I've tried to be as transparent about AmigaLove.com and its mission to be a fun, safe place for our Commodore passion since the beginning. And I wanted to let you all know, the site has grown to be a very vibrant and healthy place. I can't tell you how much I look forward to checking out people's projects on a daily basis. I just love it. So - thank you for being here.
For those that don't know, I launched the site in February of 2016, almost 4 years ago. Over the course of time the site has grown immensely in terms of content offerings and other upgrades. And believe me: there are more planned for 2020 I can't wait to get going.
In the middle of 2017 I began to really focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I made a few fundamental markup changes in 2018, too, and frankly from pretty early on the results have been quite dramatic and very positive. It also helps that this site is 100% mobile friendly, which makes a huge difference.
Anyway. As we've grown so have some of the costs. And honestly, they aren't that big of a deal. But as the site has grown, it has gotten to a point where I'm pondering putting a display ad somewhere on the site. I have a lot of research to do there, as I don't want to hurt the experience. (Which is impossible, but can be tolerable if you know what I mean.)
My initial thought is to make ads available only for logged out users. If you're a member and logged in, perhaps ads would not appear at all. That way none of you reading this (realistically) would notice a difference - it would mainly affect folks coming in via Google Search.
By doing so, I think I could potentially get to a break-even deal on my server costs. Which, again, are not a big deal but they aren't zero.
Working in the web publishing industry for most of my career I realize that over 20% of all users today are using Ad Blockers. I get it. So what I'm describing wouldn't affect nearly half of the folks on Amigalove as it is, once you eliminate logged-in users. But it might still be worth it.
Lastly, there are further complications I'd have to consider. GDPR (Europe) and CCPA (California) laws might make adding revenue sources not worth my time. But I owe it to my family to at least raise an eyebrow and look into it, if even for a few hours.
At the end of the day, it's very possible nothing will change. But just in case they do, I didn't want anyone freaking out. I'm the site's biggest user and critic, so if I don't like what I see I won't do it.