Digital Ocean $15 vs $20, what is a better option for Discourse?

Digital Ocean is a recommended provider for Discourse self-hosting.

It recently introduced a $15 / mo plan. Compare it to $10 and $20 plans that were there and are still an option:

It is interesting that the $15 option has 3GB Memory, which is +1GB compared to the $20 option. Vice-versa, $20/mo has 2 vCPUs.

Not considering the SSD Disk in this comparison, because likely you’re going to add Block Storage for image hosting anyway, which comes at $10/100GB price.

So, we’re currently hosting our 2300 members community at the $20/mo option. All is good and is pretty fast. Pageviews are between 200k and 500k / month, depending on the season.

Now, would I benefit moving to the $15/mo option to get more memory? Will downgrading the number of CPUs from 2 to 1 damange performance considerably? I somewhere read Jeff Atwood’s comments about CPU speed being much more important for Discourse than the number of CPUs.

Any comments? Any recommendations? Discourse team, you should know about it the most. Please give some insight.

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What’s your current bottleneck? Without knowing that, it’s impossible to say which dimension needs to be expanded.


Usually, the best plan is to go as cheap as you can then upgrade whenever you hit a limit (CPU, storage, or transfer). Resizing droplets is really easy, so unless you need more of something, save yourself $5-10 bucks a month until you do.

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I believe my bottleneck is the budget. The forum itself has been running smoothly so far.

I’m trying to understand whether I can go down from $20 to $15.

In the same time, it’s interesting what would be the best choice for a Discourse setup when comparing the $15 and $20 options.

Talking about my use-case, here is the stats form the Digital Ocean dashboard for last 30 days:

Multiple CPUs is mostly about concurrent requests. So if you don’t tend to have a lot of active logged in users at the same time – if your CPU usage is low overall – dropping down to 1 CPU and increasing memory (more cache, etc) could be a fine tradeoff.


It’s up to 30 users accessing the website simultaneously. Is it “a lot” or not really for a single CPU in terms of processing requests to Discourse?

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Again you can just look at your CPU graph, why ask me this question when you can look at the data.

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On a side note, considering how successful your community is and the value it brings to its participants, you really should look into monetizing it with Patreon, a paywalled section or something similar. Start a new topic for that in #community if you want to talk more about it.