This does not apply to or impact hosted Discourse customers. This applies to self-hosted customers who use Mailgun for their outgoing email.
Mailgun has been one of our recommended email providers for many years. Mailgun offers a plan called “Concept”, which includes 10,000 free emails per month, when you added a credit card on your account. As of March 1, 2020, this plan will be discontinued. Going forward, Mailgun will offer the Flex plan, a pay-as-you-go plan.
Based on current pricing, $0.80/1000 emails, sites that used Mailgun’s free plan can expect monthly costs of no more than $8/mo moving forward, provided they are under the 10k limit that existed historically.
The full email from Mailgun is below. Please note that Discourse is not affiliated with Mailgun in any way. Please direct any questions regarding this change, your Mailgun plan, pricing, etc. to the Mailgun team.
It does not, no. This only affects self-hosted users who set up email.
The context is this has been the first provider listed on our recommended email list, so we know a lot of self-hosted sites use it (because everyone likes to pick the first thing on the list whether it’s the best or not).
Right. There are too many reasons that email can’t be free, I’m afraid. I always thought that 10K free per month seemed too good to be true.
As someone who sets up several self-hosted sites per month, I’m going to keep recommending Mailgun. I’ve been happy with their service and they are easy to set up (plus it’s what I’ve scripted ). While it is $8/month if you send 10,000 emails per month, most small sites will send much less mail than that. 1000 emails (100 users getting 2.5 emails per week) will cost you 80 cents, which still seems like a pretty good deal to me.
I’ve just moved our forum to using Amazon SES and am quite happy with it. AWS is a complex beast and it isn’t the simplest provider, but it wasn’t too hard to change over to their SMTP servers. Note that you will need to raise a support ticket with them in order to be moved out of their email sandbox, so if anyone else plans to move to SES, you should set up a test Discourse instance first to check your SMTP settings are working, and also don’t leave it to the last moment because it could take a day or two for them to respond to your support ticket.
Btw, the test email says this at the bottom, which is no longer really true:
(The easy way is to create a free account on SendGrid, SparkPost, Mailgun or Mailjet, which have generous free mailing plans and will be fine for small communities. You’ll still need to set up the SPF and DKIM records in your DNS, though!)
While these companies have free trial periods, and their general fees are quite cheap, they’re not free for small communities after the trials run out.