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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Money Solves Everything! Sat 5th Sep 2009 5:11pm

Category: Business

There doesn't seem to be a desirable and obvious solution to the chat problem... Several people suggested just using some kind of external chat software or even directing to a chat on another site, but I REALLY don't want to do that. For the same reason that I spent weeks coding my own forum and chatroom from scratch in the first place rather than just spending ten minutes getting that phpBB thing...
So though that's a possibility, I'll really hate it if it has to come to that.

I like how my site is so very... 'unique' in that everything here is done personally by me, rather than merely acquired from places, made by other people. I think it gives the things like the forum and chatroom a whole different FEEL, and I really like how I have full power over the customisation and can do things like have the colours and avatars and other account features be of use in the chatroom... I couldn't do that with some Generic Chatroom Software thing.

Anyway, I spent all day trying to work out some better solution that would solve the problem that brought down the chatroom, and I DID solve the problem... but brought up another one instead which was even worse.
The problem before was that the sever was being overwhelmed due to the method that the chatroom used... It checked for new messages at regular intervals (every 5 seconds, I think), and this led to far too many pages being loaded too often when too many people were in the chatroom; this was the reason for those 'Internal Server Errors'.

So I tried another method which reduced the CPU load drastically, by having a script stay open until it found new messages, and it worked in real time too and could have been great... but my plan with my webhost limits the number of active processes at any time, so THIS wasn't an option either.

Now, getting to the point... There IS a solution to this, and to many other problems that the site will surely experience when I release FHO or Beast Signer or whatever...

Currently, my site is on a shared hosting plan, which means it shares a server with loads of other sites... It's cheap and easy and what most people use for small-time sites. But this site is outgrowing that, and would be best on a dedicated server... which the host also does, but, uh, there's a matter of cost.

Currently, I'm paying like $8 a month for this site to stay on the internet. Cheap, right? (I wonder how many people just didn't even realise I had to pay anything at all...)
The advertising generates approximately $100 a month, so it easily pays for itself.

However, a dedicated server costs, at its cheapest, $174 per month. That's not a small amount, and the adverts alone wouldn't cover it. If I had to pay for that, then I'd not be making any profits at all and would have to pay money out of my own pocket (LITERALLY!11) in order to keep it running.

So, do you know what I'm trying to get at?!?

Who, uh, would be willing to contribute to server costs? That is, if I got a dedicated server, would people be willing to contribute via PayPal donations in order to keep the site running? I could have a thing on the main page sort of like that thermometer on the right there (or I'd just remove that) with a goal amount of $174 per month, so people could see how much others were contributing and so on...

I have strong doubts that the current assortment of members could help me with this, what with most of you being young... so hmm. I'm not sure what I can do, really. Maybe I'll have to reduce the chat to a SHADOW OF ITS FORMER SELF in order to have it running at all...

Anyway, a dedicated server would increase the site's performance in general, which is something it probably badly needs. Hmm.

On another money-related note, I had a look at the CafePress shops yesterday, and, uh... how much would people be willing to pay for a shirt with a FigHunter-related image on them?
I expected the base price to be like $10 so I could charge $15 and get $5 profit, but it seems that most of them are like $20-$40 as their *base prices*, so I'd have to charge like $35 or $45 for shirts in order to make any money from them, and that just seems ridiculous. o_O
But I have no idea how much clothes are in general, apparently! Especially not in US dollars.

Hmm... I hate having to worry about money.


55 Commentson 35 roots

creater0822`s Avatar
Rating Orb creater0822 14 Netherlands MelancholicPhlegmatic 37C 1F
8 years ago | (0)
Money can help me a lot.
I can buy a new computer or laptop
TheWooter`s Avatar
Rating Orb TheWooter 24 United Kingdom CholericPhlegmatic 29C 34F
8 years ago | (0)
I know that I think in a totality different way to you , but how about, you know making your games pay to play... then updating them like you said, monthly? lets say adding an extra fig realm pentacle to the game once a month, the kind of thing that does nto advance the story but give those who pay a chance to get some super uber ( or awesome, or ...good?, effective, monster busting, first-class ECT) weapon drops, as well as fight an extra boss, you could probably animate and design draw a monster in like 6 days if motivated, but would money motivate you that much ...humm... Also don't doubt yourself! (sorry don't mean to be pushy >.< id just like to say now you can ignore this and i wont mind) if people will pay 20 dollars for some weapons from adventure quest, then they will do the same for you, your art and humor just as good as that if not better.
demonid`s Avatar
Rating Orb demonid 16 Belgium PhlegmaticSanguine 4C 0F
8 years ago | (0)
i don't think it can help a lot but maybe you could sell something with deviantart after all you're an awesome artist! if you sell several things on some website maybe you'll get enough money, after all you don't need so much( after there are the profits of course) that's just an idea, now i don't know if it's a good one :s
Deathscout`s Avatar
Rating Orb Deathscout 15 United States MelancholicSanguine 117C 16F
8 years ago | (0)
Wow why is it that buying some things online is cheaper yet shirts are so expensive, the most I've ever seen a shirt go for is twenty-five dollars! Yet here, online the people who create the shirts sell them for thirty dollars!
Tathar`s Avatar
Rating Orb Tathar 20 United States 53C 20F
8 years ago | (0)
Just swallow your pride already and get a free CMS to handle chat for you. Let's face it, something you write on your own will not be as efficient as a free solution developed by possibly thousands of people, each of which have at least the same level of understanding of chat systems as you do. Whenever you write such a system yourself, you have to maintain it yourself, fix the security issues yourself, and make it more efficient yourself. With a CMS, someone else does that all for you, so all you have to do is write the necessary modifications to the code and create the image assets to make it blend in with your site seamlessly. You can do that, I'm sure, because you've already made a system from scratch yourself.

Now I assume you realize just how inefficient your forums are, since it takes several seconds on a broadband connection for anything to load. That's another problem. If you get a free forum system (like phpBB, or even better, SMF) then you'll see immediate improvements in page load times, and you can still integrate it with your site-wide login system. Your blog system seems pretty efficient in comparison to the rest of your site, but since it's the first thing most visitors see, you may want to use Wordpress or similar down the road and write your own mods for that.

Remember, Wordpress, phpBB, and other CMS solutions are each developed by many people, and you would be doing yourself a favor to use them for the reasons I noted above. However, since you have a low-level understanding of how such systems work, you have another opportunity presented by using them: you can write mods for them that can make them appear exactly the same as what you're using right now to the visitors. You should try to use CMS software as merely a framework on top of which you develop all of the unique features currently offered on your site. I've heard of entire Flash portals being built on top of Wordpress, and you'd be surprised by just how common CMS software is on the Web because websites that use CMS solutions usually make them seamless to the point where you would never know a CMS was in use.

So yeah, forget about dedicated hosting. You don't need that. Just save yourself a lot of trouble and money by using CMS software.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
8 years ago | (0)
Apparently you do not think like me at all...
Hard as it may be to believe, I really actually LIKE coding my own systems... It's not a matter of *pride*, thinking I can do BETTER THAN or even an as-good-a-job-as people who do things like that professionally; I just happen to love the actual act of creating things. It makes me feel satisfied, and entertained and other such things... And I really love the level of freedom I have over it.
I can't stand pre-made things because they are necessarily *generic*; you have far less control over how things will look and work. I could never have all the worth and values and HP and stuff if I used one of those prefabricated forums, for example.

Anyway, I already addressed the problem with the chatroom myself and was able to make it a lot more efficient, so the problem's averted... I will however need a dedicated server at some point in the future for reasons that no premade software can do anything about; large Flash files being downloaded very often will be too much for a shared hosting plan to handle.
Tathar`s Avatar
Rating Orb Tathar 20 United States 53C 20F
8 years ago | (0)
I'm quite aware you like coding your own systems. That's why you won't work with anyone else on a game. I'm saying that your own systems aren't going to cut it anymore unless you want to pay ever-increasing server costs. When I gave you that advice, I had a strong belief that you wouldn't follow it though, which is why I said what I said to convince you why it has become necessary to do that now. I even explained how you could continue to have freedom over it; you could modify the software however you like to be exactly what you need it to be, and you can do that without the extra server costs involved with a system that is completely made by you.

The modding features common among such forum software were precisely why I suggested it to you. If you have the skills to do so (and you do) then you don't have to just be satisfied with whatever features and layout the software comes with. You can change it to meet your unique needs, and worth, values, HP, and the like all can be included with modifications to such software. You can even create a mod that allows such software to accept a site-wide login system rather than its own.

Large Flash files take bandwidth, but not so much CPU cycles. Bandwidth issues can be addressed elsewhere and don't require dedicated servers or virtual dedicated servers, which are too expensive for you and are meant for other uses such as a SmartFox-powered multiplayer server.
Polymeron`s Avatar
Rating Orb Polymeron 29 Israel 108C 11F
8 years ago | (0)
Well, the site seems to be doing fine on shared hosting. The only thing you can't do well is the chat. So consider - is the chat worth 166$ per month?
Sad to say, I think not. I would gladly donate to the site - in fact, you can count on at least a modest donation from me when MARDEK 3 comes out (yes, you can remind me if I forget! Really!); but, it would be a waste of both your and the site-goers' money to pay for a dedicated server, just for the chat feature. If there was something more to it, it might be a better idea.

Regarding shirts: Cafepress and Topatoco are two firms I know who work with webcomic artists who make most of their (modest) earnings selling T-shirts. The prices aren't dirt cheap, but they're not sky-high either - I bought from Topatoco at 2 for 30$ or so (I think), back in the day.
ANYWAY, the point being, although they mostly work with cartoonists, I don't see why they wouldn't want to work with an animator. Some people steal 8-bit sprites for the webcomics anyway, come to think about it. Now, I'm not sure which countries they work with, but Topatoco at least works with both Canada and the US, I don't think it would be that big of a hassle for them to extend it further.
Would love to know if that helps you in some small way! o.O
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
8 years ago | (0)
I already talked about the chat and dedicated server thing in the newest post...
But a dedicated server would only be NECESSARY for the advanced sort of chat at the moment (currently I've got it running at an acceptable level with my current plan, after a lot of optimisation), though it would also significanlty benefit other site features. It'd improve the performance of the site drastically, causing games to be downloaded much quicker and pages to show quicker, too.
Once FHO or Beast Signer are up and running, I think it'll be necessary for those too... So I was really sort of planning for the future or something.

I already mentioned somewhere that CafePress is what I'm going with...
Topatoco on the other hand is something I'm familiar with, but I really can't see it allowing my stuff since it's not webcomic-related... They don't have any other non-webcomic stuff on there, so I'd be quite sure they'd turn it down, since my stuff is more 'interactive games' than simply viewable things like comics or animations...
Justino`s Avatar
Rating Orb Justino 18 United States CholericMelancholic 40C 17F
8 years ago | (0)
sorry about the double post but I meant that If a had a job I certainly wouldn't mind paying for the extra stuff on Beast Signer and FHO

sorry again
Justino`s Avatar
Rating Orb Justino 18 United States CholericMelancholic 40C 17F
8 years ago | (0)
I would suggest reducing the chat to a shadow of its former self until you are ready to show Beast Signer and FHO which would have features that need to be paid for. The extra income might be enough for you to get the dedicated server. Just run a poll asking if you would play FHO and Beast Signer on a regular basis, use the totals to find out how many people would, then multiply by how much you would charge for certain features. If they are cheap enough then most people might not mind buying them. If I had a job I certainly would mind

As for the shirts, cost depends on quality, design, and type. In general, t-shirts cost least, sweatshirts and sweaters are in the middle, and hoodies are more expensive. A simple logo-ed tee-shirt would cost something like 18 bucks and something a black t-shirt with the eye of YALORT would cost something like 22 or more. The eye of Yalort hoodie might cost something like 35. Those are just general estimates though and proper market costs of those shirts might be a little higher or lower than I anticipate.

Good luck pseudo with this stuff and Mardek 3, can't wait for it to be released
Ajbcool`s Avatar
Rating Orb E β Ajbcool 23 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 290C 148F
8 years ago | (0)
Maybe you should make chat something people have to pay for. Of course, a lot of people will end up not using it, which will take off a lot of load, incidentally, so the cost should only be a little. But it could help to build up some savings so that when it grows some more, you have a money pool to draw from when you DO eventually move to a dedicated server. To cover whatever initial losses you may face.
darkvolt`s Avatar
Rating Orb darkvolt 15 United States CholericSanguine 60C 5F
8 years ago | (0)
for everyone i know (and i live in the US so it might be different in the UK) 10 US dollars is cheap for a shirt (average shirt0 and 15 US dollars is reasonable. 20 US dollars (maybe) ofr an extroaordinary shirt are a clothing with extra features (like a hoody or graphic T-Shirt) and 25 US dollars for a sweatshirt/sweather (normal and/or maybe 20 US dollars.) That should answer your US dollar question...
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