POP Forums counts topic views to measure usage. Topic views are the most important part of your forum, because it's where people read stuff and communicate. We don't count the forum topic lists, or recent topics or profile pages. Keep in mind though that these count no matter where they come from, including search engines crawling your pages. As a member of your community scrolls through a topic, and more posts load, that only counts as one view.
The system will automatically upgrade you to the next plan at renewal time. We won't back-charge you for the additional usage.
There are a lot of reasons for that, but at its most basic, it's because POP Forums doesn't up those counts for every view. For example, an individual user might visit the same topic twice in a row (perhaps logging in between the views), but it only counts once toward the view record on the topic. The intentions are different: The view count on a topic is intended to measure relative popularity, whereas the totals measured for your account are intended to measure usage. Large forums also get a lot of search engines indexing the pages, which counts toward the totals. They can get quite high if you have tens of thousands of topics.
You sure do. We can export the data from your forum as a SQL Server DACPAC for a nominal fee. With that file, if you wanted to self-host the forum with the open source product, you are welcome to do so! Uploaded images are kept in a storage account, so we'll devise a way to get those to you as well.
Yes, POP Forums approaches multi-tenancy by using a separate database for every forum.
Yes, you can run and host POP Forums yourself on whatever platform you wish, at your expense. The source code is freely available on GitHub. We think that this hosted version is easier though. Let the nerds take care of the technology while you build a community!