Setting up Discourse for Wordpress Comments!!

hello! this is a startup guide for noobs like myself to get the basic idea how things work, and save you time from Googling and have hard time to decide!

a short comment on Discourse; i haven't seen any better web-cms project in my life, and it is not accident that all open source projects are using it, with GTK recently joining too!

this blog is an example how Discourse works with embedding comments on posts. basically you write on your blog, and then Discourse automatically creates a new topic on a category you want; in this case Blog Posts Category

about Ghost

while article says "Wordpress" im actually using Ghost CMS, but i dont recommend it over Wordpress. both because of the lack of features and the absence of a plugin system, but also for their awful core community ..things that i unfortunately discovered later :(

in their Github they have currently 100 issues open; are you wondering how a such project has only 100 issues? simply because they close them without reasoning. and they even do that on their forums. people ask for help, and they just close topics as resolved, that aren't resolved at all

i went through some of Github issues and Ghost is not a good example how open source projects should work. apart code, behavior matters too if you want contributors, and Ghost hasn't exactly a crazy development

however Ghost has also some cool things, like the super nice editor, and that is Node so we don't mess with Php (like Wordpress), but in overall and at least for now im very disappointed from my decision to use it

Why not Disqus

by definition Disqus means: "This Sucks" and it sucks so much that Disqus was the main reason i lost interest and eventually shutdown WOGUE blog even if it had lots of views. on the other hand Discourse was one of the main reasons i decided to open a new blog; because community is everything and Discourse seems the perfect tool to engage!

the primary problem with Discus (aside tracking, ads, and not open source) is that is acting like a stupidity magnet with 5/10 comments being trash at the best; and i challenge you to show me a Discuss instance to disprove that

Discourse Cons

in comparison to Disqus, there are basically three:

  1. unlikely to Disqus that is centralized so someone can get notifications from another site, Discourse requires to make a direct connect to see notifications, plus of course a new account to comment
  2. Discourse similar to Disqus embeds comments on the end of the post, but for someone to post a new comment should go to actual Discourse page, and that is really the biggest issue
  3. Discourse requires to setup an instance your self plus a mail service. this article will show you how easy is, with under $10 a month; Discourse offers hosting but the pricing is ridiculously high, with the basic plan starting at $100 a month for just 100_000 views

Discourse Pros

everything else! the comment editor is a dream supporting markdown, not to mention you can build SSO (Single Sign Ons) to your blog and of course you get the actual forum thing too!

another major difference is that Discourse doesn't support multi-threaded comments. that is actually a huge advantage over Disqus because it "forces" people to "really communicate", rather everyone starting their own thread and saying their own stuff

Discourse is mostly targeting blogs with large audience and loyal viewers (returning) ..which brings the question, why i'm using it? :p well! because im optimistic that in two months from now, i'll have a minimum of 20_000 page views a day powered by Silverblue and GNOME! ..that they will become 60_000 because people will go in and out on Discourse..

..a sneaky plan specially because Discourse has Patreon integration!! and i plan to build SSO on blog and have a Premium (lal) without ads for patrons ..of course all income will go back to open source donations, so it is sneaky, but not evil ;p

Lets Get Started!

again this post isn't documentation but a guide to point you to very fast and reliable solutions, and get the basic idea how everything works!

Mail Server

first you need a Mail Server. just use Mail Gun! dont be afraid of the pricing! their Pay-As-You-Go plan with $0 will be enough to start, and if you ever need to change mail service, isn't big deal!

it takes 2 days to verify your account, but the process is very simple, while they have good support. i was completely clueless from mail services, but they responded immediately on a issue i had with GoDaddy DNS panel. in general, the most time i spent was to setup the email, rather Discourse; but if i ever need to redo, it will take 5-7 mins max!

Mail Gun is only for sending mails! not receiving!


that was the part i totally screwed up exactly because it was my first time. luckily for you, if you read this, you wont make the same mistake! the trick here is to setup Discourse on a server alone! thats because their docker installation handles everything! web server and SSL!!

if you are in Europe without any doubts use Hetzner! if you are outside Europe but you're targeting all around the world use Hetzner again! if you are in US and target mostly US audience then you may want to use Digital Ocean ..but are you sure you want to host your server under US regulations? ..i dont think so

watch at this ridiculously low prices!! unfortunately Hetzner only offers servers in Germany and Finland

it is very important to choose an Ubuntu 18.04 Server. thats because Discourse Docker image is made exclusively for Ubuntu, and you really dont want to modify the scripts, or setup Discourse from source!

in my case i used the ex42-nvme dedicated (not cloud) and i setup everything on a single machine (Discourse, Ghost, Gatsby, and a React App) simply because i didnt know. but if you do the same, see this guide how to reverse proxy Discourse from Docker  

Setup Discourse

so by now you have your domain name, your mail service and your server, just follow the Docker installation guide. it is really a single command, unless you fall in the same category as me with the reverse proxy, which in this case you should disable SSL from Discource Docker and setup your own on nGinx with Lets Encrypt that is very easy and most important free :p

oh and finally of course you need the Wordpress Discourse plugin!

maintaining Discourse

not even a worth to mention! these guys have done a fantastic job on everything, including backups! you dont need to worry about anything! however some Ruby knowledge would be welcome, at least for entering the container and run some Rake tasks


Discourse requires some extra work and bucks, but it totally pays off! it is really the very best comment system i've ever seen! the only really negative is that it doesn't allow comments directly from embedded :(

did you read smth terrible wrong?

it is you fault!! you should correct it on comments, so i will fix it!

do you know smth more?

please share whatever Silverblue and GNOME news i missed; here or community so i can blog about!!

sharing is caring :)