Discourse hosting is being terminated, fundraising successful


#1

Extreme tl;dr the free tier of forum hosting has been cancelled, in order to keep the forums up I need to raise $80 a month. Patreon pledges at https://patreon.com/cataclysmdda are currently more than sufficient to cover hosting. I’ll also be looking into forum-based ads to spread out hosting funding more evenly.

UPDATE 05/01/2019:
Adsense (Google ads) is a wash, after configuring it to scan the forums, it said, “site violates content policies” with no note of which policies or which part of the site are the problem. I’ll take a few pokes at it, but it’s likely that we’re running afoul of things like “no promotion of firearm sales” or “no instructions for construction of explosives” (even though we don’t actually do either), and it would be basically impossible to talk about dda design without violating their rules.

I’ll see if I can find a less squeamish ad provider.

Original message follows:
So, it happened. We’ve actually been running outside the bounds of the Discourse open source free plan for months now, and they finally got around to notifying me that they’re going to pull the plug in February.
They offer a discount for open source projects, but with their pricing, it’s still well outside my budget (tl;dr it’s $180/month).

There are other hosting options though:
NodeChef has a nice flexible pricing model, which is a concern because one of the other major hosting providers:
DiscourseHosting.com has a very sharp breakpoint at a traffic level just above our current traffic level (about 450K pageviews a month).

From what I can tell those are both ok options, there’s a third option I’m not really a fan of, which is self-hosting with AWS or DigitalOcean or Linode (the list goes on, but the results are the same). This would cut the cost significantly, but require me (or maybe someone else coud step up) to maintain the actual application instance, which is a huge drain on my project time (basically do you want me actually making dda better or messing with the forum? I lean toward the former).

AFAICT the migration wouldn’t be a big deal, it would mostly be transparent since we’d just stand up a new instance, back this instance up, restore it there, and cut over DNS. It’s really just the hosting that’s an issue.

This is where everyone else comes in, I’m going to be setting up a Patreon specifically for forum hosting costs, and I’m going to look into enabling ads on the forums. If it looks like Patreon is up to funding the site, the ads won’t get turned on, if the ads get turned on and don’t generate enough money to run the site… well we’ll have to figure out a new plan.

We have until mid-Febuary to do the migration, so this isn’t an immediate emergency, but I’ll be working on it over the holidays and keep you posted.


#2

Hmm can bounties you can’t accept go into helping with the hosting as well? It probably wouldn’t be much, but it would be an interesting supplement option.


#3

Long term, what kind of monthly growth in pageviews and storage requirements is this website seeing? It kinda looks like in the long run if you are seeing a lot of growth the Discoursehosting.com option might be better. The other one looks like the price could ramp up FAST if the page view rate grows a lot or if we have a a high data storage requirement.

I’d be happy to contribute through patreon.


#4

It would be difficult if not impossible to handle hosting by claiming bounties, but yea if I close out any I’ll probably just shift it over to hosting instead of putting it back in bounties.

The growth rate isnt that high, AFAICT it needs a handfull of GB of both database and disk space (mostly backups), and its growing at maybe a few thousand pageviews a month. The only problem is with plans dominated by pageviews, because the site is very close to the 500K mark.


#5

my nightmare comes true, this is what i feared since Emuparadise closure back long time ago…

i wish i could help but i have zero skill in web hosting, and i don’t even have any way to donate some fund :slightly_frowning_face:

i believe Patreon is a good way to get some fund thought,


#6

Why did you guys move here in the first place anyway, I remember there used to be a forum way back when


#7

GlyphGryph had hosting already set up so we ran on that for years, about a year ago he needed his capacity or whatever for something else and I moved the forums to Discourse.


#8

If the regulars contribute $2 a month we’re already mostly there.


#9

I like Discourse. I also like this forum.

I, personally, can’t contribute right now. Things are delicate for me, but I figure by February a couple bucks a month shouldn’t be an issue.

And here’s an opinion that is sure to be unpopular – I sorta think you should enable ads anyway? I think most of us are adults with real jobs but there’re young folk around, too. Ads would enable a few pennies here and there from them or people like me who maybe can’t contribute with actual moneys.


#10

Whats the going rate on ads these days anyways? Is there any chance that keeping it minimal would generate extra $ for siphoning into bounties etc… instead of the other way around?


#11

i can’t contribute money right now, but i actually wouldn’t mind the ads if they keep the site running


#12

If i wanted to make a direct donation, where would i go to do this? Or did i miss that link?

EDIT: OK. I searched that website Kevin mentioned, Patreon, and I found this link https://www.patreon.com/posts/1692744 but it seems very dated and I don’t see Kevin’s name. As soon as the final decision on if there is to be a move or a fundraiser, be sure to please post the link here. Thx.


#13

I’d be happy to support the site. If the funding turns out to be more than enough, what is the plan for the additional money? I would assume it will be funneled into Bounties?


#14

I would assume either bounties or kept for slower months


#15

So short version. Are we moving again or staying?


#16

I have the patreon page up now at https://patreon.com/cataclysmdda and I’ll start looking into setting up ads on the forums.

I don’t have a solid plan for this. At the moment I’m just scrambling to get something together ASAP to avoid a site outage. I don’t think I’m going to worry much about overshooting the mark until enough has been socked away to secure the site, at least several months worth of hosting. There will be plenty of time to sort out where it goes after that. I intend to let people know if the site funding needs are met so they can prioritize appropriately.

Unless fundraising fails, there should be no user visible change, we’ll just move from one hosting provider to another.


#18

Done, glad to be of support.


#19

The link on https://discourse.cataclysmdda.org/groups/patrons directs you to the Patreon home page, rather than the actual cataclysm Patreon.

I hadn’t checked this thread yet but saw someone with the Patron tag and clicked it. It stands to reason that some people might navigate that way, so you might want to amend the link.

Other than that, hooray. It’s the first Patreon I’ve felt compelled to give money to – In a month or so I’ll be contributing. Uh, hopefully, I mean.


#20

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: EmuParadise and other ROMS/Emulators


#23

I’ll support the patreon for as long as I can manage, at this rate of donations it should be fine by February!