question about this forum/website

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nachoman, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Please feel free to delete/move this thread if I posted it in the wrong place or this is not the appropriate format to discuss such matters...

    The recent discussion about the AMR and 2Guyz forums got me thinking. Does this website pay for itself with the advertising revenues? I have no idea how much running a website such as this one costs, and I have no idea how much $$ advertising brings in. So back to my question - is Zealot a money maker, a money loser, or a break-even-er?

    What I know is that I use this site for free (thank you:mrgreen: ). I'm not asking because I want to start my own website, or because i want to feel guilty if the site loses the owner's money, or want to make others feel guilty or pressured into donating $$, I am asking because I am simply curious about how internet commerce works.:confused:

  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Good question Kevin, right now I think the bottom line is that costs exceed revenue. Peter is in a much better position to answer you, but from what I know, the ads bring in a little money, a few people donate and some joined the quest to have an ad-free site by donating. As you can see, Peter indicated a few days ago that he has some stuff up for auction that he was going to use the proceeds to help support this forum with some upgraded software. Again, Peter pays the bills out of his own pocket and from what little he can get here and there. he would delight if he broke even, never mind make a profit. Like you, we are all grateful to him for keeping this going, and I know he appreciates any support he gets from the members here.
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I hope I am welcome to chime in here as well.
    What would the website load be here ?
    bandwidth and disk space ?

    If this is too intrusive disregard it.
  4. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Guy Behind the Curtains

    The ongoing costs in two categories, the regular ongoing cost is the server and the irregular ongoing costs are software upgrades and freelance programmers to support it.

    The few ads that show bring in more revenue than the server costs, but less than the aggregate of the historical and ongoing irregular costs.

    I've resisted putting too many ads on the site, because I think it distracts from the community. On the other hand, sometimes it becomes a financial burden, and last year was a tough one for me on that end. This year is better already.

    The next step (I hope) is to try to attract some sponsors directly, and bypass the Google ads. The Google ads only pay when y'all click them, but I'm researching avenues to facilitate letting related businesses to purchase ad spots directly on the forum instead of going through Google.
  5. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    The thing with Google ads that i like is they have improved to the point of having usefull stuff to look at. Before wasn't like that.
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    How many clicks on Google ads per day does it take to pay the bills?
  7. SPmodoc

    SPmodoc Guest

    Hypothetically, you could run a site like 2guyz or AMR for $18 a month. 2guyz is ran using pair Networks - World Class Web Hosting - Web Hosting Plans on the $17.95/mo plan and is ran on CPG Nuke forum software which is free. Seeing how they have been running 3+ years without swapping software or being hacked, the free software must be OK. A bigger site like this might need the 30 or 50 dollar hosting package, but it still isn't the thousands and thousands of dollars that some may say/believe it costs to run a site. Of course if you wanted to get cheap you could run a site off a lower priced hosting site or even on your home computer with a static IP DSL connection.
  8. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Google clicks are valued by traffic.

    I made $2.00 in one day on my site when i had those ads on it. That was the most i ever got, total $4 or something like that.

    Hostgator is a very good host. They actually will do db and other kinds of work for you. 10X better then I have ever seen in a webhost. 2guyz could get a better deal then they already have by the looks of it.
  9. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Guy Behind the Curtains

    I don't mean to be rude, but this site would last less than an hour on a shared hosting account like those other sites use. Nothing against them, but the traffic here is much much more than they're getting. A few years back we were hosted on a share hosting, but the hosting company demanded that I move the site off their server. On a slow day we have over 5,000 people visiting this site, usually much more than that. I don't know if you're trying to bust my balls or are just ignorant, but saying this site could be hosting on an account like that is like trying to pull a 50 car freight train with a ford pinto engine.
  10. Krawler

    Krawler Member

    Hi Peter we've never met I want to thank you for this website. Alot of great people and a bounty full of great information.

    Can we donate? If so where and how or too who? I can't afford much but I'd like too do my part.

  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I think my questions have been answered plus some :) My younger brother apparently just bought a server, and thinks he is somehow gonna make a living off the net, but I think he hasn't thought things through :)

    I suppose one could "donate" by clicking ads... but the ads I see are "weird" and none seem to interest me. I really think the online hobby shops (micro-mark, wholesale trains, etc) could benefit from having an ad on here, being as how many questions I see from folks who want to know where to go to buy stuff. But that would mean, out fo fairness, we would have to refrain from ranking or bashing certain retailers on the forums due to conflict of interest.

  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  13. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Not to be Rude but,
    He isn't trying to bust your balls this post you made here is the first mention of any kind of traffic figures from you.

    $5/day X 4 = $600/month is also pretty steep considering it is just about on par with Model Railroaders website. I think the auction idea is a good one, however making it $5/day kind of tells me that it is way out of any one of your supporters (me included) league here. Well unless your looking for Walthers to come and fund the whole gig.

    I thank you for your offer to allow me to advertise here, I'd rather spend my fortune (nottt) on projects to entertain people.

    Doing it the way you have makes it impossible for the little guy to even think about helping out, and i guess thats the point. Maybe I am wrong.
  14. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Also keep in mind that in addition to standard site traffic Peter hosts a download area for us cardmodeler types :) that in itself can easily hit 1gb bandwidth in a day. I personally would favor maybe one voluntary donation drive a year. Getting sponsors is great too. Also, this is not just a railroading site and can attract other possible sponsors. Its a matter of having the time to search out the sponsors - they dont come looking for us....
  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Where do the sellers in a very specific market advertise? Magazines will only take them so far, it would seem. So why not sites like this that encourage their products?
  16. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I am not saying that, to advertise full page in MRR is $7000/month to advertise on their site is $400/month. Advertising in a site that does not do any form of promotion at all for $150/month for a wee ad is a bit steep.

    I believe you misread my point bud.

    To further this I am not a Card modeler and don't even attempt to want to support a card link. This whole advertising business looks to be loaded in a very hasty way. Much like the transition from The-Gauge to Zealot. Next I expect everything to disappear without even a notice. My inquiries are out of concern for the community and believe it or not Peter's bottom line.
  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I didn't "misread anything - bud - I merely asked a question because I have no idea how the advertising end of all this works. Apparently I hit a nerve. I'll avoid asking you anything from now on.
  18. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Gentlemen, I'm going to do a very Gauge-like moderator thing here :) and request that y'all keep it civil. Seems to me the topic of how advertising works for the forum can be discussed without too much bad feeling.

  19. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    No nerve hit, I said bud to be friendly, seeing as we came close the other day to doing the ram thing.

    Again misread, should I be using smileys ?
  20. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Yep. Smileys are always good. They can really help to convey emotion.:thumb:

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