Should I Open Up My Forum?

(Patrick Heijmans) #1

Hello @richard_millington Webshops are Ecommerce sites
My main problem at the moment is the following:

I have a clossed forum, only persons that i accept can post in our forum, there are now 35 (paying) members. But now i want to grow the business and set a part of the forum open for the public.
Off course the memebers are not happy witth this, but i p;rommised to keep a part of the forum closed for the paying memebers. I’m not sure how to solve this.


Introduce yourself (or at least just say hi)
(Robert McIntosh) #2

What software or toll are you using for your community? Does it allow you to create separate areas?

I guess if I had paid to be part I’d also worry if it was being offered to others for free. You need to define what it was they were paying to get (value) and ensure THAT stays private, while creating a new conversation for the free audience. Presumably the new audience bring value to YOU as potential customers, so is there a way to pass on some of that value to your existing subscribers (such as leads, contacts, advice, etc)?

I suggest starting a separate thread on this and providing us with more background I’d possible (or @richard_millington could split this thread)


(Patrick Heijmans) #3

I use the same software as Feverbee :wink:
Paying members keep getting bennefits even is the forum is open, the get software for free etc.
The main reason is that they have shared some information that not is for ‘public eyes’


(Robert McIntosh) #4

(I will reply here, but I assume @richard_millington will eventually split this into a new thread)

Great! Then you use Discourse.

The easiest thing is to make current paid participants be members of a particular group (e.g. VIP). You can then make the existing (private) conversation category/ies be available only to members of the VIP group.

When you add new (free) members, they will not see the private content and you can have it so they see new conversations instead. The existing members can also see this content and be able to interact - replying or interacting with the broader membership, making the site seem more interactive to them. However, their previous content will still not be for ‘public eyes’

Is that what you were thinking?


(Patrick Heijmans) #5

this is almost what is was thinkikng of.
The private content must not be indexed by search engines.

Also i would like to make payment more easy.

1 Like

(Robert McIntosh) #6

Happy to help if I can, but probably not best here. PM me with any questions or head over to for lots of advice that is specific to the platform

The issue of payments is separate!


(Sarah Hawk) #7

I can help with Discourse specific questions.

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(Patrick Heijmans) #8

@HAWK Thanks you have a PM :wink:


(Patrick Heijmans) #9

ok, just an little update.
I have made the forum open with new categories. The old ones stay closed.
Now lets see if we can drive traffic to them


(Dennis Swennen) #10

@patrick_heijmans how are things going? I want to start a community, but have a similar issue in defining how to do it. What to open and what to close…