GFF might have ads!
We're breaking the oath that we have sworn so many times. GFF needs money and might soon start having ads.
We have promised several times during our long history that the Global FlyFisher would never go commercial and start having ads, but reality might just be catching up with us.
We have been paying for the hosting of GFF out of our own pockets for 20 years. At first in the infancy of the site it was Steve Schweitzer who shelled the money, but later I have personally both bought and paid a physical server as well as hosting it. We ran it into the ground and it finally broke down, so the last few years I have been paying for a so called Virtual Server (VPS), which is the next best thing to running your own physical machine, but probably also the second most expensive way of hosting a web site.
have been growing, and even though it's not breaking the bank or keeping me from paying my bills, it's quite a lot of money to pay. Somewhere around 1,500 to 2,000 USD a year at least - and now we need to upgrade to keep things running smoothly.
So we're breaking
the solemn oath that we have sworn to each other and you on several occasions about keeping the site non-commercial and ad free, and will soon start running Google ads.
But fret not!
Because if you are a regular visitor and despise online ads (like I honestly do myself), you can simply opt out and turn off the ads. There will be a settings page where you can turn the ads on and off for the whole site. We will remember your choice and leave the pages ad free just as they have always been.
We do of course kindly ask you to consider your choice, and see whether you can stand looking at the ads, since they will after all be paying for serving the content. But if you decide against it, and turn them off, we won't think badly of you, and you will see the exact same content as everybody else, just without the ads.
But fret not!
Unfortunately we can't
control the content of the Google ads, and might consider doing something along the lines of hosting our own fly-fishing relevant ads from advertisers who want access to our large and premium audience /yes, that's you!). We'll see what the reactions are and how both you the readers and potential advertisers react.
I'd much rather have relevant ads for sure!
Another option might be joining an ad network, which usually provides hand picked and relevant ads, and a third one could be select sponsors.
But I'm just dipping my toes here and trying out the whole thing out to see whether it's worth the effort and the "compromising" of the site.
I personally don't like ads, and will definitely shut them down if they are too obtrusive or unpopular.
I don't expect
us to make a profit. Heck, typing our domain into one of the revenue calculators online tells me that we can make somewhere between 10 and 200 USD a month. 200 would be really nice (like REALLY!), 10 would mean goodbye to ads right away. It's not worth fouling the site for 10 bucks a month.
Let me hear
what you think about this whole idea.
- Is the ad free environment on GFF the reason you come?
- Will you love us less if we have ads?
- Will you still visit if we have ads?
- Will you forgive us if you can turn them off?
- Are we selling out?
We want to hear from you. Add your comments below, and if you're a potential advertiser, feel free to drop me a mail, and we can talk about it.
Just to explain
the motivation for this move, here's a quick rundown of the background for the decision:
The Global FlyFisher is a gigantic site and a huge success and that can be felt on the demand the site puts on its technical environment. We are currently using 95% of the disk space we have at our disposal and often surpass the CPU resources that's included in our hosting plan, which is actually pretty hefty as it is.
We need an upgrade, and it might not surprise you that an upgrade means more expenses.
So why don't we simply get one of these "unlimited" accounts that many hosting companies offer? Just pay 9.99 per month and we'll get unlimited space, bandwidth and all that jazz.
Well, reality is that unlimited isn't really unlimited when you start to utilize it.
A site like GFF will not run willingly in a small slot on a server shared with hundreds of other sites. We simply eat disk space, memory and CPU from everybody else, and will have the hosting company on our neck before the first day ends.
No, GFF needs power and flexibility, and that costs.
We did try buying our own physical server as mentioned, but that's a lot of work and the hardware is expensive - it cost close to 2000 USD back then and hasn't become less expensive.
The virtual server is the way to go. Such a server is run by the hosting company and ours has done a great job for us the last few years. We just need a bigger one to accommodate the site growth. It's nothing but a few settings that needs changing, but it costs.
And we hope we can finance that with the help of an ad revenue.
GFF needs power and flexibility, and that costs.