Starting membership site fresh from square one with Discourse


(Steve Nordstrom) #1

Hi folks, please critique my technology providers and plan!

I’m in the exploratory phase of a new membership site and I have minimal legacy users or systems to contend with, so I’m starting with a clean slate. Here’s what I have so far:

Software and SaaS Services:
Wordpress for basic marketing splash page and site to host paid digital downloads
Memberful / Stripe combo for member management and payments (includes plugins for mailchimp, wordpress and discourse)
Mailchimp for mail functions and marketing
Discourse for forum software (OF COURSE!)
LetsEncrypt for full-site SSL certificate

Hosting:
Amazon LightSail
- 1 VPS for wordpress (1vCPU 1GB RAM) $10/mo
- 1 VPS for docker instance (1vCPU 1GB RAM for Discourse) $10/mo
OR
DigitalOcean
- 1 VPS of 4GB 2vCPU 80GB for both docker and wordpress (nginx reverse proxy) $20/mo

I’d love to nix wordpress and use a protected forum for digital downloads but can’t seem to figure out how to do dripped content without some kind of wordpress plugin for support. I’ll be setting up a MailChimp landing page soon just to harvest some emails of interested users, and maybe a Patreon for folks to put a few bucks in while we get things going.

What do you think, will these play nicely together? There seems to be lots of wiggle room when it comes to tried-and-true ways to build membership communities… if you could start fresh with minimal startup costs what would you differently than above?