Community Hosting

I’ve been very happy with our Discourse forum, but I’ve been using the paid Discourse hosting, and it’s becoming cost-prohibitive for me.

Discourse is open-source software, but is not the easiest to run on a shared hosting plan, and so I’m looking at the possibility of moving the Notenik forum to different software: PhpBB, or something along those lines.

I wanted to give all of you a chance to comment with any suggestions you might have, though, before making a move.


I’ve tentatively started a new forum using Flarum, over at Feel free to take a look and let me know what you think.

Discourse is the best user experience by far. It’s got so much going for it. I’m the community manager for The FileMaker Soup which also runs on Discourse. I can appreciate that the costs add up. It’s not the cheap option.

I do like Discourse but if it doesn’t make financial sense to continue with it then Flarum looks like a reasonable alternative. Would you be able to migrate the content from here across? Would be a shame to lose all the good stuff that has accumulated here.

I don’t know that I would be able to migrate existing content. I’m open to options, if someone has some bright ideas.

Reading this post it seems like using a Discourse droplet on Digital Ocean is a cost-effective approach. Might be worth considering.

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Thanks for the link. Let me check this out.

Well, I think I’ve come full circle, and have about decided that the managed Discourse hosting is worth the money. It’s been really nice to have the community, and it’s been really nice to not have to worry about any sort of server admin stuff.

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The official Discourse-brand hosting isn’t the only managed Discourse hosting option. I’m not sure whether it’s more or less expensive, but I’ve been using Communiteq for a couple of years now (they were originally called “DiscourseHosting”). They automatically apply all updates, and they’ve answered my two or three inquiries promptly and politely.

They have data centers in Washington, D.C., and in Frankfurt, Germany. As a German company, they fully support all things GDPR.

You might also want to take a look at Memberful (which Jason Kottke uses and recommends) or Patreon or some such. Since your excellent software is free, some users might welcome the chance to pitch in for discussion-group hosting costs. I produce a bunch of free tools for use by academics researching J.R.R. Tolkien, and a small but vital portion of that community sends me contributions to offset my expenses. I would find it very hard to justify my outlay to my family if it wasn’t partially offset by others who value what I do!

Thanks! These look like excellent suggestions!

OK. The move to Communiteq is complete! Sorry for the outage. But we should be good to go now!

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