Transitioning to Discourse later

Discourse cannot be installed on shared hosting accounts with Siteground, where I have my site. I just spoke to their support team.

A second hosting plan elsewhere for a small forum just starting out is not worth the money, unless it is really low cost.

Can anyone recommend other forum software compatible with Discourse so that I can later move to Discourse when the forum has more members and it’s worth paying for another hosting plan?

I do have WordPress running on siteground, but I don’t know whether any of the WP forum plug-ins are a) any good, b) compatible with Discourse (export/import).

Unless there’s a way to self-host Discourse for under $5/mo.

Any suggestions on a forum solution that allows me to transition to Discourse later, given the financial constraint?

I’m not sure I understand. Do you have an active forum already that you are looking to move?


I don’t have a forum installed yet. I’m looking for a forum that is compatible with Discourse so I can move to Discourse later.

My hosting provider supports forums that are PHP/MySQL based. Since I already have WordPress installed, a WP forum plug-in could be an option.

Short answer is that you can use BBpress on wordpress and that can be migrated to Discourse…

That’s what I sensed. Honestly, I would say pick PHP based or Discourse now and stick to it, rather than doing php and then trying to migrate after. You’re just going to confuse whatever members you have by doing that. Not to mention the time you’ll spend on the migration and re-coaching your community members. Plus, I’d argue your adoption rate is going to be higher with Discourse honestly.

On cost, the biggest challenge you are going to have is building an engaged community. Accounting for the time and effort it takes to build a community, $5-10/month is a pennies.

If community is core to what you are doing and you are on a tight budget, perhaps consider downgrading the package your WP install is on to free up funds for Discourse.

My 2c, set yourself up now and just go all-in on Discourse. Otherwise a facebook group might be a good idea. I’m taking some liberties here not knowing your full situation.


You’re creating a world of unnecessary hurt for yourself here. The needs of your community should make the choice between something like Discourse and BBPress pretty straightforward. The cost of running Discourse is at an all-time low, if $3/$5 is really out of your budget then this isn’t even a choice.


Does DigitalOcean allow Discourse to run on their $5 plan? I watched a YouTube video from about 6 months ago and DigitalOcean would only allow the $20 plan minimum. That is, 2GB and 2vps.

Yes, many people use $5 droplets to run Discourse. Follow this official guide to get started, it is up-to-date and people on this forum can provide help if you need it:

Even 2-3 years ago the $10 droplet was fine. The new $5 droplet meets all the requirements afaik.


@david, @steve_pd, Thanks. The video I saw was showing DigitalOcean’s one-click installer. Not sure why the do/did that. As long as SSH works it’s fine by me.

Was that created by DO? If so they’ve a vested interest in selling resources. I’m sure it’s not nefarious, but it’s also not documentation produced by the team.

The video was by a user who wasn’t technically savvy at the time, so maybe he misread what was happening.

Possibly, he had other things already installed which were taking up space, and DO’s software took that into consideration and said he would need a higher plan.

Maybe, but we don’t need to speculate either way - the team here produce really great documentation.