Optimizing discourse for creating a free host


(Caue Rego) #1

Since yesterday I’ve been talking a bit with my friend about creating a discourse hosting for as cheap as possible, probably even offering some truly free options. And we just started thinking about what would be the technical challenges there (right, @michaeld? ;P).

The idea is that by giving everyone the possibility of starting their own “ghost towns” we could see a lot of terrible stuff along with some amazing ones. Sure people already can do it in so many other forum tools, but then some of them do grow up and get stuck in those less than optimal software. There’s just nothing like discourse out there, and we believe it’s very unlikely there will be any time soon.

##Ghost Towns?

Our wish is guaranteeing good enough speed for at most 2 active users, including the admin. From there, offering paid plans, still cheaper and more granular than the current “starts at U$10”, maybe around U$5 or even less.

No automated updates, no dedicated support, everything unmanned (at least at first).

I can predict 2 major bumps to overcome:

  • Hardware resources. What would you say or guess to be the bare minimum requirement? It seems 512 MB RAM is way more than enough for this. How about building a shared host?

  • RoR and Docker. What would be the optimal configurations? Is there much room to improve discourse source? Maybe, even going Python or Node? If that’s the case, maybe it would be too high of a bump for us.

This is all very early brainstorming, just wanted to hear from others who had experienced similar stuff or could chime in with some more expertise if this might sound like a doable plan.


PAID: migrate my discourse installation
(Sam Saffron) #2

ha… this is super confusing, you want to rewrite 3 years of code that a team of 5 people wrote in Python or Node? I say splurge … I recommend rewriting Discourse in Assembler … it will be fastest

Honestly, I think it is very misguided getting into the ultra low cost hosting business. Double especially without enormous technical skills and funding.


(Caue Rego) #3

I figured discourse was never built or configured with this low end setup in mind, @sam. But your surprise alone is a lot of info already, and really great to know! :slight_smile:

Of course there is a reason nobody could do it. Maybe it is indeed not doable, yet. And when it does become possible we’ll see plenty flourishing.

For now, this is just wishful thinking and some experimenting. We did manage to setup a dockerless discourse instance on openshift free tier, although with 512 MB that’s not surprising to work.


Free Hosted Option?
(Jeff Atwood) #4

Well, you see what happened to the last person who tried this. The poor guy disappeared. That’s probably … a sign.


(Caue Rego) #5

… Or an opportunity! :wink:


(Caue Rego) #6

Just wanted to report back I’ve also failed on this, as expected. Got other more focused things going on now.

Hope someone can pick this up one day, maybe…

Do keep in mind it’s quite possible to host it for free as already mentioned, though!