I think it’s good to be transparent about the Forum running costs—not to make anyone feel guilty but just so that no one takes it for granted Since we began, the Administration/Moderation has been done by volunteers (@james.goetz @auggybendoggy @SLJ @JasonPratt @Cindy_Skillman @alecforbes @Sherman @Melchizedek @revdrew61 & myself).
However, for the last few years, I’ve been trying to step down from the System Administration role. I’ve finally found someone who we can pay to do it instead: Jay, an IT Consultant who specializes in Discourse (please don’t contact him directly but only through the forum Administrators).
Over the last few weeks, Jay and I have spent quite a few hours migrating the forum from phpBB to Discourse. We needed to do this because:
- Installing phpBB updates was very difficult so the software had become so out of date that it had security vulnerabilities.
- phpBB was hosted on my employer’s hosting account, which they weren’t using when we started but had started using last year so didn’t want our traffic to impact theirs…
- phpBB was starting to show it’s age in terms of speed, features, etc.
Upfront, @JasonPratt paid for:
- $500 Jay’s forum migration assessment, script configuration, & testing
- $99 Jay installing Discourse onto Digital Ocean (our new host)
- $500 Jay’s final forum migration & testing
- $300 Jay’s configuring permanent redirects and sitemaps so that we don’t lose our Google ranking
Ongoing, we’ll spend:
- $5/month for Digital Ocean (currently I’m paying for that)
- $10/year for domain name (currently I’m paying for that)
- $50/month for Jay’s “Lite” server maintenance (currently @JasonPratt is paying for that)
- $0/month for Mailgun (free unless forum sends more than >10,000 email/month)
I’ll need to install Discourse updates for the time being, although God willing, one day we’ll have enough donations ($100/month) to cover Jay’s “Standard” server maintenance, which would cover updates.
@JasonPratt is currently investigating the following as a way to manage donations for the forum: