Why have you added ads on our forums again Yoso?
I thought I should sit down and explain why I decided to add ads on our forums once again and give you all a plan as to what I plan to use with that money.
As Lelouch has said, "Greed". This is completely false. The money generated by these ads will be minimal. Like seriously. With zero clicks, it makes about two cents a day, and then each click (depending on the ad) is around $0.30. I have seen some ads pay up to $1.50 before, it really depends on your location and which ad is clicked. But let's make one thing clear, the money generated by any ads on this site is so minimal, I do not plan to pocket any at all. I have this principle that I do not like spending money on certain things, and that includes free online games. Now, I have no problem spending $12 a year for hosting, but for that $12 we do not get the best hosting at all. In fact, I figured out why emails weren't sending, it's because GoDaddy IP addresses are banned for spam. So I can't use PHP mail, or even SMTP to use a gmail. All emails are blocked that come from a GoDaddy IP and SMTP is also blocked for some reason. Now, we could go use Forumotion, but come on, who wants to use that? If we were to acquire these forums legitimately, it would cost at least $175 then $50 renewal each year. That is easily achievable given the fact that we receive almost 900,000 page visits a month. The thing is, only around 80,000 page visits each month are from users without adblock. Also, our click through rate is very low. Today, Zoot has decided to click a few ads that interested him, just by doing that, he has raised $1 for the BK fund.
Now let's move onto what I would plan to spend that money on.
- Actual good hosting. Get off this GoDaddy shit and move to DigitalOcean. This will allow us to use a VPS which will enable us to do a shit ton more things with the forums. For example, we could have an IRC bouncer for BK members. We could even run a Minecraft server on that server. We could host a Teamspeak server for fucks sake. I could also allow others to host their forums on our server, or even our member's websites. We can do ANYTHING, but at the moment we're on shared hosting and it blows. It would also save me a lot of headache because I'll actually be able to fix issues rather than waiting on GoDaddy to do shit with their excellent support.
- SSL certificate. Yeah, we can secure your connection.
- In-game donations. We can add a ton of flags, advertise in-game, have another pip, give away credits in a lottery, etc. without spending 1.7m on each credit. Not only that, but we'd be supporting the game that we all play. Want to piss SK off in in-game ads? You know you want to.
- Remember how the arcade, economy, and awards plugins were crap? Not anymore! With the legit version we would be able to get updates and have everything fixed. We still will have to wait for the plugins to be updated, but as soon as they are BAM we got it.
- All the other plugins that are located in the IPS store, we can actually get. Including... SECONDARY GROUP ICONS! The way we are now, we're limited to a very small collection that are updated rarely.
- Actual themes instead of this one, which I made. Like holy shit that has been a pain in my ass.
- Downgrade to IPB3. Anything's possible when there's money involved. I believe I could do it now, but it would probably take a day or so because I'd have to manually move and edit the database.
- Make my life easier. Backups are a pain in the ass and things go wrong all the time somehow. Backups would be as simple as two clicks, and restoring would take seconds. I don't think you all realize how much shit actually breaks normally. I would honestly put a lot of blame on this IPB4 update, but things still broke on IPB3 just NOT AS OFTEN.
The day may come when we have to downgrade to SMF, and no one wants that. Like I said above, the money generated by ads will be minimal that all the money will go right back into BK. I won't quit my day job because I would be living on the streets with the amount this generates. Now if no one had adblock and this was a regular site like a blog or something, a low estimate of what it would make is $900 a month (at $1 per 1,000 impressions which is very low). It really opened by eyes as to how fucking hard it would be to make a living if you were a webmaster.
Anyway, our domain name and hosting expires on the 26th of December. On that date, I'm more than happy to drop the $12 to renew the domain name and $10 to start hosting on Namecheap, though I would prefer not to. I would love to buy an IPB license and host that bitch on DigitalOcean. I mean, I could afford it right now, fuck, I dropped $160 on a keyboard. But like I said, fuck spending money on this shit if I can get by spending $22 for the bare minimum. Actually, we could do this for free but honestly no one wants that. Free hosting and SMF? No thanks.
I sometimes have to spend hours and rarely DAYS fixing shit on these forums. The goal is to make you all not realize it, but it happens. When I leave and go on my hiatus, things need to run without any issues. Lelouch is the only one here who would remotely have a clue as to what's going on, but I'm sure there's things that he doesn't know. He also probably won't have enough time to fix a lot of these issues. I have absolutely no problem with people using adblock because really, the impressions you're blocking wouldn't give us shit anyway. Also if there's a few people who don't want to use adblock and don't want to see ads, I'll make a group that's exempt from seeing them. I'm not here to be a Nazi Admin and throw a fuck-ton of popups and shit in your face. The minimum payout is $100 so we won't be able to do anything until we reach that.
As for the irrelevant ads, I'm looking into it. Personally, I'm having decent ads on the homepage, but when I go within any forums or login protected pages, the ads become shit. I'm also experimenting with different ad placements. Nothing will be intrusive though. For example, one banner ad in the footer. I also just placed a larger ad on the right sidebar to see what's up.
So if you see an ad that looks interesting to you and you made a decision by yourself that was in no way influenced to click it because you want to find out more information about that ad, go for it. Each click helps the BK fund grow so that we can have some money to have fun with and do cool shit.
tl;dr: Click interesting ads if you find them interesting and were not influenced to do so.