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Talkyard — a Discourse alternative

Discourse ( is discussion forum software, 100% open source (GitHub repo) and with many contributors, more features than Talkyard (see comparison below), more integrations, and a plugin ecosystem. It has better support and uptime guarantees than Talkyard. A bigger company, less risky.

Talkyard works better for larger discussions. That's because it's threaded, so when people start talking about slightly different things in the same main discussion, they still don't interfere with each other.

Talkyard is also, we think, better for discussing ideas and making decisions together: You can sort comments so the more insightful ones appear first (rather than the oldest ones). Then, everyone gets a better understanding of reasons for and against.

Likewise, with Question-Answers: In Talkyard, the good answers surface to the top; they're the first you'll see.

There are also partly implemented anti-cognitive biases features that deal with things like group think, anchoring bias, appeal-to-authority. (This builds upon anonymous posts done "the right way" [1].)

Discourse can be, on the other hand, simpler to use, since it's flat (not threaded).

Both Discourse and Talkyard have chat channels, but Talkyard's chat is still mostly unimplemented. Discourse has a nice sidebar where you can add custom links. Talkyard lets admins reconfigure everyone in a group, by editing the group — which is nice, if there're say 100 group members.

An analogy: You could say that Talkyard is more like having a subreddit or StackOverflow community at your website, while Discourse is more like having a thoughtful and slow paced chat at your website.

[1] Anon-posts-in-a-good-way could be a whole blog post, in itself.


Discourse's prices below are from, Nov 2023. There's also Communiteq which provide Discourse hosting for $20 – $100, unlimited admins & members.


Price and Hosting

Price per month€3 – €8 per coworker ("/c")$50 – $300 in total
Install on-premiseOpen source (open core)Open source
Custom domain5/c$100
Automatic upgrades
If on-premise. SaaS always auto upgrades.
One-click upgradesYes


Password + email login3/c$50
Social login3/c$50
Social login, even more$50
Guest login3/c
OpenID Connect (OIDC)5/c$300
Microsoft ActiveDirectory5/c$300
Microsoft AD FSvia OIDC?$300
Oktavia OIDC$300
SAML (later)contact sales
Require 2FA (later)$50

Users groups & Permissions

Private forum3/c$50
Public forum3/c$100
User groups5/c$50
Configure group
Configure everyone in a group at the same time, e.g. subscribe them to a category.
Self-managing groupsYes
Ask a team
Post a question to a user group, without knowing who is the best person to ask.
Permission system
Grant read and write permissions on categories to user groups.

Blog comments

Blog comments3/c$100
Sort Best First3/c
Read More widgetyes?
Many comment areas, same page3/c

Discussions & Content

Hierarchical tags$50
Tags with searchable values3/c

Large Discussions

Sub threads3/c
Find latest comments3/c$50
Jump to parent comment & back3/c
Expand quotes and replies$50
Summarize large topics3/c (very basic)$50

Q&A and Knowledge Base

Questions and Answers3/c$50
Anonymous Questions3/c$50 but risky
Wikify posts3/c$50


Post ideas3/c$300
Sort by upvotes3/c$300
Anonymous Ideas
So you won't judge an idea based on who posted it.
3/c$300 but risky


Not good chat3/c
Good chat$50

Misc widgets

Link previews3/c (limited)$50
Load more on scroll$50
Hide spoilers$50
Embeddable polls$50
Read More widgetyes?
Related content suggestions$50


Gamification badges$50
Create your own gamification badges$50


Email notifications3/c$50
Desktop notifications$50


Read API5/c$50
Write API5/c$50
Microsoft Teams$50

Custom themes

Custom colors and logos3/c (edit CSS)$50
Custom themes3/c (edit CSS)$100
Custom sidebar$50


Usage and adoption metrics$50
Audience analytis$50


Support via forum€0$0
Support within approx a business day5/c$50
Business hours support8/c$300
On-call support, weekends & holidayscontact salescontact sales
Uptime SLAcontact salescontact sales
Customer Success Managercontact salescontact sales

Security and Compliance

SOC 2 Certificationyes?


Make money via ads$100