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(Romano Lapince) #1


I would like to use Discourse to open my community.

I can not afford to pay to use the standard plan. So I would like to have a Free Plan available so that we can benefit from a free community.

What do you think ?

Thank you in advance.

Anywhere to host free Discourse instance?
(Tarak'ha) #2

Not part of the team but I distinctly remember discussion where they do not want to run a free community builder like proboards due to the stress involved.

(Chris Beach) #3

The developers have already made an incredible free-of-charge contribution to the community by offering all the source code, and instructions to enable anyone to run Discourse on their own hosting.

And you can obtain your own hosting very cheaply. There are other companies that specialise in this.

I care about Discourse and its ecosystem, and I’d prefer the core developers focus on maintaining Discourse itself, rather than taking on the substantial workload of running free hosting, and the hassle of installing and maintaining instances for other people, with no financial compensation from those people.


Hey there,
I’m glad you like Discourse.

We write this software but our money is made from hosting. We gotta pay ourselves somehow. :wink:

You can self-host on Digital Ocean for $10/month which is about as close to free as you can get.

(Mittineague) #5

Answered here

What if none of these plans fit my budget?
Good news! Discourse is, and will always be, 100% free and open source software. You can install it yourself on your own server, or for a flat one-time fee of $99, the community can install Discourse in the cloud for you. Please note that a $10/month hosting fee is still payable to the cloud provider (Digital Ocean), and that this option is completely self-support after the initial install. Click here to purchase a self-supported community install.

(Romano Lapince) #6

Hello and thank you for having answered me,


Suppose I want to install Discourse on my hosting myself, because I do not want to pay anything, what is the procedure to follow?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Have a good day.

(Gerhard Schlager) #7

Just follow the setup guide.

Set up Discourse in the cloud in under 30 minutes with zero knowledge of Rails or Linux shell. We recommend DigitalOcean, but these steps will work on any Docker-compatible cloud provider or local server.

(Romano Lapince) #9

Good evening and thank you for having answered me,


Is there a way to install Discoures without using DigitalOcean?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Good night…

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #10

Yes it is. As Gerhard’s post (and the linked guide) say,

these steps will work on any Docker-compatible cloud provider or local server.

(ljpp) #12

What kind of ”open community” you have - do you already have something going on, or are you building from scratch? Can you estimate the number of members?

(Romano Lapince) #13

Hello and thank you for having answered me,


I watched videos on the Internet to install Discourse. Installation is complex. I do not have any knowledge in this area and I find that paying $ 99 to get my community set up is expensive. Why not offer us to host our community for free with limited functionality (similar to other community providers)? We could have a community with an address like this:

Or why can not we install Discourse on a MySQL database and in FTP for example?

Your community solution is complex to put in place.

Thank you in advance for your answer.

(Romano Lapince) #14


Yes, I already had a community through another service but I was forced to stop using it because the community provider was forcing me to pay $99 a month if I wanted to continue using my service community.

The number of members would be 1 to 2 but no more unfortunately.

Thank you in advance.

(Felix Freiberger) #15

This has already been answered by @HAWK above:

Free hosting tends to not bring in enough money to pay developers :wink:

Discourse is built using technology different from PHP (which is famous for software that can be installed by simply uploading its files to a compatible host). If being able to install like this is important for you, you should look into a PHP-based forum software like phpBB; if you want to use Discourse, you’ll have to use a server that supports the technology stack it needs.

(Chris Beach) #16

If you have 1-2 members, why use a forum when you could simply use email?

(Stephen Chung) #17

Discourse is probably totally overkill for 1-2 members…

You probably won’t even notice the speed and performance difference with a setup like phpBB plus ClearDB which you can probably put on a free shared hosting plan on many cloud platforms.

For such small number of users, plus zero $ requirement, you don’t really need Discourse.

(Joseph Coates) #18

For such a small number, there is actually a great way to use discourse for free. Simply pick any of the many, many discourse communities that already exist. You and your two buddies can join for free, no install necessary. Then you can use the personal message function to have all the conversations you want… discourse style.

(Tarak'ha) #19

That sounds dubious. I personally would not want my own proverbial community to be used as such, unless if the conversations matched the community’s theme and topic.

However, PMs are free reign, to a fault. Where that fault lies, well, that is determined by the community.


This thread is getting weird. 1-2 members? Is that a typo? Facebook offers groups and private message for free?


Agreed. If it’s just 1 then that’s not a community. It’s just… a person.

(ljpp) #22

Put your hand deep in your pocket and find 12$. That will give you a year of hosting on Aruba’s 1$ plan. Works well.