In April 2007 we moved TheWrestlingTalk.com to it's own server and have experienced amazing growth - over 46,000 users have joined our community.
In the last 2 years, we have also put out some other free tools that are resource hogs (wrestling videos, dieting logs, arcade, social groups, photo albums, etc.) plus others that aren't so resource intensive.
We ran a small fundraiser at the end of 2007 to improve the current server and we have gotten along alright since then. As traffic continues to rise and our mission to bring wrestling to every member, guest, and passer-by remains unchanged, we were left with two options.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure the exact cost of the server, but it should (hopefully) be under $15,000 total. Whatever money isn't raised will be kicked in by me personally. I'll update this page when I get an exact price quote from Dell.
Of course, it doesn't make good business sense to drop nearly $15k on new servers that are solely for tools and forum that are completely free. One option is to charge for tool usage (which isn't going to happen) and the other is to ask for donations to help cover the actual costs. Basically what it comes down to is if everyone that used the tools donated $0.25 (only once), the cost would be totally covered. Realistically, not everyone is going to donate, so for the ones that do, we are going to offer some extra things for them:
- $50 donation gives you the ability to change your user title in the forum. No Advertising for a year.
- $150 donation gives you more signature options, an "I Donated" button for your posts, the ability to change your user title, no advertising for a year.
- $500 donation gives you some free advertising on this page (see "Big Donors" section, add a banner/link), more signature options, "I Donated" button, ability to change your user title, and no advertising forever.
- Of course any donation is welcome, even if it's just $1.
Either way, if you like any of the tools, help keep them free and alive by making a donation for new servers.