How to reduce the DiScourse server costs

A focussed conversation on the options

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Here’s the current rate, to be paid from May, if we didn’t change anything

Your usage is pretty high and technically requires our Enterprise plan ($2k/mo) to cover your traffic, but I’m comfortable cutting you a deal and allowing you to remain on Business+ at $600/mo if that will help you survive.


There was discussion in the other thread earlier, about being able to install a Discourse forum on a different server (Digital Ocean?) To save server costs. Is this going to be investigated?

We still had around £500 per month in subs before Discourse cut that option, so I’m sure we could afford it, if the new server is even just a bit cheaper.


Yeah. We need to look into it to check it would definitely be less with the volume of traffic we get what other costs there might be. Sometimes are some hidden costs with servers.

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This reads like haggling to me . Has a lower counter offer been made?


Is there a breakdown of costs anywhere? Or is it just “here’s the fee for your traffic”? This would make it far easier to estimate savings from self-hosting as well as direct conversation in this thread so should be shared if such a thing exists.


Investigating the cost of alternative hosting would be useful for counter offers anyway

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some good info here I’ve skim read:

apparently you can pay a company to manage the forum for you, e.g. updates, maintenance etc, and it might work out cheaper even with the hosting added on.

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We’d have to look into how reliable and trustworthy they are too. Lots of companies go under and you’re left needing to move.

I guess we also can’t afford to consider somewhere ethical and sustainable for our hosting. I tried researching this once and my brain hurt.

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This is a really thoughtful post so wanted to ensure it didn’t get lost in the other thread.

All really key points.

There is a forum style / blog comments post option in Geneva but I haven’t seen any big chats using it which is why I thought it might be worth experimenting with.

Definitely don’t think Geneva is the answer but it a free option and may have a use in reducing costs in much the same way potentially a Twitch DJ stream for Dissonance Radio potentially could or something.

One thing I will add is that I often find a lot of threads on here overwhelming to dip into so am not always the best barometer, hence asking a lot of questions as to what the priorities are and what’s manageable a solution vs cost.

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Hearing reports that Elon Musk has just bought DiS for 44 billion PROF$


@sean are you okay with a group of us trialing a 3rd party server set up with a discourse install, obviously w/o any DiS branding for now? My personal take is that this is probably the logical first step, given that most people want to stick with the platform.

Moreover, what is everyone’s take on doing this as a proof of concept thing, and then perhaps doing some more robust testing afterwards? If people are in favour, I think step one would be identifying some appropriate hosting, putting some money in a pot, and doing an install of the software.

I’ve had a look at some of the specific requirements for this and it seems as though we need a mail provider set up BEFORE doing an install of the discourse software. I assume this is in order for discourse to send confirmation emails, messages etc to registered users. We could just do a free trial using something like Flexible Pricing & Email Delivery Plans - Email API Service | Mailgun for the test run.

@admins do you know which specific plugins DiS currently uses on this build of the forum? I think this might have an impact on what sort of hosting we choose.

@megalithicrock - I can’t remember the name of the providers you have used before. Maybe that would be a good start if we had a go on that? Digital Ocean are also an option, but I still don’t really understand their pricing model.

We should set up another poll if people are in agreement that this is the first step towards reducing costs long term, and whether they can get involved. For me, the issue of organizing funding, transparency, governance, and safeguarding is a separate, and very much needed, conversation to this, which is purely technical in character. Since we have about 3 months to find a solution, staying with Discourse as a host is already an option, and I suppose it would be up to sean to negotiate a price with them, so I’m not really going to get involved with that.

  • yes, I think this is a good first step
  • no, I don’t think this is what we should do at this point but don’t have any suggestions.
  • no, I don’t think this is what we should do at this point and have suggestions.

0 voters


be as blunt as you like with feedback and suggestions btw, I have no fundamental attachment to any ideas in particular and don’t take things personally. just want to find a way we can save the forums

Do You Even Lift Joe Biden GIF by Obama


Plus say that other providers are providing something similar for much less if the taskforce finds that’s the case

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You are, frankly, doing god’s work here prof imo.

free-trialling, quietly, a prospective new dis hosting setup, is by miles the most likely way to catalyse moving the forum over to somewhere cheaper.

if i can be of any help, at all, i will be - PM me if you just need someone to slog through any documentation or read up on owt specific.


I messed this right up

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This is what I was gonna suggest doing once we work out where but if it’s quick and not gonna cost you much (lemme know if you need me to PayPal a few quid if it helps)

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Also, I wonder if Discourse have introduced this as a way to lower number of pageviews? Discourse 3.0 is Here!

The back end is quite confusing, let’s see if this list works:

Installed Plugins

Name Version Enabled?

Ad Plugin for Discourse|1.2.5|Y|Settings|

Official affiliation plugin for Discourse|0.2|Y|Settings|

supports submitting posts to akismet for review|0.1.0|Y|Settings|

Enable login via “Sign-in with Apple”|1.0|N|Settings|

Assign users to topics|1.0.1|N|Settings|

Lets you automate actions on your Discourse Forum|0.1|N|Settings|

Show a birthday cake beside the user’s name on their birthday and/or on the date they joined Discourse.|0.3|Y|Settings|

Display a calendar in the first post of a topic|0.3|N|Settings|

Add canned replies through the composer|1.2|Y|Settings|

This plugin integrates discourse with a number of chat providers|0.1|Y|Settings|

Add checklist support to Discourse|0.4.1|Y|Settings|

Interface for running analysis SQL queries on the live database|0.3|Y|Settings|

A plugin to make it easy to explore and find knowledge base documents in Discourse|0.1|N|Settings|

Adds footnote support to Discourse|0.2|Y|Settings|

Award users with a score for accomplishments|0.0.1|N|Settings|

Github Linkback, Github Badges, Github Permalinks|0.3|Y|Settings|

Enable Login via LinkedIn|1.0|N|Settings|

Enable Login via Login with Amazon|0.0.1|Y|Settings|

Add support for login via LTI 1.3|1.0|N|Settings|

Official mathjax plugin for Discourse|0.9|N|Settings|

Enable Login via Microsoft Identity Platform|1.0|N|Settings|

Generic OAuth2 Plugin|0.3|N|Settings|

Add support for openid-connect as a login provider|1.0|N|Settings|

Integration features between Patreon and Discourse|2.0|N|Settings|

Apply policies to Discourse topics|0.1|Y|Settings|

Allows users to react with emojis to a post|0.2|N|Settings|

This plugin enables support for importing embedded content from multiple RSS/ATOM feeds|0.0.1|N|Settings|

Add a solved button to answers on Discourse|0.1|Y|Settings|

Uses the Spoiler Alert plugin to blur text when spoiling it.|1.1.0|Y|Settings|

Integrates Stripe into Discourse to allow visitors to subscribe|2.8.1|N|Settings|

Adds the ability to vote on features in a specified category.|0.5|N|Settings|

Gives the ability for staff members to attach notes to users|0.0.2|N|Settings|

Creates an automated Year in Review summary topic|0.1|N|Settings|

Zendesk for Discourse|1.0.1|N|Settings|

Preview how Widgets are Styled in Discourse|

  • i’m on team prof
  • i’m just gonna stay back and watch with my full support

0 voters