Back in the summer we decided we realistically need to raise subscriptions again. But rather than drop that bomb back then, only 6 short months after the last minor increase, I decided to hang on to the new year. Well, in the run up to now, a number of things have made this increase an absolute necessity.
First the good news, we normally need to upgrade our severs at least once a year. For the first time ever, this will not be necessary. (Even though we still need to buy some new services.).
Back in the late summer we had quite a bit of feedback about new users loving the site, but unhappy with the speed. This prompted me to focus on optimising the site – and this lead to a significant improvement. You may or may not have noticed it (the site used to stall frequently under load – and this problem was removed.), but the improvement was real. There has been one negative impact though. Our bandwidth usage has gone up 40% in about 5 months.
This isn’t just because of an increase in users, but rather the site is faster, and people click around more. So the irony is, with our hardware costs under control, our bandwidth costs have spiralled. In fact, I had the shock of my life when I read an email from our hosts last night. One Excel session later confirmed what I suspected. Since the summer, costs have rocketed. I can hardly believe the amount of bandwidth we are chewing up at the moment.
Also, to add to the misery, the EU (bless their souls) has just last month decided put nearly 20% tax on my hosting in the US plus the exchange rate on the US dollar remains miserable.
So the result of this, subscriptions will rise from $19.95 to $29.95. (Actually the original price of subscriptions on this site, for about 2 weeks, and the price I suspect they should have always been.
What about the monthly fee you may ask? This has yet to be decided. I have just recently had an unfortunate incident where a mother has bought a monthly subscription for ‘little Jonny’, waited 5 months, contested EVERY charge, and then left us to pick up a huge chargeback fee on EACH charge. I was mighty upset by that, but the procedure for reclaiming the money is far too complex, so I have had to write it off. This has been the first incident of this type, but it made me realise how much risk there in having a monthly fee. So I may remove it altogether or up it to something very unattractive, like $10.
Anyway, most people will be unaffected by this – old subs continue at their existing rates, only new subscribers (from early January) will be impacted. Any questions, please post here rather than message me directly.