The Evangelical Universalist Forum

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 Installing phpBB updates was very difficult so the software had become so out of date that it had security vulnerabilities.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

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?


Something has come up which will provide an opportunity for members to help me out and also by extrapolation share in the costs of site migration, so yep.

This is not the same as ongoing site costs (exactly), so I’ll create a new thread for it.

Meanwhile, I have also added $50 to ongoing site management this month, and that’s coming up again. ‘Work’ work has been super-busy and I haven’t had time or (after work) much energy to spend on doing things that need a lot of thought so I haven’t continued looking into how to link the site to Patreon yet. (But the new tech-admin whose name I can’t recall… or how to contact from within the site, which seems important… {wry g} says that he would add Patreon code to the site if we decided to set up that way. He suggested an alternative I’ll look into, too. Eventually. One problem at a time.)

I’ll drop a link to the new thread in this thread once I’ve got it made.

Eagerly waiting Jason. Thanks for all you have done.

1 Like

New thread for helping offset my site migration costs here: Time to help contribute to the site migration!

Anything extra I manage to get (which I doubt) will go first toward helping ongoing monthly costs, until I (or someone else) figures out how to get a Patreon account (or something similar) working.

But that’s what this thread topic will be for, going forward.

His name is Jay :slight_smile: Best for admins to contact him via email. I investigated the other alternative he mentioned and think Patreon is more suitable for us.