Ausron there are plans to optimize this. I am currently recoding a big portion of FreeFarum's code to allow multiserver support (so forums can be hosted in China). However, it will take a while before that's done (I was slowed down with recent issues). I will need to rent a server in China and cover additional expenses, and test whether everything works as intended from the code perspective as well, so don't expect this to get better anytime soon (FreeFlarum's current structure doesn't assume multiserver support). Maybe I'll look at it after this update. Nevertheless, I'll share more details here if I make some progress regarding this.
An update about the recent crashes - I am obviously aware of them, and I receive a lot of questions as of when will this be fixed. Short answer - it could be fixed now. Long answer:
I've contacted owners of some of the busiest and largest forums that FreeFlarum hosts if it would be possible for them to migrate elsewhere, and I am currently waiting for them to reply. I won't name specific forums, but those who have received my E-mail, please reply so that we can resolve this issue.
I have also lowered the values for all PHP-FPM forum configurations to allow less max. simultaneous connections (max requests from 300 to 200, idle process timeout from 60s to 10s). We have used the previous numbers since the dawn of FreeFlarum, but a lot had changed and FreeFlarum doesn't host small forums that were okay with these numbers anymore. This adjustment was therefore inevitable, and should reduce RAM usage significantly. However, it might cause problems for forums with a lot of traffic. If you notice that your forum is slower (even if you don't have many users), please let me know immediately so that I can fix it.
Furthermore, any extensions that were used by less than 50 forums (or by less than 3 % out of all FreeFlarum forums), have been removed. Here's the full list:
If you think that any of these extensions should be kept, please reply to their respective GitHub issues linked above (or create a new issue). Edit: as a result of this, all extension requests must now provide a valid reason why should that extension be installed, and must have at least 5 upvotes. Not following the template might result in your request being denied.
It is undoubtedly an amazing achievement, and seeing FreeFlarum this big is a pleasant sight to see. But after all, please remember that FreeFlarum is a free service and can't handle forums with more than 200 users active at the same time, and tens of thousands of posts. I will update our documentation soon, with exact limits as of how many users FreeFlarum supports, since now they are known (at least these crashes were good for something).
Are you running a forum for your business and rely on 100 % uptime? It is probably a better idea to migrate to a different and more professional host that can assure you of that. I recommend Blomstra - you will get a discount if you E-mail me, as was mentioned a couple of posts above.
With all of this in mind, as always - please let me know if things got better or worse. Currently, FreeFlarum periodically checks whether our main forum is reachable or not - if not, PHP-FPM, MariaDB and Nginx will be restarted, which will resolve the issue (usually in 10 minutes). I will check the logs tomorrow to see, if another crash happened overnight.
Thank you everyone for sharing your feedback with me, and notifying me of downtime. I appreciate it, just as much as I appreciate your patience.