Discourse vs Zendesk

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Discourse
Discourse

206
86
+ 1
82
Zendesk
Zendesk

3.1K
977
+ 1
333
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Discourse vs Zendesk: What are the differences?

Discourse: The 100% open source, next-generation discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet. Discourse is a simple, flat forum, where replies flow down the page in a line. Replies are attached to the bottom and top of each post, so you can optionally expand the context of the conversation – without breaking your flow; Zendesk: The leading cloud-based customer service software solution. Zendesk provides an integrated on-demand helpdesk - customer support portal solution based on the latest Web 2.0 technologies and design philosophies.

Discourse and Zendesk are primarily classified as "Forums" and "Help Desk" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Discourse are:

  • Remembers your place
  • Log in with … anything
  • Paste to share images

On the other hand, Zendesk provides the following key features:

  • Offer your customers a quick path to the answers they need with knowledge base and community features.
  • Zendesk takes customer communication from anywhere—your website, email, phone, Twitter, Facebook, and chat—and turns it into a ticket.
  • Zendesk simplifies your support team's workflow with custom automatic actions, meaningful organization, and streamlined systems for managing support content.

"Open source" is the primary reason why developers consider Discourse over the competitors, whereas "Centralizes our customer support" was stated as the key factor in picking Zendesk.

Discourse is an open source tool with 28.6K GitHub stars and 6.47K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Discourse's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Zendesk has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1846 company stacks & 184 developers stacks; compared to Discourse, which is listed in 42 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Discourse?

Discourse is a simple, flat forum, where replies flow down the page in a line. Replies are attached to the bottom and top of each post, so you can optionally expand the context of the conversation – without breaking your flow.

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk provides an integrated on-demand helpdesk - customer support portal solution based on the latest Web 2.0 technologies and design philosophies.
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      What are some alternatives to Discourse and Zendesk?
      Disqus
      Disqus looks to make it very easy and rewarding for people to interact on websites using its system. Commenters can build reputation and carry their contributions from one website to the next.
      Flarum
      Flarum is the next-generation forum software that makes online discussion fun. It's simple, fast, and free.
      XenForo
      It is a commercial Internet forum software package written in the PHP programming language.
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      Decisions about Discourse and Zendesk
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      Interest over time
      Reviews of Discourse and Zendesk
      Avatar of cauerego
      Progammer* at cregox
      Review ofDiscourseDiscourse

      I suppose it's a good thing I don't like coffee then! :P

      It's this simple: some folks got together and made StackOverflow, the best online resource for programmers powered by a gamified community. Q&A became such a big thing. People started copying SEN. Then they made a chat tool for it. Now we got slack, gitter, etc.

      A couple years ago those same folks started making Discourse. And it's even more awesome than SO was early on! I believe it will eventually even replace the whole SEN. Or at least I hope so, because it is that much better. Google groups learned a lot from them.

      There's just too many things discourse got right, in every little detail. I couldn't make this review short and get down to it. A good search, for instance, is no small task. There's search built-in everywhere, and all of them work awesomely!

      When you create a new topic, it will search for similar ones, whether you want it or not. When you want to search a word within a topic, sounds simple enough, just use browser search, right? On a huge page that never fully loaded in the first place: wront. But they got it right anyway. When you want to find a configuration through the thousands of options withing settings, if you're an admin, you can also search for it. And, above all, if you want to google anything about it, by all means, do use google! It's so much SEO and robot friendly that it will easily and quickly appear there.

      Now, historically at least, they make a terrible, terrible work on marketing their strengths under http://www.discourse.org/ - it's too much dev focused. Maybe because early on you could only use it if you could install it yourself. Even today, while "free", it isn't really. You need to spend at least about U$10 per month for a good enough server, in one way or the other. And this is the only reason, I believe, it may never replace SEN. But there are already people offering it for cheap and easy maintenance and installation, while limiting, of course, its expandability (plugins).

      Do read the devs blogs, that's where you'll get most of the insights on how this tool is so beyond anything else out there.

      How developers use Discourse and Zendesk
      Avatar of MOKA Analytics
      MOKA Analytics uses ZendeskZendesk

      We use Zendesk for customer support and hosting documentation. Additionally, we provide documentation search from within our application using Zendesk's API

      Avatar of Adam Bird
      Adam Bird uses ZendeskZendesk

      Receiving notifications when Tasks are assigned and being able to update the Tasks when the calendar event has changed.

      Avatar of Tinker Travel
      Tinker Travel uses ZendeskZendesk

      Our Customer Care peeps use it and we synchronise customer data into it to help them organise and find things quickly.

      Avatar of Grubster
      Grubster uses ZendeskZendesk

      It's our customer service system for dealing with inbound ticket requests from any channel integrated.

      Avatar of Gitt
      Gitt uses ZendeskZendesk

      Have so many options, and can connect with our custom infrastructure and existing support channel.

      Avatar of Roon Labs
      Roon Labs uses DiscourseDiscourse
      Avatar of PlayCanvas
      PlayCanvas uses DiscourseDiscourse

      StackExchange style board

      How much does Discourse cost?
      How much does Zendesk cost?