I made a forum for blockchain related discussions using nodebb.
If you're interested in joining / being a moderator take a look at the link below:
I've come across this like a million times around the web over the last week (I'm exaggerating a bit). On the alternativeto.com website it lists NodeBB as commercial. And on a couple of other sites where people are discussing forum scripts, people say "Why pay for NodeBB you can use these others for free?"
I mean, it's directly on the NodeBB homepage!
IIRC The website used to be different, and it pushed the paid plans more, IMO, for a good reason. Nodebb is significantly different then most other forums, and setup can be intimidating for people new to it especially if they only have experience with the front end side of those other forums. I think it was wise to advertise the paid plans more in the beginning when people were just finding out about nodebb. It helps developers to gauge interest in the product and to guide new users into the new platform. For some reason, the advertising had a nasty side affect of people assuming paying was the only way to use it. I have no idea why that happened, but they definitely didn't do anything different then the other forums, I believe most of them, even the free ones, offer paid plans. I'm rather new to nodebb myself so I could just be making all this up.
If they can't read that it's free, what chance have they got installing it.
At least the forum doesn't have page after page of "where's the install.php file, zomg don't work"
I do recall the website being different as well as the paid plans being pushed more when I joined a year ago. But I always knew it was free since even before I joined the community on Nodebb. I think it's more that people didn't do their due diligence research before going around and posting about NodeBB, so they didn't get all their facts straight. NodeBB was doing the same thing other popular forum software was doing when they pushed their own hosting plans. For some reason people still got the facts straight for those scripts (discourse, vanilla, etc).
I think it's also the incorrect belief that a VPS is extremely expensive and not worth the money, but yet will pay similar amounts to be given minimal amounts of space on a godaddy server with loads of other websites.
Believe it or not we get emails from people asking us/confirming that nodebb is free to self host.
Maybe add a subnote that the free refers to the download of NodeBB and that you'll have to pay for a VPS.
Might as well give you guys a sneak preview
The source is public: https://github.com/psychobunny/nodebb.org/tree/master/manifest
I don't intend on putting this live until we are close to NodeBB's 1.0x release, which we'll be working on as soon as 0.7 is out
I have read discussions about NodeBB on The Admin Zone, Discourse forums and all over the web. At this stage of product life cycle you should not be worried about them. You can learn a lot from their comments as many of post authors are experienced forum admins and software developers.
Hard to install? Relative. Around year 2000 we used Ikonboard (Perl) and it was not easy to install nor configure. When you like forum software look and feel plus its features you'll learn fast how to use is no matter how hard it is.
Nothing wrong when you ask about license terms and conditions. If you see an error on Wikipedia or similar websites with content written collaboratively by volunteers just register and change it. I have done this before on Wikipedia and their software Comparisons.
Yeah i pay $2.50 for a vps to run NodeBB