitting an update button once in a while or is it more complex-know-what-youre-doing-or-you-break-the-site kind of stuff?

There’s an update button that works most of the time, but I do find I have to finish it or upgrade things from SSH every now and then. Mostly just run a few commands and be patient. I can’t say if my experience is typical for Discourse, though. (N=1)

The upgrade button pretty much always works, I put maybe 5-10 minutes of maintenance into this exact forum every 2 weeks.