Funding is always a tricky subject with websites like this. The fact is that they’re not free, all websites have maintenance costs that is paid for by somebody. Luckily a basic site is not expensive to host and maintain if you already have hosting contracts for other parts of your business, which I do. This site is built using WordPress, which is released under the GPLv2 license for free use. The theme is modified from the Graph Paper Press Gridline theme. I currently host this site on my business hosting plan, if it ever outgrows it then I’ll look again at the hosting.
However to get the full functionality that I want to get there is going to have to be some investment in the future into various plugins. For example I’m currently using a calendar plugin to organise the events section of this site and I’d love to buy some more modules from the creators of the plugins to extend the functionality and make it even more useful. I think it’s important to recognise the amount of work that goes into creating plugins like this with great functionality rather than always trying to go for the free option which doesn’t quite do what you want it to do.
How this site will fund itself
- Through affiliate links – such as the Graph Paper Press link above. I will never use affiliate links for companies that I don’t believe in or use myself. These links are mostly going to come in the form of Amazon links to great products and so forth. Please use these links, they’ll really help me out with the costs of the site. I appreciate that lots of people use adblockers on their web browser, so this is a plea for you to set this site as an exemption within your software.
- Through Patreon. If you’ve not heard of Patron, I’m going to apologise in advance for all the amazing people you’ll find there. It’s a platform that content creators and creative people of all kind can use in order to fund their work and their projects. Basically you commit to giving a creator a few dollars a month, every month (until you decide to stop) and it means that they have an idea of roughly how much money per month (or project) they can spend! I don’t plan on offering content purely for subscribers, but I may occasionally throw polls out on there to see what kind of content people would like to see more of and so forth. You won’t get anything extra, but you get to help me out with the costs of this website. Knowing that I have people who believe in what I’m doing makes it easier for me to spend money on the plugins that I’d like to pick up to make this site better.
- Booking fees. In the future one of the functionalities that I’d like to offer (in a far-off, distant future) is the ability for event organisers to sell their tickets through this site. The idea would be that it would be for those organisers who do not want to put together (or pay the fees of) a whole e-commerce site for their game or event. If I started to offer this I’d most likely take a small booking fee for each ticket in the same way that a concert promoter would for a band. However this is a long way off and the fees would go into covering my time spent to make sure that the site was as reliable as possible.
How this site will not fund itself
- Banner advertising. It’s not an option that’s on the table at the moment. I might explore it later if hosting costs begin to climb.
- Google AdWords. Because you don’t care about a site trying to sell you random junk you don’t need. Well, if you’re anything like me you’ll probably be tempted into visiting and then spending all your money, but that’s not what we’re about here.
What the money will be used for
First off – I’m not going to get rich hosting this site. I fully anticipate to be out of pocket once you count every single expense. But with that in mind:
- Hosting and plugin costs. As explained above.
- Material costs for makers who contribute tutorials to this site.
- Petrol costs for me to go and produce high quality images for tutorials (or for makers to come to my studio).
- Tickets for people to experience and review games (another pipe dream here, but worth considering for the future).