Here’s everything a brand new Discord community needs to thrive.
Discord started off as chat software but has branched out over the past year and now includes all sorts of communities. Folks are flocking to servers centered around sports, their favorite musicians and niche hobbies. Workplaces and family chats have even started moving to the platform.Looking to start your own server for your friends or an online community? Discord is a big place but creating your own space is simple. I’ll show you how.
Assuming you’ve set-up your Discord account already, creating a new server is pretty straight-forward. You can start a new server on the mobile app, desktop app or in your browser. I’m going to build a server using Discord in Chrome, but these steps are identical on every platform.
Creating a Discord server is step one — now we’ve got to build a community, add all the cool features we can and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Once your Discord becomes a little more popular, you might notice a lot of off-topic discussions. Instead of bringing out the ban hammer, try to organize your channels in a way that fosters that kind of conversation, but in the right place.
You can right-click on any channel to bring up an edit option. Here, you can write a brief description for each channel, outlining what its for any rules you might want to have inside.
You can also right-click a blank space in the channel sidebar to find an option to add categories. This is great if you have a large server where discussions branch out on several different topics.
You can rearrange and customize the look of your channels list by dragging and dropping individual channels.
Well-run Discord servers often have different tiers of leadership roles, each with different permissions on the board. You may want to give a few serious users the ability to create new boards or edit channels, or let your most active users become moderators to enforce the rules and set troublemakers straight. Here’s how to create roles, assign users and edit permissions:
You can always return to these settings and alter roles at any point. You’ll never have to alter your own permissions — you have access to everything. In this settings menu, you can also edit the default settings for everyone on the server. Find the @everyone role in the list of roles and you’ll be able to edit those permissions. Roles are used to divide up permissions, but they’re also fun. You can build roles for really active users or helpful community members to give them a treat for contributing to the server. These don’t need to come with special responsibilities. It can just be a cool nickname, like a Discord employee of the month designation.
A small team of bots is a must-have on any busy Discord server. Bots can automate a lot of regular tasks on a server, like reminding users of rules, playing music in voice channels, or helping newcomers navigate the channels. Dealing with bots may sound super techy and complicated, but there are a slew of helpful bots available online for free and adding them to your server is a breeze.
While Discord doesn’t keep its own list of public bots, there are a few places that keep track of the best available bots. Bots on Discord and Top.GG are the best libraries to search through. There are a lot of options. Check out the most popular bots, search for something specific or just browse aimlessly until you find one you want to try out.
I’m going to add a popular moderation bot called ProBot to my server and try setting up some rules on my server. Here’s how to add a bot:
Believe it or not, my little test server does not need an advanced admin bot. ProBot opened up a big dashboard upon joining my server with user charts, role organization — all sorts of tools that I just don’t have room for. No problem! Deleting a bot from your Discord server is just as easy. I just found ProBot in my user list, right-clicked and chose to kick it off the server. Just as quickly, I added another bot called MEE6 to my server and got exactly what I needed — this bot will now greet anyone new who joins my server!
All Discord bots operate differently. Some will live only on your server, while others give you access to completely separate dashboards. Most Discord bots come with instructions and are designed to be easy to use. It takes some experimentation to figure out what bots will work best for your server but trust us, adding and editing them until you find the right one isn’t as scary as it sounds.
These moderation bots had a lot of customization options but others, like this cute HaikuBot, just pulls out accidental haikus and requires zero settings adjustments.
I’d recommend digging through the top-rated bots on the sites listed above or running some searches on Google or Reddit for “Best Discord Bots for X” to find what you want.
These are the absolute must-haves for a good server. Once you’ve got the basics down, you may want to dive even further into customizing your Discord server. If you’re looking for next steps beyond this guide, I’d recommend looking into integrations you can set-up, to automate alerts when you update your Youtube channel or another related server makes a big change. You can even get into making your own bots. Good luck with your server!
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