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  • Forum Financial Status and Upcoming Changes

    Over the past year our community has grown tremendously. In a sense, we've gone "against the grain", considering our growth has been inverse to that of WoW's cyclical decline. Credit must be given where it is due - this would have been impossible without you guys. My humble gratitude goes out to all; readers, writers, lurkers and Wind Traders.

    But no successful website is without its growing pains. We quickly outgrew our old shared hosting server. We were plagued by downtime, slow page loads across the board, and unexpected rollbacks. We've since switched to dedicated hosting, and the site is performing better by all standards.

    Unfortunately, nice things cost money. From the Stormspire thread:

    I've tallied up the costs of creating/running these forums over the past year, and the totals are well over $2000 so far;

    • Shared hosting, 1 year = $94.80
    • Domain name, 2 years = $29.90
    • vBulletin license, suite = $285
    • vBulletin brand-free addons = $300+
    • vBSEO license = $150
    • cPanel license = $15/month
    • Dedicated hosting, 12 months paid up front = $90/month
    • Consultant fee = $175
    • Litespeed license = $249

    And then there are the indirect costs (ie, running home to fix the forums rather than working overtime) and the costs I'm forgetting outright. I've been honest with my wife about these costs. She supports me in my passion for gaming, but we both agree that such costs are irresponsible considering we're looking to buy a house.

    Keeping these forums 100% free was always my intent, but I can no longer support the forums on my own. These forums would also greatly benefit from extra cash. For example, I'd LOVE to hire a skin expert to redesign some of our templates and graphics (see blogroll template), and a coder to clean up the remaining quasi-bugs that slow down the site. I'd also LOVE to have some extra cash to run contests, which we haven't done in a while.


    As a result, I'm introducing a donation system to help relieve the site's costs.

    It is likely that donations will exceed basic monthly operating costs. But worry not, the surplus will be put right back into the site. The extra funds will be used to:
    • Cover monthly operating costs.
    • Pay for a professional skin redesign.
    • Pay for professional site optimization (possibly SEO and some coding).
    • Cover Past expense.
    • Fund contests.
    • Purchase useful vbulletin addons and software.

    Donators will be moved into a special usergroup and will be granted certain benefits. We've had a very productive discussion going on in the Stormspire, and have ironed out the specifics. More on that later.

    If you have any comments or concerns at all, please do voice them.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Forum Financial Status and Upcoming Changes started by Sterling View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Zero's Avatar
      Zero -
      It is likely that donations will exceed basic monthly operating costs
      It is likely you are overestimating donations (unless I am underestimating the number of visitors).

      Also, by saying this in this way you are indirectly discouraging people to donate as people are more likely to donate to a cause in need then to a cause already self-maintaining. As the latter is not (yet) the case (especially if you consider the redesign to be a requirement, more then a luxure), I would recommend against such wording.
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
      It is likely you are overestimating donations. Also, by saying this in this way you are indirectly discouraging people to donate as people are more likely to donate to a cause in need then to a cause already self-maintaining. As the latter is not the case (especially if you consider the redesign to be a requirement, more then a luxure), I would recommend against such wording.
      Sure, maybe you're right, but I'm not going to sugar coat anything.

      Plus, you haven't seen what the donation rank has to offer. It's the best thing since sliced bread!
    1. Xsinthis's Avatar
      Xsinthis -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sterling View Post
      Sure, maybe you're right, but I'm not going to sugar coat anything.

      Plus, you haven't seen what the donation rank has to offer. It's the best thing since sliced bread!
      I dunno, does it get you a moose? Sliced bread can get you a moose.
    1. Erorus's Avatar
      Erorus -
      I still can't find the Donate button....
    1. Serra242's Avatar
      Serra242 -
      Oh wow - things look different as a Member! I know I should probably go introduce myself but meh...

      Anyway, this post has prompted me to finally join the Consortium after lurking for over a year now

      I will be happy to support this wonderful community as soon you decide how we can go about doing so (hopefully there'll be an option beyond PayPal since I really don't want to try & figure out what the heck my password may have been!).
    1. Namssob's Avatar
      Namssob -
      Quote Originally Posted by Erorus View Post
      I still can't find the Donate button....
      It's just below the Menu bar, maybe it's called the "Quick Links" bar? All the way on the right.
    1. Erorus's Avatar
      Erorus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Namssob View Post
      It's just below the Menu bar, maybe it's called the "Quick Links" bar? All the way on the right.
      I posted that mere hours before the Donate button showed up.
    1. smrdlja's Avatar
      smrdlja -
      Aloha there,I can offer a very nice hosting for free. Of course, goblin powered!