Moving a group to a new Discourse server

Discourse supports moving categories rather well using these instructions:

The export script includes user details in addition to the topics and posts. Some meta data might not be transfered, though.[1] Look over the imported posts before doing anything else to sanity check.

Next we need to set up redirects for all the topics and the category page itself. That way visitors who have the old URLs will get redirected to the group’s new home. This can be done manually using /admin/customize/permalinks or using the API. I’ll probably automate this process the first time we need to export a largish group.

Finally we need to delete the topics and category on from the origin. Topics must meet these criteria in order to be successfully redirected:

  1. in a public category
  2. deleted and
  3. visited by someone who does not have access to the topic.

So before deleting the category:

  1. tag the topics with a temporary tag in order to find them later,
  2. move all the topics to Uncategorized or some public category designed to hold deleted topics and
  3. delete all the topics with the temporary tag.

If you have all the redirects set up, you can delete the category and test using an incognito browser.

  1. Example: I copied Jon's Biography from and it didn’t pick up the Topic Timer data. ↩︎