Few questions about the software (new comer)

Hi everyone. Just have a few questions about the software. I come from using Mybb/Xenforo/IPB software, and find discourse to be very clean, but still have some questions.

  1. What is the difference between installing discourse for free to your server, vs paying the monthly payment ($100/month)? What are the advantages/disadvantages for free vs paid?

  2. What are typical prices for custom themes/plugins on discourse? I know prices vary, but on average, what is the cost?

  3. Where can I find a list of for sale themes/plugins for discourse? Also, is there a section to find services offered e.g. installation, security, etc. services?

  4. Any notable differences between discourse and other forum softwares?

Thanks everyone!


I’ll try to answer your questions and other members can chip in with more information :wink:

  1. There is not much difference between being hosted by Discourse or hosting a site yourself. There is more flexibility in my opinion as you can install whatever plugins you want etc.

Hosted by Discourse

:white_check_mark: The support is really good!
:white_check_mark: Different plans available to suite your needs

:x: Due to different hosting plans there are limitations such as what plugins you can install on your site

Self Hosted

:white_check_mark: Can customise and add plugins at your own will

  1. They vary as you said I’ve see $20 - $50 quite often.

We don’t have this as far as I am aware

Does this section of the Discourse website help?

There is also a #marketplace category

  1. There are many notable differences between Discourse and other platforms. One of them is that I am not embarrassed to recommend Discourse to other people unlike other forum software. The main (and best reason) is that Discourse is open source! It also has an extremely modern look and feel. One of its best features is the trust level system

See #plugin , but it’s not a complete list. Plugin directory | Discourse - Civilized Discussion lists official plugins used on CDCK hosting. You can consider those safe. I install most of those on my installation packages. Though I do my best to see that the Discourse official Standard Installation instructions are clear, I’ve also spent several years automating installations for those who don’t want to deal with the unix command line.

Also, (other than the official plugins linked above) don’t go looking for plugins until you have a problem that you want to solve, otherwise, you’re asking for trouble. Some people think “I’ll install every plugin I can find to see what they do”. It never ends well.


Thanks for those links.

As far as your last comment goes, that is something I’m already aware of, but I do like adding the basics and eventually only going the route of getting custom work done if anything special is needed. Thanks again for the helpful links :slight_smile:

@ondrej Thank you as well! Learned a lot from your post and already went and setup discourse