Looking for a decrease in the forum fees in the future


I’m currently considering moving some services to other companies or reconfiguring them in order to decrease the forum fees.

There will probably be short downtimes during these changes, but I’ll let you know as soon as possible.
I won’t do all of them at one time, and I still need to look for some information, but I’ll update the estimated yearly fees when I have a good estimate of the new fees.

For the techies (I know there are some! :technologist:):

  • Backups storage: The backups are now automatically moved from Amazon S3 to Glacier. I’m not sure it will be cheaper because Glacier has a minimum storage duration of 90 days (0 for S3), but I’ll check the bill in a few months. Keeping S3 for now.

  • Email provider: I moved from Mailgun to Amazon SES, fees should be cut by about 7, we’ll see how much in practice in the next months.

  • CDN: I consider moving from Stackpath to Bunny CDN. A bit hard to estimate the final cost since Bunny CDN fees change regarding the regions in which the data is retrieved, but it’s possible it could cut the CDN cost by something between 5 to 10. I’ll do that later this year.

Just a clarification, there is no issue with the current costs, donations cover the fees each year, but if we can have the same service quality for cheaper, just by choosing services and settings more suited to the forum needs, I’ll just go for it: it will be beneficial, especially if the forum grows in the long-term.


Will follow this with interest, as you know. :wink:


Bravo, I (WE) all appreciate the great work you have already done, Thank You.


Since Glacier bills for 90 days minimum for each backup, it will not be beneficial, I’ll stick with the current S3 storage.

I just migrated the email handling from Mailgun to Amazon SES. It should work, but (everyone) contact me if you think there’s anything weird (a direct message notification not received by email, the reply by email feature not working, etc…). I set up things so I can revert back quickly to Mailgun if needed.

As for the CDN, that’s a bit more work, I’ll do that later this year.

And also, thank you very much @Gilby for helping me on this and being available to do domain tweaks. :slight_smile:

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90 days is a pretty standard backup policy and a good length of time to keep backups for in case you have to go back and investigate something. AWS S3 has some other tiers now that might make it cheaper than going straight to the glacier level.

For one of our MySQL databases, we take periodical full snapshots, on the filesystem level, and then incremental snapshots of the filesystem to backup it up frequently and have an easy way to get a point in time recovery. We also backup our binary logs. Setting the retention to 90 days for all of them. We’re using Wasabi right now though.

For CDN, does this software work with Cloudflare yet? I can just turn the domain on in my enterprise account which would not cost me anything extra.


Yes, for static assets (both built-in things and uploads). The CDN needs to be configured in the Discourse settings, and non-static requests (eg https://unicyclist.com) still route directly to the app.

That would be awesome, but as far as I know Discourse isn’t compatible with Cloudflare, though I’ve not verified this info for a while. Maybe do you have some info about that @lightbulbjim ? :person_shrugging:

:warning: CloudFlare CDN and Discourse have not historically played well together, so we do not recommend running CloudFlare CDN at this time.

From Enable a CDN for your Discourse - admins - Discourse Meta

Let’s Encrypt won’t enroll a certificate while CloudFlare is proxying. It prevents the verification from going through.

You can’t use any of their ‘performance’ features with Discourse as it alters the already-minified code.

All CloudFlare can do for you is hide your IP and act as a CDN for your uploads. The benefits are minimal.

From I can't login to admin after backup due to Cloudflare - #9 by Stephen - support - Discourse Meta

I’ll look for recent answers in the next days to know if things have changed.

Cloudflare is fine - just disable their Rocket Loader feature.

With no configuration effort, it saves half the bandwidth back to my server.

It might be that years ago Cloudflare didn’t work well with Discourse, but it’s not true today. It would be nice if we didn’t keep seeing doubt about it. If anyone has a specific problem, they should start a support thread here describing what’s not working.

From S3 image bandwidth costs are getting annoying - #23 by Ed_S - support - Discourse Meta

I’ll keep digging for more info. Official info would be the best though.

Oops, I’m sorry. I was distracted while replying and read the question as “does this software work with CDNs yet” :person_facepalming: .

I’m not familiar with the issues with CloudFlare, so I’d follow the guidance in the Meta post. FWIW, the hosted platform uses a mix of CloudFront and KeyCDN (for historical reasons).


Cloudflare just works as a reverse proxy and will cache things like image files by default. Caching other things is just a matter of setting the correct cache-control headers. Otherwise, as a reverse proxy, you need to convert the IP header that Cloudflare adds in the request to be recognized by Discourse instead of using Cloudflare’s IP address.

Discourse and Cloudflare compatibility still seems to be a topic with no definitive answer on Discourse’s support forum. There was a new thread made about it… :person_shrugging:

Even if there’s still no official reply about this other than the “CloudFlare CDN and Discourse have not historically played well together, so we do not recommend running CloudFlare CDN at this time.” that hasn’t changed for years, some Discourse experts - they work on and host Discourse forums for a living - tend to advise avoiding Cloudflare.

I’ll wait a bit to see if the linked discussion goes somewhere, but if it doesn’t, I’ll go for Bunny CDN that I tested myself without hassle. And about the price, Stackpath, the current CDN has a flat price per month, whereas Bunny bills per bandwidth usage, which is low on unicyclist.com. This kind of billing will be more suited.

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