Unsure About How to Start a Website Project

Hi, Kimmie here. I have a little experience with PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Docker, but, you know, some of those more than others—okay, more than a little with PHP.

Apologies in advance for this being so fuzzy. I’m just trying to get my head around where to start because I’ve been conceptualizing a site I want to build for writers, and one part of that is forums along with other features.

I like Discourse, like, a lot—I even spun up my a Discourse site for fun—and I want to use it, but I also have other functionality I want to add: reviews, critiques, socializing, etc. Heck, maybe even some kind of paid membership someday, but that’s not a pressing concern.

I’ve been poking around the meta-Discourse a little while, but I’m undecided on the best approach here and would appreciate some thoughts.

Discourse runs in Docker, so maybe I could make my PHP site in Docker and let them talk to each other including the SSO stuff and Nginx? I’m not familiar with Nginx, but I’m a quick learner. Or just make a PHP site with the Docker discourse running beside it, er, somehow?

Or should I make my other features as a Discourse plug-in? It’s really just a handful of features, but those features are really the main part of the site I’m considering, you know?

Is there any ideal or recommended setup for this situation? Any thoughts, suggestions, tips, links … encouragement … would all be great at this point. I’m just trying to get an idea of which technologies I should start cozying up to, I guess.

By the way, Discourse saved me a ton of time. Having managed a forum in the past, I had this growing list of ideas of how to create something that was, well, just like this. So I already feel like I hit the jackpot finding Discourse.

Thanks in advance for any help I can get!

— Zero Sum Kim

That’s great to hear, but I have a feeling you’ll get better answers to most of that on a different forum!

For the Discourse-specific parts, you probably want to get the "socket"ed setup running: Running other websites on the same machine as Discourse

Then you can add another server_name for the main site and muck with its config as much as you want :slight_smile:


Thanks @riking I’ll check that link out and keep looking. I was hoping maybe someone had tried a similar setup and would have some thoughts, I guess, but no worries. I get this is the place for more Discourse specific stuff, and I’m sure I’ll be back with some of that too :smiley: