Discourse

Discourse is modern forum software for your community. Use it as a mailing list, discussion forum, long-form chat room, and more!

Done For You One-time Discourse Installation Options

Discourse is the premier forum platform that solves the issues of forums and groups in an elegant way. We help you get started using Discourse quickly and easily by offering straight forward installation options for those who cannot afford Discourse.org’s hosting. For general information about self-hosting, please see below before emailing with questions.

If you do not already have a Digital Ocean account this link will get you a free month!

Click here to create your Mailgun account. For Mailgun, you need to provide a credit card, verify your email address, and subscribe to the “Flex-Pay As You Go” plan, which costs less than a dollar for your first 1,000 emails. If you want to use a server other than one from Digital Ocean or a mail provider other than Mailgun (and you know how to configure them), we offer custom installation services.

We create your Digital Ocean droplet, configure mailgun, and install Discourse, but you will need to create DNS A, TXT, and MX records to complete the installation.

In addition to these self-hosting packages, We also provide professional management and maintenance of your Discourse installation.

Installation Packages & Pricing

Discourse Managed Services

All installs include up to three rebuilds from the command line in the first six months. If your site needs an upgrade of Docker, the Discourse image or for some other reason cannot be upgraded from the web interface, I will solve the problem free of charge.

Let’s Encrypt HTTPS encryption

Discourse will be encrypted with a free certificate from with Let’s Encrypt. Certificates are automatically renewed.

Incoming Mail

Enable reply-by-mail and post-by-mail features on your forum. I will install and configure an incoming mail on your server as described here and enable reply-by-email. You can then enable automatic posting to groups and categories using addresses like support@yourforum.com.

Basic Plugins

Basic plugins includes all of these:

Advanced Plugins

Advanced plugins includes all of the following. At least 2GB of RAM is recommended.

  • Data Explorer — run live SQL queries and ad-hoc reports
  • Assign — assign a topic to staff for handling
  • Topic Voting — vote up favorite topics
  • User Notes — annotate user accounts
  • Canned Replies — automate common staff replies
  • Math — Write LaTeX in Discourse!
  • oAuth 2.0 and LinkedIn login support
  • Checklist – add interactive checklists

Custom Plugins

Installing custom plugins involves removing any plugins installed with the Standard or Advanced Packages and/or install any other plugin you wish. Non-official plugins can break your server if the plugin maintainer does not update the plugin to keep pace with Discourse’s fast-moving development cycle.

Mailgun Mail Delivery

Discourse requires mail delivery to work. Mailgun is my recommended provider. At the time of this writing, there is no longer a free plan, but the current rate is $0.80/1000 messages, and they do not bill for < $1, so I believe that you should be able to send up to 1249 messages per month for free. You must create your own Mailgun account, verify your email address, and provide credit card information. When you place the order you will provide an API key that will enable me to configure Mailgun to deliver mail for your Discourse server host name. I will provide you instructions for configuring DNS to activate Mailgun delivery for your domain.

If you prefer to use another mail service that you have already configured, order the Professional Install and the Custom Mail Server add-on.

 

Custom Mail Server

Use another mail delivery service that you configure. You must provide me with the SMTP server address, username, password, and port. It is your responsibility to configure the server to deliver mail from noreply@yourserver.com. Please see this custom install form to place your order. When you click the “Custom Mail Sending Service” checkbox options to enter your SMTP credentials will appear.

Discourse Self-Hosting FAQ

What do I need to do to place an order and get started?
  • Create a Mailgun Account. You must provide Mailgun with a credit card number and validate your email address. Failing to do so will cause the installation to fail and you will need to re-submit your order (free of charge) when the problem has been corrected.
  • Create a Digital Ocean account. Using this referral link you will get a $100 credit good for your first 60 days, making your first two months free.
  • Place your order, including your Mailgun and DigitalOcean API keys and your desired Discourse host name (e.g., forum.example.com).
  • Wait about 10 minutes for an email with instructions, and create the DNS records that it outlines.
  • Wait for DNS to propagate (usually a few hours). When those changes reach Mailgun and the Literate Computing servers, a script will complete the Mailgun configuration, enable https, and, if your package includes them, install plugins, and configure the mail server. When those processes are complete, you will receive another email letting you know that the job is done.
  • Visit your site, create your account, and run the setup wizard.

NOTE: Installation services include only installing Discourse, not any support configuring Discourse, or domain registration or DNS setup. The installation job is done when your setup is properly functioning and you have successfully logged in an run the setup wizard. If you need help after that, you can seek free help on https://meta.discourse.org/, or pay me for priority support.