Hosting on discourse.org would’ve been my preferred option too because I am all for supporting open source and so far I’m really liking Discourse … but to be honest, I find the monthly cost … starting from 100 bucks a month … not even close to reasonable. Limiting # staff in the “Standard” and “Business” plans also makes me raise eyebrows .
The self-install option with one-time setup cost of 100 bucks is again a bit odd for something that (for most use cases) is expected to be automated (as nodechef seems to have done).
At the moment and we are still just trying out if Discourse is the right tool for us, so for the time being we’ll stick with nodechef until we are ready to self host.
I’d really rather have money go to the open source project itself than to the Discourse service from nodechef, but at 10x the cost my arm’s easily twisted. I reckon Discourse.org could easily onboard loads of customers who are now - because of the 10x monthly cost - pushed towards services like nodechef or self-hosting (I’m guessing a lot of those people don’t really want to self host). And no, a 14 day free trial is not comparable because nobody likes the idea of the time restriction.
Anyhow, just my 2 cents.