Nesdev.com funding

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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How should I fund a new server

Keep the ads, but make them fit in better
22
34%
Ditch the ads and accept donations
36
56%
Neither option (please specify and alternative in a reply to this post)
6
9%
 
Total votes: 64

WhoaMan
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Nesdev.com funding

Post by WhoaMan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:00 pm

NesDev.com is currently hosted on an aging Dell Poweredge that is co-located in Idaho Falls, Idaho. When I setup the server, most of the servers that I maintained for work were running Gentoo Linux and it was easy to keep all of the work servers plus the nesdev server up to date all at the same time. Since then, the work servers have migrated to something else and I have been pulled in many different directions over the years to help out my bosses (these include helping to setup a WISP, rebuilding old Brunswick bowling pin setters, maintaining equipment use for repackaging, and other misc things including my normal computer related duties). Now, the Gentoo installation is out of date and the hardware is aging to where I am not comfortable running it for much longer.

While I have been paying the co-location and other fees for the past couple of years and can continue to do so, I have not been able to set any extra aside to put towards a new server. I bit the bullet and tried out something that I did not want to do and placed some google and amazon ads on the forums. I figured that by only showing these when the users are not logged in would not affect many people or be too much in the way and was surprised to find out how many normal users browse throughout the day and only sign in when they have something to say. Since putting these ads on, we have been averaging 24 cents a day for google and $0 on Amazon. It seems that I need to bite the bullet again and do what multiple people have suggested. I guess it is time to do away with the ads and accept donations to go towards a new server and possibly the other hosting fees.

In case anyone is curious, Here is a general overview of what I am currently paying:
Co-Location fees......................$35 bi-weekly (or around $910 a year)
Domain name..........................$12.99
Misc services (including DNS) .....$192.00
====================================================
Total......................................$1114.99 a year
i dont have much to say

calima
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by calima » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:49 am

I think you're overpaying for the domain and DNS (do you have something special in that "misc services"?). I usually use internet.bs, they're quite reliable, and I haven't had any trouble with their DNS. Today's prices for .com are 8.99 for one year, less if paying for multiple years at once, including normal DNS.

Edit: Also, what's the traffic like? Surely a small forum and a wiki could live on a single vps.

M_Tee
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by M_Tee » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:54 am

Patreon?

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Light-Dark
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Location: Canada

Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by Light-Dark » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:12 am

Do you have a PayPal for this; I'll donate some cash to keep this place operational.

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koitsu
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by koitsu » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:17 am

I think I've mentioned this in a past post somewhere (maybe?), but you will find that donations will be few and far between. Parodius was nearly 20 years of proof of that for me; when we closed, my out-of-pocket costs for co-location were around US$750/month. So I see $1200/year and I think "wow, that's pretty good!", haha. :-)

If monetary concerns are the main focal point (which is perfectly justified!), then my recommendation would be to find ways to diminish those costs. They're not the cheapest cloud provider, but estimating costs for instance in both EC2 and RDS in AWS would be worthwhile, IMO. Google has their cloud stuff too (AFAIK it's cheaper).

Had I gotten familiar with AWS earlier in my life, I probably could've diminished the costs of Parodius from $750/month to more like $125/month.

Basically what I'm saying is: operate under the assumption that there will be no donations ever. Worst-case scenario is always the best to default to.

Don't go the ad route if you can avoid it. I'm still glad I stayed true to my heart/ethics and never did that. Adblockers are more commonplace than ever now too, so, yeah... reality.

P.S. -- Hemming and hawing over how to save $4/year on a domain is silly. I'm giving my recommendations as someone who has done this for decades: use Gandi for DNS, NameCheap for SSL certificates, and strongly consider putting CloudFlare in front of all of that.

tepples
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by tepples » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:30 am

calima wrote:I think you're overpaying for the domain and DNS (do you have something special in that "misc services"?). I usually use internet.bs
I saw that name and did a double-take. "The Internet is BS"? But then I looked closer and found .bs means Bahamas.
koitsu wrote:P.S. -- Hemming and hawing over how to save $4/year on a domain is silly. I'm giving my recommendations as someone who has done this for decades: use Gandi for DNS
Agreed; my own site's DNS has been with Gandi since 2000. But still:
Gandi wrote:gandi.net: no bullshit™
"No BS" isn't a thinly veiled slam at Bahamian domain registrars, is it? :P

At least Gandi hasn't pulled my site down for connection to activity that some company might consider criminal, unlike Internet BS. (There is some old DS homebrew on pineight.com, and Nintendo considers homebrew enablers and game mods on its recent systems to be "criminal activity" to the point of censoring the term "PM" on Miiverse in order to suppress Project M and accepting censorship of discussion about Paper Mario and afternoons as collateral damage.)

WhoaMan
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:07 pm

Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by WhoaMan » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:07 am

koitsu wrote: If monetary concerns are the main focal point (which is perfectly justified!), then my recommendation would be to find ways to diminish those costs. They're not the cheapest cloud provider, but estimating costs for instance in both EC2 and RDS in AWS would be worthwhile, IMO. Google has their cloud stuff too (AFAIK it's cheaper).
im not concerned as far as the current costs as I can and will be able to cover them. It is more about trying to get some newer hardware.
tepples wrote: At least Gandi hasn't pulled my site down for connection to activity that some company might consider criminal, unlike Internet BS. (There is some old DS homebrew on pineight.com, and Nintendo considers homebrew enablers and game mods on its recent systems to be "criminal activity" to the point of censoring the term "PM" on Nintendo Network in order to suppress Project M and accepting censorship of about Paper Mario and afternoons as collateral damage.)
this is the main reason why i prefer to co-locate nesdev.com. while homebrew isnt illegal and such, you never know when a 3rd party might pull the plug on you when they dont understand the content.
i dont have much to say

WhoaMan
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:07 pm

Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by WhoaMan » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:16 am

calima wrote:I think you're overpaying for the domain and DNS (do you have something special in that "misc services"?). I usually use internet.bs, they're quite reliable, and I haven't had any trouble with their DNS. Today's prices for .com are 8.99 for one year, less if paying for multiple years at once, including normal DNS.

Edit: Also, what's the traffic like? Surely a small forum and a wiki could live on a single vps.
The misc services category is actually shared between a few others sites and services as well, so nesdev.com is more or less piggybacked on it for DNS and such.

as far as traffic, we average just over 1600 unique visitors each day. this doesnt take in to consideration what people download from the archive and such or any of the hosted sites.
i dont have much to say

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Broke Studio
Formerly glutock
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by Broke Studio » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:38 am

M_Tee wrote:Patreon?
+1
My first game : Twin Dragons available at Broke Studio.

FrankWDoom
Posts: 172
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by FrankWDoom » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:15 am

I'm happy to throw some cash in to keep this place going. nintendoage does a donation drive every so often to keep the lights on and it goes over very well. I think the key points are:

set a specific goal
detail out exactly where the funds will go
make it easy for people to send you money (paypal, etc)

Timeframe is also important. Doing a two week drive once a year or so will focus people to reach the goal, rather than having an open ended donation request.

Are ebay/amazon/etc links posted here referral-ized? That's another few bucks that people won't mind nearly as much as ads.

zzo38
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by zzo38 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:18 am

Since the ads are not active when logged in, and even when not logged in that presumably client-defined code can easily disable the ads, that it is not a problem. However, you probably should accept donations, as long as those can easily be hidden in the same way if wanted.

What I do not want is for links that users post to be automatically altered, although referral-izing all of your own links is OK, and adding commands specifically for Ebay and Amazon and so on may also be suitable.
[url=gopher://zzo38computer.org/].[/url]

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B00daW
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by B00daW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:29 pm

Put the donate button on the top of the page and do a Kickstarter/Patreon that ties in with the NESdev coding competition. Without this site there aren't many alternatives. Spam the compo in pouet.net as well. :)

I'm ready to donate at any time.

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Myask
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by Myask » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:31 pm

WhoaMan wrote:was surprised to find out how many normal users browse throughout the day and only sign in when they have something to say.
Speaking as one [and also only read on some devices], how many happen to? I'm curious about figures.

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Drew Sebastino
Formerly Espozo
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by Drew Sebastino » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:33 pm

Everyone is going to hate me for saying this, but I think we need more ads on this website. I don't see the big fuss, especially considering that they're on the top and bottom of the screen. Hell, even if they were on the sides and slid down I wouldn't care. The only bull crap thing is whenever the ads take up the entire screen and you need to press the x in the corner, or when they have audio that goes along with them because I'll be on YouTube with a website open and it'll go off.

Why does it have to be either ads or donations? (I suppose some people would only donate if there are only ads. You could ask that, and if that's the case, maybe you could have users pay to have no adds?) Donations are nice, but I really don't like the prospect of trying to fund this website exclusively through them. The problem is that everyone expects everyone else to donate, so no one ends up doing it. Really though, why would you rather pay money than see small advertisements on the side of the screen? Am I the only one who actually looks at them sometimes? I just think that it's unacceptable to have one person pay $1000+ yearly to keep this website running. Even if you got add revenue to 50c per day, that's $182.50 per year, which still isn't that crazy, but it's at least about 1/6 the cost.

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Jedi QuestMaster
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Re: Nesdev.com funding

Post by Jedi QuestMaster » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:58 pm

I think Patreon is better than a one-time donation that PayPal fees will eat up anyway. It's convenient in that it's an automatic payment and that the site will continue to be funded... if many people are willing to donate a small amount every month.

Look at it this way: if 40 members donate $2 each month, that's $960 a year. It pays for the co-location fee.

By the way, I think you're going about the ads all wrong: Only users should see the ads. :lol: If people want to post, ask questions, and extract your knowledge, they have to suffer. :mrgreen:


By the way, by the way, I'm onboard for making a pledge.

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