How easy is Discoure to configure at first?

(Yunus Tierney) #1

I have tried to ask this question before but the only answers I have received are from seasoned Discourse staff or developers. Ideally I would like to hear from people who have set it up themselves and did not know anything before doing so.

Can anyone tell me how much work / time to be expected to set this up once installed - for someone like myself who would be learning it from scratch. I am a web designer with CSS and HTML skills. That’s it. I would be setting this up for a client and need some realistic expectation so I know how to price the work offered to my client.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #2

The Discourse set-up takes literally 30 minutes if you follow the guide closely.

After that, the personalization, social logins, seed posts, integrations, badges, etc can eat your time easily if you don’t scope well.

Also, try to start without plugins, because that can shoot you on the foot easily.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

Not sure that’s entirely what was being asked? My rule of thumb is this:

If you are comfortable configuring a new WordPress site, you will be comfortable configuring Discourse.

(Mittineague) #4

You’re talking after successfully installing it?

I’m curious, with a topic titled
"READ ME FIRST: Admin Quick Start Guide"

Did you read it?

(Ringgit Malaysia) #5

Let me chime in to share. I don’t have a lot of technical skills. Hell, I even have trouble with Javascript in my Blogger template. But I was able to successfully run Discourse in Digital Ocean droplet. This is also the first time I bought a domain ( I went with godaddy) and the first time I use an email service like mailgun.

So, you can imagine my high learning curve - messing with DNS and then emails and then installing Discourse. But I must say the installation of Discourse is super easy. It’s like idiot proof easy.

And I even integrate Discourse into my Blogger blog through some of the instructions here. This integration part took two days but I think someone with Javascript could probably do it in minutes but I digress. check out my discourse site

(Yunus Tierney) #6

Thanks Jeff. That does actually help because I do that all the time.

And thanks Ringgit Malaysia. That is helpful.

(Yunus Tierney) #7

No, Mittineague, I did not read that. I have not seen it. I have not installed it if that is part of the installation docs. As I said, I am trying to get an idea how to anticipate my time to install and configure for a client, hoping that asking such a question might be faster and more insightful than doing it.

And your blunt sarcasm only serves to discourage people from asking questions when they are new.

(Mittineague) #8

Sorry if the post came across that way, no sarcasm was intended.

My fault for assuming that because you were asking about “after installing it” that you had actually installed it.

As for the “did you read it” you might be amazed at how many questions this forum gets precisely because that topic wasn’t read.
* the uppercase is not mine, that is the actual topic title.

(Yunus Tierney) #9

Yes, that is what I was wondering about. Not having done it, it is hard to know what defaults will be sufficient and how much time will be needed to get it up and running for my client. They are a group of consultants wanting a private area to discuss like minded topics. I am hoping that the default settings will be sufficient to start out with and then they can contact me for customizations as they come up. Thoughts?

(Yunus Tierney) #10

Thanks for that. From what I have read, it sounds like I can get it installed, so I was just fishing for post installation expectations.

(Mittineague) #11

Well, the Admin UI is quite extensive, so it might take a while to learn your way around it.

The good news is a lot of the more common tasks are very easy.

For example all text can now be edited. And the Search works well.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #12

If it’s a private area the looks aren’t that important, so the defaults are probably enough.

It gets harder when there is a need to adapt to a very strict corporate look.


If I can do it, anyone can, and I don’t even have your CSS/HTML skills. Seriously, I setup my forum in 2 nights.

First night was the DigitalOcean one-click install, fine tuning Linux a little bit, and going through all the Settings parameters in the Discourse Admin CP. I also created a Mailgun account used to send forum emails, notifications, etc.

Second night was used to create my Categories, choose colors for the header, links, etc.

It has also helped (me) that my forum is ‘bone stock’. I don’t have any extra plugins installed, no single sign-on, etc. I have also disabled a few Admin settings (reply via email, badges system) that I either didn’t understand or didn’t know how to configure.

After that it has been some regular reading on this forum a couple times a week. I don’t know enough to help answer most people’s questions here, but I learn a lot simply from poking around the forum.

(Jeff Wong) #14

For the admin panel, I generally find I don’t need to do much heavy customization. I’ve changed the default look & feel through colors + css customization. Aside from that, most of my time was spent under the “settings” tab. Most of the defaults on these are pretty sane, but you should read through them to get an idea on what’s possible to configure or integrate as Discourse is very flexible. The descriptions are pretty explanatory – anything that isn’t is probably not something you’d need to mess with.