Discourse's (mobile) data usage

Is there any data on Discourse’s data usage?

We’re finally getting 3G Internet data plans in my country (yay! 2018! :sweat_smile:) and I’m considering deploying a Discourse instance, but I’d like to estimate how much using the forum will impact my users’ data plans.

Any estimates/guesses on regular usage will be more than welcome. :+1:


That’s really hard to do since it depends on so many things. If you’re browsing a forum that is mostly text, then it should not be much. If there are lots of images/gifs/videos, then it’s gonna hurt.


@zogstrip Yeah, of course. I’m sure our data plans are gonna be expensive, so I was wondering about minimal usage conditions. For instance:

  • Page size without/with caching.
  • Average transfer size for a 100 character post.
  • Average transfer size for a picture thumbnail
  • Notifications overhead (and whether they are made through polling or websockets maybe)

I was just asking in case someone had already done the benchmarks. If it’s not the case, I could do some test myself and report back (in case the data is useful to someone else).

Thanks for your reply.

I don’t think anyone has done such benchmark.

Got it. Thought it was unlikely too. Couldn’t hurt to ask anyway. :sweat_smile:

It seems to me that right now notifications are sent to the browser by polling, is that right? Do you think it would be more efficient (data-wise) to use websockets?

Long-polling to be exact, but yeah, that’s right.

Not sure. But here are the reasons we’re using long-polling instead of websockets :wink:

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It’s the opposite right? Compression for websockets is an extension, and looks like it isn’t widely supported.

Adding the Discourse instance to the desktop in Android (WebAPK) will keep the Discourse in memory for longer periods so it will keep you up only using the json payloads for longer periods and make full-page refreshes less frequent.


Are you aware of https://www.webpagetest.org/ ? You can test a lot of this yourself, just by plugging values in to boxes there :sunglasses:

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Neat! Thanks for the tip, Sam!