How many hours does it take to install Discourse?

Hi, I’m not a developer so I hired a company that has been creating my website. Now I want the team to add Discourse to my site. How do I calculate or estimate how many hours it will take the developers to install and integrate Discourse? Is there any way to tell? Many thanks, Torsten

Set up Discourse in the cloud in under 30 minutes with zero knowledge of Rails or Linux shell. We recommend DigitalOcean, but these steps will work on any Docker-compatible cloud provider or local server.

:bell: Don’t have 30 minutes to set this up? For a flat one-time fee of $99, the community can install Discourse in the cloud for you. Click here to purchase a self-supported community install.


Even for an absolute beginner, it should not take more than a hour to get it up and running.


My site is hosted in my Google Cloud account, I take it will be as easy to install as with DigitalOcean?

Yes. It will be easy to setup.

Assuming that the Google Cloud meets the requirement, then yes, the installation should be pretty much the same

What is the ‘requirement’?

Yes, it takes about 15-20 minutes to install on Google cloud.
We did it and were really impressed with Google’s infrastructure.

The official discourse install steps work seamlessly (the one that Vinoth has shared the link for).


It’s all pretty well explained in the install document linked above. It’s been edited for several years so that it answers questions like the ones you’re asking.


Digital Ocean has been such a nightmare… their Discourse droplets keep blocking the cloudflare connection, but I got it to work with the basic Ubuntu server and self installation. Digital Ocean and Cloudflare are not friends and it can be a massive headache.

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Cloudflare isn’t necessary or recommended, it only adds complexity. Start out simple.


Oh hi @LoganRTW

That shouldn’t be the case, I have many customers running discourse on digital ocean behind cloudflare firewall. It takes a fair bit of tweaking at cloudflare side to make everything aligned and discourse needs to know that it’s running behind cloudflare so that it trusts their IP addresses.


Discourse can’t be installed while Cloudflare is active, that’s an instant problem.

Processes such as Let’s Encrypt require the server be directly accessible during setup.

I get the inclination to turn it on from the outset, if you’re using it in other places it makes perfect sense to start out that way, but in this case it massively complicates the install process to activate prematurely.

Even once Discourse is installed CloudFlare is arguably of limited utility. You may be able to offload some asset traffic, but you’re also adding extra network hops between the application and server which has an appreciable impact on how snappy things will feel. All of their performance features are know to cause problems, so if you do use CloudFlare with Discourse in the future I would recommend a page rule to “disable performance” for your community URL. CloudFlare definitely can’t optimize the javascript better than Discourse does itself.

DigitalOcean only block certain outbound SMTP ports, and even then typically only on the VPS of new accounts. As a rule they don’t put any network policy between their VPS and the outside world.


Said who?
Don’t give a letsencrypt email and edit the yml to include cloudflare template. Then one rebuild is all it needs to be installed with cloudflare and without letsencrypt.

Rocket loader and objects caching needs to be disabled at cloudflare for it to be used in a sane way but that doesn’t imply that one can’t install discourse with cloudflare.

THIS is probably my issue. See, Cloudflare isn’t just my proxy, it’s my registrar… so I will have to try to disable to proxy to see if I can rebuild with let’s encrypt.

The only site I have that is working is one that was registered on another registrar then transferred to cloudflare after the installation. This looks like a thread I need to pull. I’ll see how this goes.


Disabling proxy is simple. Go to dns tab in cloudflare … Click on that orange cloud … It’ll become grey and proxy will be disabled.

OK… so I’ll try this too. Having cloudflare as my registrar has proven weird. I was trying to use the cloudflare template and letsencrypt… so are you saying to not use the let’s encrypt templates or to just leave the LETSENCRTPY_ACCOUNT_EMAIL blank?

If You’re willing to use cloudflare (as a proxy/WAF) then the best choice is to let them handle the SSL and disable letsencrypt.
You’ll have to block access to your VPS (through UFW or something similar) to only allow cloudflare to be able to communicate. They also provide an origin certificate to deny any requests not presenting the certificate.

I did get it to work this way… however, I’m running things through forum.teksyndicate and if I get the forum to to work them my wordpress site (hosted elsewhere) is broken, lol. I can’t find the happy SSL for them all.

Umm … I may be able to help you with that. Is it only SSL that breaks on wordpress?
If so, Page rules can help.