I'm all about 100% transparency. I don't mind sharing this kind of info if you're really curious. It's boring but here it is since you asked.
Due to the size and traffic of this site, plus security certificates I must renew each year, I'm on a plan that includes (and charges) for the following:
- Domain registration: $11.95/yr (that would be such a great business to be in...)
- SSL security: $15/yr (if you don't do this, you disappear from Google)
- Hosting: $95.40/yr ($8/mo. I pay two years at a time to get this rate)
- Dreamshield: $3/mo, which is a marketing term for software that scans for malicious code, out of date software, bad permissions, etc. You'd think this would be part of normal hosting but it isn't.
The whole SSL thing is sort of a double-edged sword. If I don't use it, Google will mark the site as dangerous and we'll lose our traffic from search engines (the #1 source of new visitors). On the other hand, a lot of our old retro gear can't hit sites with https under normal circumstances. So, that kinda sucks.
Anyway, it's about $160/yr or thereabouts, give or take, to keep the lights on and protect our privacy, etc.
In addition, I pay for coding work from a fantastic programmer who helps be build new features when he has availability. Those charges completely depend on the scope of a given project and vary from feature to feature. I'm not going to list those charges here, but they are extremely reasonable and I'm happy to invest in our collective experience to offer fun content offerings and tools. Like, The Games Library was an entirely custom section built into the site with hand-made content management tools. Stuff like that.
Like I said before you guys graciously lent your support and 2020 is looking good. I really appreciate all of the support big time.