Looking for a way to test conversing


My 5-person, geographically-diverse writers group is looking for a new venue, as the mini-Ning platform where we’ve spent the past 7 years is being discontinued. There is a lot that we like about Discourse, but some members want to get more comfortable with it before we make the switch, particularly with the experience of “conversing.” Changing the interface we use to interact feels like trying to speak a new language.

We’ve been testing in the Sandbox, but whenever we start to get going we run into the daily post limit. Would it be possible to lift that limit? Or do you have any other ideas about how we could delve a little more into Discourse before take the plunge of starting our new hanging out place in a Discourse world?

(Alan Tan) #2

You can sign up for a 14 days free trial with us to evaluate Discourse without all the limits on https://try.discourse.org/ :wink:

(Jeff Atwood) #3

We are also happy to extend the trial for you as needed, no problem. Just ask!

(Jay Pfaffman) #4

It’s als possible to import you Ning data into discourse.


Thank you for these quick and friendly responses. The spirit here is definitely one of the many appealing things about Discourse.

A 14-day free trial would be great, but I don’t see that for the self-support option–which makes sense since the main investment there is the set-up, and we’d have to do the set-up for the free trial. Am I understanding correctly?


It would be awesome to import our Ning data. When I looked into this, it seemed to me that people had mixed results. However I hadn’t found this more recent link, which gives such specific instructions, so that seems hopeful.

I see that one of the steps is “Clear your existing data from your local Discourse instance” so that means if we want to import our Ning data we’d need to do that when we establish our site. I had been thinking we’d just worry about the transition for now, and try to add the data later, but that’s not really an option, correct?

(Jay Pfaffman) #7

That is a fine path. One typically imports data on a development machine and restores the backup to the production one, so it’s no problem. If you go with discourse.org hosting, and pay for a year, they will import your data, probably improving the Ning importer along the way.


I’m not following the lingo here. By discourse.org hosting do you mean the $100/month or more options?


(Kane York) #9

Unfortunately, due to the human effort involved, imports are only performed at the Business or Enterprise service levels, which feels like overkill for a site that 7 people are using.

Even the Standard tier seems like too much for you, honestly. The $99 self-support, or a self-hosted install, seems to be the best option for your described usage of Discourse. And that way, you get your very own VPS that you can mess around with.


Thanks, @riking, that was the conclusion I came to as well. It’s only 5 of us, actually. Fortunately, my spouse knows something about web development, so we have some good “self”-support. Am I correct in understanding, then, that there’s no 14-day trial for the self-support? If that’s so, I’ve made no progress on my original question about how we might try conversing. Could a lift of the daily post limit in the Sandbox be possible?


@tgxworld, the 14-day free trials are only for the standard, business, and enterprise options, correct? With only 5 members, we’re looking at the self-support option. Any other ideas?

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #12

Yes. Just create a brand new install using our installation guide and the proceed to test there. Using Digital Ocean, you are billed hourly so it’s cheap if you coordinate and do the testing in a small amount of days.


I am trying to set up a test site today. I have two questions:

Can you give me a link to that installation guide? I did some Googling, and it wasn’t clear which was the one from Discourse.

I tried to get started on Digital Ocean with a one-click set up. I thought it would be the $10/month rate, but I’m only given choices for $20/month and higher. I’ve submitted a support ticket to them, but haven’t heart back yet. Since our site is only for our 5-person group. I am really hoping to keep expenses low. Do you happen to know how I can get the $10/month rate? Is that only for people who pay the $99 set up fee?

Thank you!

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #14

Our guide: discourse/INSTALL-cloud.md at master · discourse/discourse · GitHub

(Jay Pfaffman) #15

You can set up a $10/month droplet and run ./discourse-setup as described in INSTALL-cloud.md.