Understanding Discord — Community Servers
Last year Discord released a new feature called Community Servers. This feature offers tools to server owners and admins to help their members get familiar with the community when they first join. It is also a requirement for applying for Discord Partnership.
The feature did not have much to it for the average community other than the Welcome Screen and Announcement channels at first, but it has since grown to include new features such as Membership Screening. The downside to Community Servers is that some parts require that your server meets certain requirements, and it forces you to turn on some specific settings that not everyone would want. However, these are settings I would usually recommend to any new server owner as they protect your community from malicious users and offer conveniences to your server.
In this article I will go over how to enable the Community Servers feature, info on each feature available, and give my final thoughts on the feature.
The first step is to turn on Community Servers. Doing so will take you through a step-by-step process of configuring each necessary setting.
Go to your server settings and click on “Enable Community” which will bring you to the following page.
This page will have some information on Community Servers to help you better understand it. Click on the blue “Get Started” button which will bring up a pop-up window. Below is a GIF showing the whole setup process.
There are quite a few settings you must enable, though a server will likely have already set many of these. Let’s go over each of the settings:
- Verified email required. — This option helps to minimize potential spam and self-bot accounts. Malicious users often make these accounts quickly without any email address.
- Scan media content from all members. — With this setting enabled, Discord’s built-in NSFW detection system will try to find unwanted content and stop it from sending in the server. This does not block most content, but it can help to some extent.
- Rules or Guidelines Channel — This will designate the selected channel as a Rules channel which is sometimes used by Discord to help direct members in your server. If you have not already made this channel, you can have Discord do it automatically from this screen.
- Community Updates Channel — This is a feature that is only accessible to servers with Community Servers enabled. Discord will post to this channel information about new features and updates that are relevant to server owners and admins. For those familiar with Announcement channels, these updates are delivered in the same way. I would personally suggest to have Discord create the channel so that the updates are not mixed in and lost with other messages. It will be locked for everyone except admins and server owners by default, but the permissions can be overwritten. (More information on Permissions Overwrites can be found in this article.)
- Default notification to Mention Only — When creating a Discord server, notifications are set to All Messages by default. This is not recommended for communities that plan to grow because people normally don’t like many notifications. Individual users can set their own notification settings regardless of this setting, so making it Mention Only will avoid making a bad first impression and annoying them immediately after joining your server.
- Remove moderation permissions from @everyone — Turns off moderation permissions from the everyone role such as kick, ban, manage messages, or mentioning everyone, here and all roles.
For the last step, you must agree to the Community Guidelines provided by Discord. These guidelines are also a great way to determine which kind of rules are important for your server.
If you choose to have Discord create the Rules and the Community Updates channels, you will have two new channels at the top of your channel list (pictured below).
You have successfully enabled Community Servers and can now start using the new tools provided by it!
Now that you have enabled Community Servers, you will have a new section in your server called Community with 6 new tabs: Overview, Server Insights, Partner Program, Discovery, Membership Screening, and Welcome Screen. These are not the only changes to your server; you will also now be able to create Announcement channels and Stage channels. If you want to know what these channels do, we cover channel types in our Channels and Categories article. Let’s have a look at the new tabs available to you.
This tab has the settings for channels required by Community Servers, the language of your server, and the ability to disable the feature. It also has a handy section to help you get started with some of the features that Community Servers offers.
This menu is dedicated to Discord’s built-in analytics system, which is used to give you “insight” into how active and engaging your community is. If your community has under 500 members you will only have access to viewing Announcement channels and Welcome Screen analytics.
Once you hit over 500 members you will gain access to viewing more data such as Growth & Activation, Engagement, and Audience. Server Insights is also a great place to track your eligibility for the Partner Program, because it shows you if you reached the engagement criteria.
Here you can check if you have met all the requirements for the Partner Program and fill out the application form. It also explains some of the benefits you will get for becoming a partner with Discord.
This is where you enable Server Discovery for your community, a feature that allows users to search for servers they want to join from within the Discord app. By turning it on, your server will appear in the searchable list and thus be more discoverable by new users. This feature has a high user count requirement of 7000 Members along with server age and 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) requirements.
You can enable Membership Screening in this tab. This is Discord’s form of “accepting a server’s rules” and allows you to list your community rules that members new to the server must accept before they can send messages, add reactions, or Direct Message other members. This partly eliminates the need for locking channels behind a verification role using a bot, but this feature is not finished yet. Discord has said that there will be much more coming to this feature in the future. Does it replace a verification bot completely? Not yet, but let’s hope it can eventually.
Before the Welcome Screen, many communities used a bot to inform new members of important channels to visit before they use the server. By enabling it, new members will get a pop-up on their screen when joining the server telling them about the server and what channels you think are important for them to see. (In my experience, you should add no more than 3 channels, with 2 being recommended.) You can customize the description and set the channels with a short statement about each one. The main problem with this feature is once the user closes it, they can’t reopen it. By contrast, messages from a welcome bot will usually be available for members to view again later.
Community Servers has some notable features, but much of it is targeted at large servers or can be achieved using a Discord bot (which does not have a member count requirement). The major features that make it worth turning on is Membership Screening, Announcement channels, and Stage channels. Who do I think should be using Community Servers? Large servers that are aiming to turn on Server Discovery or aiming for the Partner Program.
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Our blog is sponsored by Statbot, the premier statistics and analytics Discord bot and dashboard for your community. It is an absolute must-have for any server that is serious about its growth and well-being. When a server has Statbot in it, you know it’s aiming to be the best of its kind! Statbot tracks member count, messages, minutes spent in voice, activity, and statuses. It offers many ways to view and use this data to help grow your community, such as, automatic role assignment according to users activity in your Discord server (A.K.A. Statroles), and channel counters that allow you to display all kinds of stats about your community to others as a channel (A.K.A. Statdocks). If you run a Discord server we highly recommend getting Statbot to help track your growth and augment your community.
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