Discourse Costs

Hi there,

I was wondering is it possible to set up and run a Discourse community for small scale use completely free of charge or are there neccesary costs at some stages?

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Discourse is an open source software and is free to use. In a self installation you will pay only the cost of the server that hosts the site, for example Digital Ocean has plans that start from $5/mo.

Take a look to Recommended Hosting Providers for Self Hosters

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Is there any way of fairly simply running a server for free. It’ll be fairly low traffic?

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Ultimately no, if you ignore sign-on bonuses.

tbh the higher cost by far is the time you will happily forego proper work and sink into it instead :wink:

If you are successful you might be able to cover costs by member contribution and/or affiliate marketing.

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Nothing is free, and software needs to run on something. $5 a month for a small Digital Ocean droplet is a pretty great steal. I run mine on a DO droplet and have zero issues. My monthly cost with image upload space is $15 a month.

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…and Digital Ocean isn’t even the lowest-cost VPS out there. I use Contabo (whose lowest-cost tier is about the same as DO, but gives you quite a bit more in terms of CPU/RAM/storage), but these hosts seem to offer a basic VPS for $30/year or less:
https://crowncloud.net/clients/cart.php?a=add&pid=382
https://clients.naranja.tech/cart.php?a=add&pid=1
https://clients.budgetnode.com/cart.php?a=add&pid=77&billingcycle=annually
https://freerangecloud.com/cart.php?gid=1

I don’t see a way that “free” Discourse is going to happen, but it can be very inexpensive.

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Thanks for all the responses. Much appreciated.

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