Why is hosting so expensive?

(Salman, Freelance Developer) #1

I was exciting that discourse would be a hosted service (run by the founders), but the price point seems very high at this point .
$100 for 100K page views
$200 for 250K page views

I’m curious, is the cost of hosting so high because of Rails? I was hoping for something in the $30-50 a month range as it is much easier to sell to clients in that price range

Are there future plans to have lower the pricing or it is probably going to be like this going forward also?

I realize that you are free to charge whatever you want but just trying to get an understanding (assuming this is a topic you wish to discuss openly).

P.S I know I can self-host or go with other hosting providers but who wouldn’t want to host with the founders of the software as theoretically they should be the best at it.

Becoming the new standard discussion tool for open source projects
(Dave McClure) #2

I’m just making some guesses based on how things have gone so far. I certainly have no inside information.

Only offering higher tiers of pricing right now accomplishes a few things:

  1. It let’s the team continue to focus on those customers who are willing to pay more now (they accomplished this in the past simply by not taking on too many beta customers).

  2. It allows some room for a healthier ecosystem where others can play with competing hosting services and supporting other kinds of installations like the docker install.

Also, in general its easier to lower prices than it is to raise them, so starting higher makes some sense.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

Well, it’s open source for a reason, so everyone can come up with price points that work for them, up to and including free.

If budget is a concern, I suggest trying the $99 one-time-fee install, which is only $10/month recurring at Digital Ocean:

(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #4

Of course Discourse.org is able to charge more. They have the advantage of being the ‘real brand’. If you want to buy hosting for your company and you’ve got the budget, you will never get fired for choosing Discourse.org.

But I think that we at DiscourseHosting.com are able to offer competitive pricing which give you good value for money as well. You get a good performing and completely managed instance with impeccable uptimes for only $20 / month. I wouldn’t call that expensive.

BTW the theory says you have to pick a price point for your service where you still get enough customers, but you need to have some people complain about your pricing as well. If you don’t hear anyone complain, you’re too cheap. For us, that’s a reason to start raising prices on the higher plans somewhere in October.

(Alex - Arvixe) #5

I think by charging a higher rate they can focus more on the product but still make enough money (off of fewer clients) to cover themselves. With this model, they won’t have to support as many customers etc whereas traditional hosting providers will have the team already in place to support such clients.

I guess it really comes down to personal choice. Going directly or going with a provider such as ourselves at a more reasonable price point.

(Tom Kiblin) #6

Alex nailed it.

Having built an 8-figure hosting company and then selling it off to a private equity firm a few years ago, as we grew the company, our prices went up as we went further upstream in the market. At some point, we were not able to support sub $100/month customers without losing money on them.

Also, sort of ironic, in our experience, we spent more support hours on customers that paid us less money per month then we did on customers paying us 4 or 5 figures per month.


(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #7

Absolutely true - we have that experience with previous ventures as well.

With DiscourseHosting, we saw support demand slowly decrease as the software got more mature though.