Forum running costs


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 :smiley: 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:

  1. Installing phpBB updates was very difficult so the software had become so out of date that it had security vulnerabilities.
  2. 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…
  3. 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:

Obsolete: Forum will be read-only from March onwards

Post feedback/questions about the new forum in this thread

Hm, according to my invoices I have paid…

$500 for phbbimport estimate. (Apparently same as first $500.)

$800 for the last two things.

$899 for the last three things.

…I’m going to have to talk to Jay soon. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


$2199 total? Hopefully that’s HKG$ ;


I think that was an honest oversight & he’s emailed saying he very sorry & has refunded $800


Depending on how donations go, in the future, we might consider advertising the forum on Google and/or Facebook again. I did that out of my own money back when we only had 150 members and it helped people find us :slight_smile:


Yep! (This post must be 20 characters at least so…)


I’m assuming it’s so threads don’t fill up with one word-ers & to encourage people to use “Like” if they simply want to affirm something :smiley:


@JasonPratt, have you decided yet how we’re going to get some cash to you for expenses?