What would you tell your younger self? (New Discourse Install)

I’m about to embark on the journey of installing Discourse on my own server (DigitalOcean droplet).

My plan

Type of community: Invite only community
Type of installation: Simple cloud install as mentioned here
Server: Digital Ocean droplet (Premium AMD, 2gb ram)
Transactional email: Postmark with smtp configuration
DNS: Cloudflare ( I went over https://meta.discourse.org/t/using-discourse-with-cloudflare-best-practices/293405)
Estimated community size: 100 users
Domain: I already have the subdomain ready with email setup under the subdomain.
Features: For now, only interested in the core plugins.

My experience: I have experience on running Wordpress websites on my own web servers but I’m new to Discourse and community platforms in general.

If you could give your younger self advice on installing Discourse for the first time, what advice would you give?


If I had to give an advice to myself from 7 years ago, it would be to RTFM and don’t let the geek inside stress over the logs being thrown in my face while install is progressing. It isn’t failed until it says it failed.


Don’t go overboard. I got too excited with themes, plugins, and the watched words list and added way too many. A few themes is enough, only install the plugins you’ll really use, and don’t block nothing that has to do with your community.


I would say to not do raffles to get mod and admin spots. Combined with my friend group, that’s kind of a recipe for disaster because who hasn’t had immature friends end up getting power in some way? For that, it can be summarized as “be smarter.” Oh, and don’t forget about at least knowing about Discourse before making a Discourse forum with like, 5 minutes’ worth of experience running one.

Also, this feels like a question my 4th/5th grade teacher would give us lol.

Edit: Definitely my 5th grade teacher. My 4th grade teacher would make us reflect when we goofed off, but she’d only go direct punishments and I was one of the best students :D


Thanks for the reminder. I’ve spent the last few days going over the official docs at github and will continue to do so. Note taken: don’t stress over logs; only worry when explicitly says something has failed.

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Great advise! I have seen Discourse offers a great deal of customization and extensibility. While that’s exciting, I’ll be disciplined to stick with core functionality for months before even diving into adding features. What do you mean by “don’t block nothing that has to do with your community”?


Great advice! While my community will be relatively small and I may be able to monitor it on my own, there might be a point I’ll need to delegate some responsibility. Thanks for pointing that out because friends would’ve been my first point of reference.

lmao, it does sound like it.


On my site I set it to make way too many words for review that literally had nothing to do with the forum. The site has not existed for over a year now but my point still stands


GOT IT. Thx so much for the input. Will keep that in mind.


Since you’re young:
Spend a few days to go over all the settings one by one and try and understand them. Discourse is very very broad and this will give you an extremely good foundation.


Great advice. Will do that! :heart: