iOS push badly needed, but hosting is too expensive

We are a volunteer-led community organisation with a small Discourse forum, and the majority of our members use iPhones.

It pains to me to watch a once-amazing community die off as our members disappear into WhatsApp groups.

There is one sole reason for this: the lack of iOS push notifications.

People spend less and less leisure time using desktop and laptop computers. On their iPhones the Discourse app (which you have to remember to open) fails to compete with the world of other pings and distractions. It’s also totally unsuited to improptu meetings or “where are you” messages without push notifications.

As far as I can gather, all attempts to add iOS push notifications to third party hosted forums have failed.

We would be more than happy to buy direct from Discourse and support the organisation, but as a non-profit organisation we could not justify $1,200 per year for it. Will Discourse ever offer a lower priced tier? Perhaps restricted to non-profit organisations, if you are afraid of cannibalising your existing customers.

Or could Discourse offer just the push notifications as an add-on to third party hosting? Perhaps with a pay-per-ping model?

It strikes me this issue of community rot will start to affect any Discourse community where the majority of members are accessing it via iPhone, so probably a bigger problem than just for us.


The FAQ says

Are there educational or non-profit discounts?

Yes! If you are legally recognized as an educational institution we offer an 85% discount. If you are legally recognized as a non-profit organization that is exempt from federal taxes, we offer a 50% discount. These discounts apply only to our standard and business plans, and must be paid through a debit/credit card monthly or annually. Please contact us after starting your trial and we’ll add the discount to your account.


That’s very handy, thank you Richard!

Although we’re actually a customer of yours at the moment so I feel a bit guilty about the source of this advice!

I do hope one day that push notifications become available for everyone, without waiting for Apple.


Seems you do not have to wait too long for apple anymore


Now that would be amazing. Fingers crossed!


Have you taken a look at OneSignal yet?


That works, but note that it requires you to develop your own custom iOS app.


Ah, good point.

I was going to recommend Lexicon too, but that also isn’t entirely straightforward.

The only other solution I can think of is Fig.

Then again, haven’t iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 been released to the public for a couple of days now?


Yes, but this functionality is far from finished, it’s only a hint at what might be coming.

while the toggle is visible, the API itself is not yet enabled, and Apple has yet to implement

Apple is seemingly laying the groundwork for bringing web-based notifications to its mobile devices


That’s true. Maybe we’ll see it featured in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16? One can only hope… :crossed_fingers: