View Full Version : Changes afoot

12-23-2012, 10:10 PM
Most of you know that the site has struggled on our existing server for a few years now. Mostly it is slowdowns that occur due to the size of the database, number of users (including guests; remember the entire site - reviews, etc. - is driven by the MySQL database), and so on. We have also experience crashes, primarily during the daily backup that would tax the resources of the site. There would also be occasional database errors that occur. I did some minor pruning of inactive users and old threads with no responses. That helped some, but the long term solution was a new server. The problem with that brings us to the biggest problem the site has:

Getting the site to be self sufficient - i.e. pay for itself.

Most know I hate hate hate ads. We were fortunate to have had DVD Empire for years and their monthly advertising fees basically paid for our hosting costs. They left a few years ago, however, and since that time I have been paying the costs for a dedicated server out of pocket. My wife and I make good money, but when you have four kids (two newborns) and the need for a new car (my 1996 Ford Explorer just isn't cutting it), plus the desire to save for a house, the nearly $100 a month I pay for the hosting costs seems like the first place to cut.

We were recently cut a break. The host finally agreed to put us on a modern server (ours was several years old and ancient by today's standards) and for the same price. That's a very big win for the site. We now have a significantly faster CPU, hard drive, and more memory. All three are important for a database driven site. So now we come back to our first and main problem remaining:

Getting the site to be self sufficient - i.e. pay for itself.

Many people have suggested the Amazon affiliate program, which I have relented on and signed up for. I encourage everyone that wishes to support the site to do their shopping through our Amazon link. Simply visit the main page for now and you will see the link. Click on the link and do your shopping. We get a commission from what you buy. Going forward we will integrated the Amazon links through the rest of the site, including for each review.

The other way to support us is to visit the donation link (http://www.horrordvds.com/vb3forum/billspaypal.php?) if you wish to chip in by paypal.

Finally, I'm going to again revisit using something like Google Adsense to try and raise some regular revenue. We used Adsense briefly and it worked well raising some revenue, but they banned our account for no reason (a quick google search seems to indicate it is a common problem). There are alternatives and I will look into them.

Those are the three methods I'm looking at to raise revenue to pay for the hosting costs. Neither of the two ad driven methods will be overly obtrusive. We will not have popups and all that nonsense.

Should we get to the point where more money is brought in than what it costs to pay for the site, the excess funds will be put back into the site - either for contents, upgrades, or banking it for future hosting fees.

That's it guys. I want to keep the site going and I want to continue to grow the site. If the site becomes self sufficient I will move to the next phase of getting us onto a more modern portal that has the facebook / twitter integration, and lots of other fun features.

Thanks for all your support.

12-23-2012, 11:00 PM
Glad to hear things are moving in a positive direction Dave, I know I can speak for all the regulars here and say that we were worried. looks like all my Amazon purchases from here on out will be through the site link!

Mikey Horror
12-24-2012, 12:22 AM
Yeah, I'll definitely be making it a point to go through the Amazon portal here to make all my purchases. Do you still get a kickback if I buy from third party sellers or do purchases have to be made from Amazon itself?

12-24-2012, 02:45 AM
Am I blind? Where is the amazon link on the main page?

12-24-2012, 03:28 AM
I too will do my Amazon shopping through this site. Thanks Dave for keeping this site alive.

12-24-2012, 09:09 AM
msw7, maybe you're using AdBlocker? I turned mine off for this site!

12-24-2012, 01:02 PM
Amazon shopping >Horrordvds.

12-24-2012, 03:33 PM
From now on I will do all my Amazon Shopping from this site

12-24-2012, 05:59 PM
Hope it works when I shop amazon and pay with my Discover cashback. It should as that acts like cash.

12-24-2012, 06:12 PM
:joshua: !

Good news, Dave! Thanks for keepin' the site going.

12-24-2012, 07:01 PM
great news, Dave. Question: if i click on the link, then navigate via amazon.com to amazon.ca and make a purchase, do you still get part of the commission?

12-24-2012, 07:10 PM
msw7, maybe you're using AdBlocker? I turned mine off for this site!

Ah yes, that did the trick. And wow, I would have to be blind to miss it now!

12-24-2012, 08:21 PM
Personally, I'm fine with it as I'd say about 50% of my purchases come from Amazon. Hell, I rebuilt my MOUNTAN BIKE strictly through stuff bought on Amazon.

Only dilemma is that the non-profit film festival I work for also links to Amazon for kickbacks. I guess I'll just have to alternate.

01-01-2013, 12:18 AM
Yeah I pretty much never buy from Amazon.com, only from Amazon.ca (and .uk actually). I can't afford the shipping from .com. So can we click through to .ca and still give you guys the commission?

01-02-2013, 02:24 AM
Hi Dave sending you a PM about this that may offer some info.

01-08-2013, 03:12 PM
I shop lots through Amazon and will use it from now on through this site.

02-28-2013, 10:27 AM
Hey Guys,

Just to update everyone, the Amazon affiliate program is bringing us some success. The first month was about $60, second was around $75, and for this month we are currently at $55.

If we can trend $50+ a month, I can certainly cover the remainder of the hosting bill.

I just received the first payment today (the $60). There is a lag with the payments; I suppose to cover themselves for any returns.

Thanks guys! Keep it up.

I'm going to move forward with talking to the portal developer about getting the site over to the latest Vbulletin. I still think it's 3-4 months away but we'll see how everything shakes out.

02-28-2013, 02:31 PM
Great News...I will continue to do all my Amazon shopping through this site.

02-28-2013, 04:08 PM
Great News...I will continue to do all my Amazon shopping through this site.

Me too. I just made a purchase through the link. Thanks Dave.

02-28-2013, 04:20 PM
awesome to hear.

02-28-2013, 04:53 PM
Great news

02-28-2013, 06:24 PM
Good news. Iíve been trying to remember to use the Amazon link.

Little off topic, but wasnít there mention of getting a mobile app for the site as well? Maybe there already is an app that is compatible for this site (these smartphones are so confusing sometimes)? I usually only access the site when I am at work, all the other times I have to access through my phone, and let me tell you, this site isnít the easiest to navigate on a smartphoneÖat least not for mine anyways. Trying to post is a nightmare, I am unable to use the search feature, and if I donít zoom in excessively on a clickable link, I get redirected via the Amazon add on top of the page. Itís quite frustrating to say the least.

02-28-2013, 06:38 PM
i've been clicking the link, then using the navigation via amazon.com to get to amazon.ca to do my shopping and preordering. i have no idea if this works or not, but here's hoping... great to know that its working out, though.

02-28-2013, 07:23 PM
I've been using the link for all my Amazon purchases since it was first listed here, so hopefully it's going through.

What percentage of a click-through purchase do they hand to you Dave?

02-28-2013, 11:27 PM
Crap, I don't know how I missed this thread. I've been doing a lot of purchasing from Amazon recently- wish had gone through the link here. Well, I promise to remember to go that way in the future.