How to create a forum within paid subscription

Hi there,
Well I’m still checking all this out to see if migrating over is useful.

My question; how do I add a simple forum or some other way of forming a community within paid subscription?

As it stands I run a weekly live group (online using conference call) which people pay for monthly (they pay me directly currently.)

I intend to continue the weekly or even twice weekly live calls .

Plus upload new content to include video and have a forum or some way members can interact with each other outside of our live call.

It would be nice to have a couple of membership levels too but I assume Ghost doesn’t hold this option currently?

The final thing I want to add is a shop where people (members and non members) can buy mini courses on particular subjects but I’m guessing I will have to add shopify or something for that and assume Ghost doesn’t have the capability as a shop currently.
So what would be recommended as a forum or comments please?
Hope that makes sense… :thinking:

Sorry if this is answered somewhere I have clicked in various links but most don’t seem to provide an answer.

Thanks very much.

Hi Jul,

For your forum, I would recommend using Discourse, which you can self-host on a DigitalOcean droplet. The Ghost platform does not have in-built forum functionality. Discourse is very customizable and there really isn’t any other good options in terms of modern forum software, as far as I am aware.

You could put a link to your forum on a page or section of your website that is accessible only to members of your community who are on a paid subscription, if you like.

For your shop, you wouldn’t necessarily need to use Shopify. Gumroad may be a better and less expensive option. You are correct that Ghost does not have in-built store functionality.

If you have any questions I’m happy to chat on Slack.

Hi Jul!

As @DonaldH said you can use Discourse to have a forum like this one but you will need to self host on a separate droplet or pay a substantial amount each month.

Last week I worked on an integration called Atrium which lets you create a forum natively using Ghost’s membership features. I talked about it here :point_down:

This would let you filter which members could contribute to content on your site so you can do as you suggest and only let your paid members be part of the community.

All without using and hosting a separate service like Discourse.

Atrium is in early access right now and there are lots that could be added so I’d love to have a quick chat to see if it can fit your use case!

If you like the sound of it please drop me a message on here or DM me on Twitter :grin:

Thank you. I might be interested but I can’t deal with a new system that needs the kinks ironed out. I just don’t have the time at the moment. But I’d be interested once it’s up and running. :grinning:

Hi , thanks for that. Is setting up discourse simple ?

Hi , thanks for that. Is setting up discourse simple ?

Well everything is relative so it’s hard to say whether or not it’s simple, but having set up self-hosted Discourse forums quite a number of times and having done the same with self-hosted Ghost installations, I would say that Discourse is a fair bit trickier to set up and configure correctly (and then would take some work to customize the appearance to match your website, unless you are happy enough with the default styles). But as I said earlier, I’m not aware of any other good options for a modern forum.

This forum we’re using right now is running on Discourse.

Thank you. As I’m not very techy I might have to use a external forum separately then. I don’t use FB but there’s always discord I guess… still pondering on it all. I like the look of ghost abs the editorial components seem really intuitive and good and their ethos seems really good which is a massive plus as far as I’m concerned. I intent to have a membership with downloadable included and sell downloadable and physical products plus live weekly classes online. So a forum to get people chatting to each other rather than relying on me all the time is a must really . So just looking at different options.

Using Discourse you would need to have it on a subdomain anyway just like this forum here is at the subdomain That’s just a simple matter of configuring the DNS.

Slack is a lot more suitable for this type of thing than Discord in my opinion. Slack is free unless you need the premium features (which I never have).

I think for some websites, a chat room (like Slack or Discord) works much better than a forum. Depends on several factors, but generally, for smaller websites, I think chat is better.

Ok I’ll check it out I’ve never used slack .

With Blessings from Julie.

Still faffing. So I am looking at Casper it’s very limited what we can change the black footer does not fit my brand at all is it possible to change it?

Hey Jul, it’s simple to change stuff like the color of the footer using code injection.

For example, to make the footer blue, you would just put

	.site-footer {
		background: blue;

in the “Site Header” section at

Oh ok, but what about a specific hex colour ?

I’ve decided to stick with wix because they have a built in forum. But I’ve been toying with the idea as using ghost as my blog and mailer as they seem to be really good as an editorial platform . But it needs to match my colours … :grinning:

Replace the word blue with #0000FF or any hex colour code you prefer.

Ok Thankyou.

With Blessings from Julie.

@Jul this is a developer forum — if you’re not self-hosting or a developer, you might find our new private community for publishers more helpful.

As for creating a community with a paid subscription, I personally wouldn’t advise using Discourse unless you’re a developer. You could try looking at Circle (paid), or you could even use a Facebook Group (free), and then use Zapier to send paid members to your community.

Another option is to add member-only comments directly to your Ghost site, using Cove.

As for selling one-off payment digital courses, you can embed products from any e-commerce tool on your Ghost site, such as Shopify or Gumroad.