Discord grew from a humble gamers' alternative to Teamspeak and Skype into a communication giant for every kind of community you can think of.
It brings powerful community organization into a fun and flexible server that you can personalize. If you're familiar with platforms like Slack, or even old-school chatrooms, then you'll love Discord's ease of use and huge range of features.
In this post, we'll walk you through how to set up your very own server that your community will love to hang out in.
Let's get started.
First things first - you need to create your Discord server. It's easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes. Once you've installed and logged into Discord, click the plus symbol on the left-hand column of the Discord interface. If you've joined other servers, you'll see it directly underneath all of their icons.
You can use templates that give you ready-made channels or build it from scratch.
Then you're ready to go! Your brand new Discord server is active.
Next, you'll want to begin fleshing it out with roles, channels, and rules, so that your future members will know how to use it.
A Discord server with no branding looks sloppy and unfinished. To make your server pop, add a personalized Discord server icon! This is how members will be able to recognize your server out of those they have joined.
Visit your server settings and navigate to the server overview. Upload an image that's at least 512px square and save it. That's all there is to it!
A few tips on creating a suitable Discord server icon:
To structure your Discord server, you can create channels. If you've used Slack before, the channels in Discord work the same way. Channels organize different conversations, and you can have as many or as few as you like.
In your new server, you'll start with one text and one voice channel.
In text channels, you can type, send links, GIFs, and images. Users can reply to specific messages and create threads within one channel to contain individual conversations.
In voice channels, you can chat over voice, video, or share your screen with others.
To create channels, click the plus symbol and from here, name your channel. You'll have the option to make channels private too, so only selected roles will be able to access them (which we'll discuss later in this post).
Having multiple channels can get confusing. To make navigation easier for your members, you can organize channels into categories.
Click the arrow next to your server name at the top to create a new category (you can make this private too if you want). Then drag and drop channels around until it's organized how you want it.
Next up, you'll want to create different roles in your server. Roles help distinguish members in the community, and each has its own set of permissions.
For example, subscribers, moderators, and admins may all have different roles.
To create roles, head to your server settings. You can add and remove roles, name them, and assign a color. You'll also notice that there's an 'everyone' role, which defines the permissions of the members of your Discord server that don't have another role.
In the role permissions, you'll have complete control over who can do and see what. We strongly suggest leaving management permissions, such as editing channels and banning members, to moderators or admins that you trust.
When you've finished creating your roles, you might want to have members with roles displayed separately - and these will appear in the member list of each channel.
Every Discord server has its own rules. That's why it's wise to have a welcome channel so members joining the server know how you run things.
It's best to set up this welcome channel so no one else other than you or admins can make edits to it. That way, people won't type and flood out that important information!
Useful info to include in your welcome channel can be:
It can be helpful to new users if your invite directs them to this channel right away so they can orient themselves quickly.
To set up a welcome channel, simply follow the same steps for creating any other channel - just be sure to restrict the permissions so most members can view but not send a message.
Did you know there are dozens of third-party apps that you can integrate with Discord?
This means you can connect your Discord server with your favorite apps to boost the functionality way beyond just chatting and send funny GIFs.
For example, give your Patreon members a role and exclusive channel, provide Twitch subscriber perks, or use Nightbot's commands within your server.
How your community uses your Discord server, and what tools you use, will influence which features you add.
Here are some popular third-party integrations that you could consider:
You'll usually need to integrate these apps off Discord, but you'll find a list of the apps you've authorized by navigating to your Discord user settings. You can choose to disconnect them at any time.
Finally, once your Discord server is ready, you'll want to invite your members!
Inviting members is simple and there's a couple of ways to generate invites. You'll find the invitation link:
And you'll have the option to:
That's all there is to it!
Remember that as your Discord community grows, your server might change with it. Always be prepared to listen to feedback from your members to make your server easy to use and a fun and helpful place to be.