I was planning to have NodeBB host it for the $100/mo. It seems to be the going rate of most of the platforms I looked at. From what I see, it is fairly easy to customize, at least at a simple level(??). I wasn’t going to build from scratch.
Ideally, I would love to pass off to a programmer exactly what I want as far as integration between NodeBB and Wordpress is concerned, but I think it is poorly spent money to invest in a community platform when you haven’t created the community yet. (I think I even read that in a FeverBee book I purchased ). People come for the experience, content, and what you offer. Once I generate a strong community, then I would hire a programmer to add all of the extra functionality I am looking for. At this point, I think hiring a good marketer who excels at lead generation is a better way to spend money, since that is my weakness.
I’m not sure I need a static website. I already have one, but this would be separate. My plan is to have a site that includes a forum, online educational courses, videos, and a blog.
Do many people hire developers, or just use the off-the-shelf products and easily customize?