Brand new user. Could use basic guidance

As a new user of Discourse, I’m a bit overwhelmed. Should I say that I am the one and only admin and user at this point.
How do I create new categories?
What is the best way of getting help as I go along?

p.s. Mine will be a small, closed community as I bring on testers of my software’s MVP. As I am the one and only developer and support person, I need to minimize the hit to my time as people get into the testing and evaluating process. I just want people to feel comfortable about posting problems, concerns, etc. and I’m hoping Discourse won’t overwhelm them as users. (The software they’ll be testing for me will be overwhelming enough.)


Hi Laurence! When you first set up your forum, you should see a special default topic with the title “READ ME FIRST: Admin Quick Start Guide” (in the private “Staff” category). This contains an overview of most of the basic info for configuring your site as an admin — things like testing email, setting up categories, and sending invites.

This is also quite good as a basic guide for getting up to speed on a lot of the terminology and features, both for you and as something to point users to as needed: Discourse New User Guide

These blog posts are useful as well:

For further specific questions that arise as you get everything set up, best place to get help is right here! First thing I do is usually try some searches here on Then if you’re unable to find existing discussions / answers, go ahead and make a new topic.


This is all excellent advice ^

As a hosted customer you are also welcome to email us directly on with questions @Laurence_Hansen