The mods have persuaded me to give this one more try. The site costs $130 a month to run. We’re going to start doing donation drives. Over the coming weeks, you’ll begin to see changes coming to Lunaescence.
What’s in store
- To encourage donations, donators will:
- Be placed in a special “Donor” user group and icon indicating the person has contributed to the site.
- Donors will also receive priority validation status -- both stories AND author validation. It won’t guarantee you’ll get validated, but it will place you automatically at the top.
- We’re exploring the idea of T-shirts, bracelets and other apparel as Thank You Gifts
- Soon those blocking ads will see new messages asking them to please enable them or consider donating.
- On logging in, users will see a notice regarding current funding levels. These notices will also be available in several places around the site.
In the beginning, Lunaescence used to only cost $25 every three months.
However, it grew to the point it had to keep moving to new servers because we used too many resources. I’m not entirely talking about bandwidth or actual storage space, but computing cycles / power. It takes a powerful system to run this website. Even taming the database queries and taking steps to install a caching system, the site still talks to the database many thousands of times to serve up stories, reviews, and everything else. We went from a tiny site with maybe 100 users to over 10,000 unique visitors a DAY visiting the site. As we hit that 10,000 people / day mark
, we faced repeated hardware failures. To resolve those issues, we had to move and our costs jumped from $40 every three months to $130 each month.
Sure, we could go back to using a $10 a month server. But that would mean we’d basically only be open for maybe the first week or two weeks of every month. (That’s about what we were averaging before we’d overwhelm the system and crash the entire web server before we moved.)
Thank you to everyone who has already contributed. If your email address you used with paypal is the same one you have signed up with your account, you'll notice the changes automatically. Moving forward, please note the account you wish to have Donor status applied to.