How hard is to manage a Discourse community for non techies?

Hi everyone,

I am a newbie to discourse looking for some quick inputs from the wonderful people of this community.

Basically, I am someone who has been only using shared hosting ( cpanel, phpmyadmin and all that stuff ) all my life. I have nearly zero experience working with unmanaged cloud servers.

I am also a windows user since I owned a PC and have never used anything complex like Linux, UBUNTU or anything.

So, I recently planned to launch a discourse community for one of my projects. I also switched to Linux at my desktop and removed windows. I am not using the command line much though since its desktop environment solves most of the purpose for me.

My question is, after following online guides, I can make an install easily but How hard it is to manage discourse after installation especially for non-techies? Do I need to learn the command line or anything because not all the time copied commands will do the job for me?

Or once install is done, things can be managed easily from backend admin access?

P.S. I am a Digital Marketer with relatively good experience using WordPress, so I think I can learn Linux and related stuff relatively a little easier than many but I am unsure it will be any fruitful or not.

If anyone can point me to good resources ( preferably video courses ) to learn related stuff to discourse, ubuntu and Linux I will appreciate it.

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Quite simple, depending on what you need.
Basically, you only need to use the command line to install Discourse and, sometimes, to rebuild the application. Rebuilding the application is needed when changing configuration, installing plugins and from time to time, required for some updates.

If you didn’t read it yet, the 30 min install guide is a good start: discourse/INSTALL-cloud.md at master · discourse/discourse · GitHub

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A frightening number of people who use my installation service go years without ever doing even an upgrade. I am not aware of any disasters, and usually even a years old site will do a command line upgrade without incident. I don’t recommend that!

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I’m semi-techy (as in, I have an associate degree in web design earned in 2010 that I never used) but all of my knowledge is strictly using google to solve my own tech support problems.

I have very little issues managing it, although sometimes I do have more complex needs that I have to reach out for help with. I have a very experienced mod helper whom I regularly abuse for support, the support team here is phenomenal (we’re enterprise customers) and the community itself is pretty helpful too. 99% of what I need to do is easily doable within the software itself, either through standard features, plugins, or themes.

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Hehe. That’s because we manage it for you. :slight_smile:

There is a reasonable amount of work to do when self-hosting @sahilsharma_bs . You need to keep your site backed up and up to date. As Jay mentioned above, lots of people don’t stay up to date which can introduce problems down the line. The first thing we always tell people to do when something breaks is to update to latest. If you can’t do that (because it breaks customisations or whatever) then there’s not much we can do to support you.

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And the second thing we tell them is “chill out with all the random third party plugins since those can break you on every upgrade” :wink:

First party plugins (under the discourse github org) should always work, though.

TL;DR avoid third party plugins if you want the easiest smoothest maintenance experience over a period of years.

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