Best practices for managing duplicate questions


We have been running an instance of Vanilla forums for over a year. One of the things I would like to figure out is what to do with duplicate questions.

1. Link existing related posts
What I have been doing is copying date URLs from other posts to help answer questions. This works but I would prefer to get search results in front of users before they post because we already have answered many questions in our FAQ or other discussions and questions (and if we can get federated search up and working, our shopify product pages too!).

2. Avoid duplicates at post creation
Does anyone know of any effective means getting existing content related to their draft post up in front of them?
Create an account on Stackoverflow and go through the new post creation form to see what I am trying to get at. I am not sure how to do this with Vanilla or any Add-ons yet. If this is not yet a feature I would love to see it added in some manner!


  • Heather Wendt
    Heather Wendt HLV Staff
    edited August 2023 #2

    Would there be a way to create a content piece that appears at the top of the discussion post creation field when someone goes to post a question? You can ask them if they have first used the search tool to see if the question has already been asked. (Image of a possible look below)

    And using the layout editor, you can maybe have that assigned to lower roles where you are still educating new members.

  • BrendanP
    BrendanP HLV Staff
    edited August 2023 #3

    Here's a best practice I'd recommend to help mitigate duplicate questions and encourage search:

    You could add a reminder and even create a basic hyperlink to the search page using some basic HTML such as.


    Please be sure to use the <a href=">Search</a> before asking your question as it may already be answered.