Seeking Feedback On My New Site

Not sure how to post this without it coming off as an advertisement, but I am looking for brutally-honest feedback/critiques on the site that I have been working on 18hrs/day for the past 11 days.

I want it to be the best it can be, so hold nothing back please. From style to function, etc. It is a privacy & security-focused site, with a blog style that ties into the forums.
Best viewed on Desktop, but mobile should be just fine.


Your forum is very slow to load.

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Oh wow, it’s never loaded slow like that for me. I guess because of different geographical locations maybe? Any way to remedy this?

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Hmm, I’m getting the same issue. According to my network tools it’s taking time to download the content, but the total size doesn’t look too big. I’m not sure what the cause might be. :thinking:

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Cool photo! Do you guys by chance know if you’re geographically located around the same area, haha? I’m not sure what causes slow speeds like that. Anytime I’ve loaded the site, it loads within ~5s max. Hmmmm.

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Really slow for me, as well. Oregon.

Do you think this would be a thing with the server it’s hosted on? Very weird. Longest it takes for me is roughly 5s.

Could be. The Docker makes it hard to screw up the Discourse setup, so the remaining variable is the hosting - either the machine/instance/droplet is underpowered, or the pipe is not big enough.

Where are you hosting it, and what are the hosting specs? Could your host be throttling throughput?

I believe these were the VPS settings. Went with something cheap-ish for now just to test everything and get it all going:

1Gbps Unmetered Bandwidth
1 x IPv4
Ubuntu 22

I’d be willing to bet the VPS is oversold and the specs “on paper” are not what you’re getting in practice.

Define “cheap-ish.” Compare the specs and price there to a well-known provider, such as DigitalOcean.


It loads quickly for me, just to let you know it’s not slow for everybody.

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Possibly. So, I wanted a VPS that was privacy-respecting but also cheap. So, the specs I listed above I got on a deal for $18/yr. Yes, per year. I think it was a deal they had at the time or something. Anyway, yeah, only $18/yr. I wanted to avoid monthly payments and just do an annual thing.

On DigitalOcean, would I use what they call a “Droplet” for $4/mo? If so, looks like a basic setup to get a Discourse site running, they have the below for $6/mo:
1 GiB
1 vCPU
1,000 GiB
25 GiB

I think my issue with my first VPS was the 25GB SSD storage because I was running out quickly with my current site bc of the Docker image or something, so I found another, which is the one I use now that had the 35GB of space. Really hate the monthly price method, though. Does DigitalOcean have a good privacy policy (can’t check atm) and not collect usage data, etc etc? EDIT: Skimmed it and man, I’m not liking their privacy policy at allll, haha. Any reputable hosts that do respect privacy and don’t collect data?

EDIT2: Ran my site (the forums) through a metrics site and got this as the result:

A grade C overall. However, the suggestions it’s giving are abysmal…184kb, etc. Not sure how this stuff translates into the long load times Lilly had, and others. When I ran the /home page (linked in the OP), it was a much better result. Maybe it’s just the forum’s theme since it uses a lot of CSS/some JS?

This is refreshing to hear, haha. Hope you like it!

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Looks like a nice start. The rounded shadow is a nice touch.

Your site also gave me no issues loading; imagine my XP aligns with @jimkleiber … $18/year is pretty sweet deal.

I am in Nova Scotia Canada. What region is your VPS provider?

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Hi, thanks for the feedback!
Server is based in the U.S.

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This does make for a curious mystery as one of folks in this topic is in Oregon.

Your quite welcome.

My site is on my user card. But tbh more using things available. Like main theme being the excellent Air Theme with some customizations/add-ons.

Depending on your needs/wants these components maybe if Interest:

Used in the air theme as main page.


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As it was mentioned though. Your VPS may have over sold their service. So time of day may also influence speed. Peak usage time periods might also be a bottle neck on your provider. Current posts shows a 2hr window between those with slow load reports to Jim’s post.


For me your site was loaded in no time. I’m in Germany. Just to let you know. :wink:


Indeed I barely saw the discourse load bar when selected forum. Load just as fast as his main page.

Fine for me too. Good luck with it!

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