Discourse vs. Jforum – What’s the Difference

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Both forum and discourse are open-source discussion platforms that support large numbers of users and messages, but each has some unique features, strengths, as well as weaknesses that make it more suitable for different environments. We will discuss the major distinctions between Discourse and forum in this guide so that you can choose which one suits you best. Let’s go!

Introduction To Discourse

It an open source discussion platform designed to take online communities and forums from threads into a newer model. It uses rich text editing to make developer’s work easy and provide better user experience.

Discourse is modern forum software that allows users to create their forums and communities. They offer various themes, colors, fonts and layouts. Creating a forum on Discourse is quite simple due to its uncomplicated interface.


You can include topics categories or tags to sort your content. Moreover, you may set up rules about how posts should appear. It is free since it is an opensource project. The language used for building Discourse is Ruby on Rails which was written in Ruby making it highly scalable and flexible.

You can find documentation tutorials at discourse.org where discourse if hosted. For individuals as well as small teams, there is a free version of Discourse available; however, larger teams might be required to purchase commercial licenses.

Introduction To Jforum


Jforum software is very easy to use and manage. It has been most commonly utilized by corporates with both paid version of the forum as well as free one. It also has blogs single sign-on system among others.

JForum aims at having a forum with reduced complexity for new users/ administrators hence easy maintenance maximum simplicity for end-users without any knowledge about technology or previous experience using forums.

Difference between Discourse and Jforum

Discourse operates like a forum where people post comments or questions or give their opinion about anything they choose while Jforum acts like community-based discussion board where members talk about issues related to cannabis culture and lifestyle.

Common Features

Therefore, if you require social networking/newsgroups then go to discourse, else if you need forums software go to jforum. Without looking at what they do and the differences between the two systems, it is impossible to make any meaningful comparison between these two. This guide will briefly discuss these points as well as a few others that should be kept in mind while comparing or evaluating either of the products.

Distinguished Features

Discourse and JForum have a lot in common on paper: both are free open source projects written in PHP that have nearly identical feature sets. However, as with all projects, it’s important to look beyond what you can see on a website.

How do these two popular forums compare when viewed through your eyes? What makes them different from each other? What might help you make a decision?


The user interfaces for both platforms are beautifully designed and easy-to-use. They are mobile-optimized and look good on any screen size too. Besides allowing easy browsing of discussions, each platform has tools for replying to comments or interacting with other users as well.

jForum UI has a clean blue theme like many older CMSs while Discourse is modern and minimalist in white background with red accents and gray text. Both use good typography and thoughtful illustrations.

Use Cases

Suppose you have a small group of people you work with whom you want to make an internal chat application that isn’t too complicated but will get the job done for you. In case you settle for JForum, it can be installed on server or cloud as per your preference and kick-started immediately.

Alternatively, if it is Discourse you have chosen, then signing up for a free account at their website would be the first step.

Comparison Table

Feature Discourse JForum
Purpose Modern discussion platform aimed at community building Java-based discussion board software
Interface Sleek and modern UI with real-time updates Traditional forum interface with various themes
Open Source Yes Yes
Language Written in Ruby and JavaScript Written in Java
Hosting Options Self-hosted or cloud-hosted options available Typically self-hosted
Extensions Extensible with plugins and themes Offers various plugins and customizable components
Scalability Highly scalable with large community support Moderately scalable, suitable for smaller communities
Integration Offers API for integration with other systems Limited integration options compared to Discourse
Mobile Support Fully responsive design for mobile devices Mobile-friendly interface but less responsive design
Community Support Large and active community for support and development Limited community support compared to Discourse


Generally speaking, Discourse and JForum are used differently. They both have unique features that make it difficult to answer which one is better than the other one exactly but our experience from these two platforms shows that in terms of functionality and design when managing discussion-based websites, maybe discourse is more superior over jforum compared to others. These two platforms have easy installation processes that do not need any special skills or technical know-how.