How good is Self-Hosted Discourse?

Someone is attempting to self-host discourse on their cloud server, but I’ve looked and I can’t find any features. How does it compare to the basic, standard, business or enterprise model?

I would say that most Discourse instances are self-hosted. It’s as good as you set it up, the software is amazing and almost without glitches so most of the issues are more on a reliability or keeping it up to date and working and that’s 100% on you.

You will need to setup or ponder if you need a CDN, external storage, latency of storage, CPU and RAM, etc. With the hosted version you have all that sorted out.


I don’t get that impression, but agree with everything else!

I think it might surprise you just how many instances are hosted with CDCK and Communiteq …

… that said, of course there is a very healthy self-hosting community! :rocket:


I’m not sure what this means. It’s the fake SAME software. By default, the standard install includes no plugins, so you’ll be missing that functionality. The can be added, however.

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Those different plan levels relate to capacity and support options. When you self host your capacity depends on how much you choose to spend. And you do your own support and customisation. There’s no difference in features.


They also have to do with what plugins are available. If you self-host, you can install whatever plugins you want.

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Yeah, I’ve been running a standard install by the good people at Discourse on Digital Ocean for 7 years without any issues, hit a slight slowdown there recently but it turns out that my database is north of 20GB in size! … a bit of help from @pfaffman and we’re ticking along nicely now again.


It is excellent. If you run into problems it is likely because you are actually getting some traffic to your forum :slight_smile:


I’m a little biased, but as someone who doesn’t want to spend much time dealing with systems administration types of tasks, there are lots of benefits to going with a hosted Discourse site. For example, it means that you don’t need to consider the issue that is asked about here: How to use Cloudflare to protect a Discourse site. Hosting will also deal with the configuration of incoming and outgoing email for you.

I’m also unsure about the assertion that most Discourse instances are self-hosted. At least in terms of activity, I think that many of the busiest Discourse sites are hosted.

That said, self-hosting has some advantages. For a small site that is just getting off the ground, it may be the perfect solution. Other than being affordable, it also gives you the freedom to install any plugin that you wish. That means that it also gives you the freedom to break your site. Depending on your use case, that may be an acceptable risk.

Even given what I’ve written above, I don’t think I’d be interested in Discourse if it wasn’t open source software that anyone could host on their own server. For self-hosting, you can get lots of good support from this community.


Self-hosting Discourse is easy. There’s next to no work involved. On the other hand, self-hosting an email server is difficult (at least, dealing with deliverability on an ongoing basis, dealing with spam, etc). So most people who self-host Discourse pay for a professional email sending service alongside that. If they had more money they’d likely pay someone to manage their Discourse site too…