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ADMIN-QUICK-START-GUIDE.md

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🐣 Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your very own Civilized Discourse Construction Kit!

This guide includes suggestions for things to do as you get started.

💡 If you need to get back here later, scroll to the top of any page and click the Getting started button.

🌤️ Overview

Discourse is a powerful and flexible platform with many options for customization that you'll want to explore over time, but to get started, we recommend you:

  • Test your email configuration
  • Complete the setup wizard
  • Invite a few people to join you
  • Discuss ideas with your community
  • Update your welcome topic and guidelines
  • Adjust other customizations
  • Repeat!
  • Launch your community

🗣️ Please join meta.discourse.org, our official community, for documentation and support from other Discourse users.

📧 Test your email configuration

Email is required for new account signups and notifications. Test your email to make sure it is configured correctly! Visit the admin email settings, then enter an email address in the "email address to test" field and click send test email.

  • You got the test email? Great! Read that email closely, it has important email deliverability tips.
  • You didn't get the test email? Email deliverability is important to ensure users get signup emails and other notifications. Please see Recommended Email Providers for Discourse for template configurations for different providers.

🪄 Complete the setup wizard

You've already been through the setup wizard, but if you skipped some steps, you can go back now and update some basic settings at this link: /wizard.

🤝 Invite a few people to join you

It's helpful to collaborate with at least one or two other people early that can provide feedback on the decisions you're making about your community.

  • If your community allows people to freely sign up, send them the link and ask them to join.
  • If your community is invite only, go to your invites page and look for the + Invite button to create invite links you can share or directly email everyone you want to have in your community.

💡 Your community starts off in “bootstrap mode”, which gives early members a higher level of trust than the typical new member so they can help you launch your community. Your can adjust how long your community remains in bootstrap mode here.

💭 Discuss ideas with your community

Now that you have a few collaborators, you can start trying things out together and discussing ideas for your community.

  • The #Site Feedback is intended as a long term home for discussions like these about your site, how it works, and how you can improve it. It's designed to be open to participation by everyone who can access your community.

  • The #General category is a place to start discussions on topics of general interest to your community. You can create additional categories as you decide how you want to make space for different kinds of topics.

  • The #Staff category is only visible to admins and moderators and can be used for topics you wish to discuss privately with other admins and moderators.

    If you'd like to promote any members to become admins or moderators, visit their user page and click on the 🔧 Admin button, then click Grant Admin or Grant Moderator.

💡 You can use chat for faster paced discussions.

👋 Update your welcome topic and guidelines

Update the welcome topic in the #General category and the community guidelines on your FAQ page as you see fit. Go through it yourself with your initial members and see if there's anything you want to add or change.

To get you started, think about what you want new members to know about your community or do when they first join.

🎨 Adjust other customizations

To customize the look and feel of your community beyond what you configured in the setup wizard, you can change the following settings in the admin section:

[details="Advanced options"]

Discourse is very configurable and there is a great deal programmers and web designers can do to customize it, integrate it into other platforms, or address any use case. Users going down this route are highly encouraged to join meta.discourse.org, our support community, to learn from what others have and to give and get advice.

🔃 Repeat!

While you're getting started, you may find it helpful to repeat the steps above a few times. Invite a few more people, discuss ideas with them, and make adjustments to your site based on their input and feedback.

After one or two rounds, you should have a good sense of what kind of experience people have as they join your community and be ready to invite a wider audience.

🚀 Launch your community

Once you feel like things are in a good place to invite a wider audience, launch your community:

  • Publicize your site where you expect to find interested members
  • Invite more members
  • Help new members find ways to participate

You can continue to improve your community as you receive feedback from you members.

📚 Learn more

Here are some additional resources from the Discourse blog and https://meta.discourse.org that you may also want to explore.

[details="Additional resources for maintaining your server"]

  • One CPU and 1GB of memory, with swap, is the minimum for a basic Discourse community. As your community grows you may need more memory or CPU resources.
  • Our Docker container install is the only one we officially support. It guarantees easy updates, and all recommended optimizations from the Discourse team.
  • You should get an email notification when new versions of Discourse are released. To update your instance via our easy one click process, visit /admin/update.

Optional things you might eventually want to set up

[/details]


Have suggestions to improve or update this guide? Submit a pull request.