First, I have discussed the issue of selling ads on the site with my sponsor. He agrees that it is appropriate and necessary.
The math is simple. Since being built in 2014, donations had been covering only 32% of site monthly operating costs. This does not include the substantial initial developer costs and routine developer costs over that span.
Operating costs have gone up both May and June 2017 to fund:
- hiring a WordPress system administrator and developer for necessary upgrades (this site’s stable functionality and its networking need pro help);
- upgraded secure hosting and database servers, 2 CDN’s for the fastest delivery worldwide, a media server, and a staging/testing server (so I don’t break things on the live site, which I’ve had a habit of doing).
- Security for protecting the site from insane amounts of daily hacking attempts (2 were quite successful, brought the site to its knees and banned by google, and took $$$ and months to recover from);
- Redesigned theme rolling out shortly (desperately needed for security and better user experience).
Long story short, since it was built, I’m down a substantial amount. Please keep in mind that I probably have over 1700 hours of my own work into the site and work on it almost every day. The site may look simple, but the backend and networking of this site is complex and is still being refined in ways probably imperceptible to the visitors.
The site needs to fund itself, and I need to try and get paid back (someday?). The community didn’t support it, so I’m hoping advertisers will.
Early in the advertising process, you are likely to see ads that may disturb or disrupt your user experience. I ask you to be patient, as ads are being served by an AI system that needs 3-6 months of testing to optimize ads without disrupting user experience.