If you've ever used Google's Custom Search engine that provides search results specific to your website, you'll know what I mean.

I'm interested in an API that I can use from Stack Exchange to host a forum specifically for my website.

So for example, if I visit forum.example.com, the page would be generated / hosted by Stack Exchange and use Stack Exchange's network but on my website only.

That would mean I don't have to write a forum page myself and take advantage of Stack Exchange's huge userbase.

Is there an API or something similar like this?

  • Would Teams meet most of your requirements? – PolyGeo Aug 11 at 5:18
  • Upvoted because it's a fair enough question, you're not making a specific feature request. – Mari-Lou A Aug 11 at 6:22
  • You better look at Discourse. SE doesn't at the moment offer what you're looking for – rene Aug 11 at 7:05
  • @PolyGeo Yes, Teams is very close actually. In fact I would say that that is a better solution. – Jacob Schneider Aug 11 at 8:46

Not really.

Actually, not at all.

To start with SE isn't a forum. And well there's no way to kinda have a 'private' Q&A as a subset of SE. There's a few attempts like "Facebook.stackoverflow.com" where the subdomain was a page that showed stuff on a specific tag.

Practically speaking there's also nothing in it for SE to allow you to use their infrastructure and userbase to build your site with, well, pretty much nothing in return.

If you wanted to run your own Q&A site - sonic's comment links clones that could work for you but

So for example, if I visit forum.example.com, the page would be generated / hosted by Stack Exchange and use Stack Exchange's network but on my website only.

Is not a thing in terms of being a forum, or having subdomains for users, or somehow filtering specific posts for a specific view on a specific subdomains.

SE does have an API - but I'm not sure if the SE model fits your needs very well. I don't see how it would work in terms of the licence, or how such a UI would work. There's an old defunct project for a "terminal web browser" friendly SE front end - which is the closest thing I'd think of to a different SE front end. It isn't a 'private' forum leveraging on our userbase though.

And using SE as a backend for your own projects isn't something that feels like something that's good for the community or the network either.

  • You could mention the Stack API. But then the OP would still need to build the UI. – rene Aug 11 at 7:06
  • You would still need to authenticate as yourself against te API, there is an OAuth endpoint. What they can't do is have those posts "private", as in only visible for their sites. I would think that its use is okay. – rene Aug 11 at 7:16
  • Okay, thanks for your response, I see what you mean by no real benefits for SE. – Jacob Schneider Aug 11 at 8:45

If you are looking for focused Q&A software rather than discussion forum software then you may want to investigate Stack Overflow for Teams:

Stack Overflow for Teams builds on our proven Q&A approach by providing a private, secure home for your organization’s own questions and answers. This gives your technical staff instant access to their peers’ expert knowledge of your own proprietary systems and processes—in the same format they already use to get general coding help.

This is not free, but seems reasonably priced, and I find that it works similarly to and seamlessly with Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange sites.

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