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Automatically suggest similar topics

dandvdandv New
edited January 2021 in Feedback

I'm evaluating Vanilla after a long break, vs. Discourse.

Discourse has an extremely useful feature: as the user starts a new topic, the forum suggests similar topics. This vastly cuts down on repetitive topics (we know many users don't search before posting).

Does some version of Vanilla have this feature? I didn't see it running in this instance as I was writing this post.


  • K17K17 Français / French Paris, France ✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    Hi :D to simply answer your question "Do vanilla have this feature": no.

    But I think this could be done with some kind of plugin, but it may be hard to do.

  • dandvdandv New
    edited January 2021

    I've been managing a Discourse forum since 2015. This has been a killer feature,

    • both in saving our moderators time answering FAQs, and
    • enabling our users to find what they were looking for without even asking!

    I'm really surprised Vanilla doesn't have this.

  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    There is a plugin which gives you an improved search experience and showing related topics is an additonal benefit: https://open.vanillaforums.com/addon/sphinxsearch-plugin

    The plugin requires the forum admin to also set up sphinx search and I'm not sure if that plugin runs with the current version

  • pitkmipitkmi scifi-meshes.com

    I have Sphinx running on 3.3, so should be fine. Not using the related topics part though. Set up was a little more involved than a regular addon.

  • pitkmipitkmi scifi-meshes.com

    Tried it on my test forum. Seemed to work fine, but can't comment on how it figures out what's related, since it's a test forum and the content is a little lacking. Here are the options you get:

    It was a while ago, but pretty sure I just followed these instructions:

    I've had to restart the search daemon two or three times, but other than that it's been fine.

  • K17K17 Français / French Paris, France ✭✭✭

    @dandv I have used a lot of different forum software and actually have never seen this feature.

    But, for sure, it could be a great addition.

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