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IMPORTANT: The forum is (not) closing down!
Right, that hopefully got your attention...
Actually it's not closing down just yet but I've recently had to consider that possibility.
When the forum was established back in 2012 I signed up on the Vanilla small community plan for $50 a month. That provided everything we needed and included 50,000 page views a month.
Now, 3 years on Vanilla has noticed that we are exceeding that by a factor of 10 or so (peak page views this year have been about 950,000 a month) and want me to start paying more. The same factor more.
The forum is monetised using SkimLinks which converts URLs into affiliate links and that generates enough to cover current fees, and will go some way to covering the new cost, but it won't meet it entirely.
The main site where most of the income is generated to there's no immediate problem of not being able to cover the increased fees but I will need to look at other monetisation methods for the forum and I'd appreciate your advice on how best to do that.
Possible options are:
- Adverts shown to all
- Adverts shown only to non-members
- Parts of the forum subscription (e.g. marketplace)
- Rehosting the forum somewhere else. The Vanilla software is open source.
What are your thoughts? Any other suggestions?
Would it matter if it did shut down? (I think I know the answer to this, but will ask it anyway)