Managed discourse hosting for a couple of friends


Please, what is the best way to host a private Discourse instance just for a group of 7 people? I know how to install on a VPS and such but I rather to pay for it. Tho, the most suitable option I could find so far was Seems great, but $20 is a little bit high to me.

What options do I have?

Thank you

$20/month is probably the least expensive managed hosting you’ll find… for 7 people an install on a VPS is really the least expensive way to go at $5/month (Recommended Hosting Providers for Self Hosters). I wouldn’t expect a small instance to need much ongoing maintenance!


do you think so? I could install and configure discourse on a vps but I really have no time at all to maintain it in the long term, specially considering plugins.

Having had experience with other forums, specially PHP based I can tell you that Discourse is as low maintenance as it could be. Sometimes I totally forget for 3 months and then using the web updater and 5-10min it’s back up to date even plugins.


He speaks the truth :slight_smile:


Thank you, guys. About self hosting, how about keeping the operating system upgraded? is that a problem (eg: could a Ubuntu Server upgrade crash Discourse in some way?). And how do I keep safe backups in a provider like Digital Ocean, for instance ?

Do you think 1GB RAM and 1CPU is enought for my use case?


That works out to just USD$2.86 per person, per month.

I don’t know how much the average cup of coffee is in America but you see where I’m going with this Felipe @fzzz :slight_smile:

That is a very small price to pay for zero hassle, zero worries and just 100% peace of mind :blush:

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A couple free options you have:
Cloudflare free argo tunnel -This lets you put the hardware in any place and you can direct your server there with much more security. Free as in, no costs whatsoever.
Hardware Rasberry Pi & ^^ Cloudflare Free Argo tunnel
Oracle Cloud Always Free server - Pretty much, Oracle has no restrictions whatsoever on their two free servers, they provide Up to 4 instances of Arm Ampere A1 Compute which can have a significant amount of RAM for pretty much free.
Free cloud hosted servers with complete public network endpoints

Good luck!

Worth mentioning that our official install guide isn’t compatible with ARM yet, so neither of your suggestions would work today.


You can setup your OS to automatically update security patches here you have a guide.

No, Discourse runs over a layer of virtualization that allows you to update the OS and Discourse independently and nothing will happen. If you want it to be even more stable (the OS) you can pick Debian instead of Ubuntu (which is practically the same and the same commands will work).

Yes, if you don’t plan to be the 7 connected at the same time you won’t have any problem.


ubuntu has Livepatch - details here which will reduce down time with your server. Not sure if Debian has the same facility.

Livepatch is a paid feature of Ubuntu. Debian doesn’t have it out of the box.

I has success using Oracle Cloud Always Free server for testing with few users. Worth it if you only want it for a couple of friends.

Are you in Europe? A small 4-5$ Cloud VPS from Hetzner can run a small discourse instance easily.