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  • Donations?

    Paid Subscriptions

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We now have a Paid Subscription option here at YardLimits. Paid Subscriptions help pay for the server lease, bandwidth, and other costs associated with running the website. Paid Subscriptions will take the place of our annual donation drives. YardLimits will no longer take donations, website sponsorship, or any advertising.


    Zeb, I thought you were not doing the donation thing anymore? I don't mind donating, but last time I did, you instituted the Premium Membership shortly thereafter. I complained, and you very kindly gave me (and others, I think) a 6 month membership. I don't remember how close I am to my 6 moths being up. Should I donate, or just wait to renew my membership?

    BTW I want to thank you for all the hard work and time you put in here. I know that it is a labor of love for you, but it allows an old retired guy to keep up with what is going on, and gives all of us much enjoyment. It is a good thing that you are doing. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by rrbob
    Paid Subscriptions

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We now have a Paid Subscription option here at YardLimits. Paid Subscriptions help pay for the server lease, bandwidth, and other costs associated with running the website. Paid Subscriptions will take the place of our annual donation drives. YardLimits will no longer take donations, website sponsorship, or any advertising.


    Zeb, I thought you were not doing the donation thing anymore? I don't mind donating, but last time I did, you instituted the Premium Membership shortly thereafter. I complained, and you very kindly gave me (and others, I think) a 6 month membership. I don't remember how close I am to my 6 moths being up. Should I donate, or just wait to renew my membership?

    BTW I want to thank you for all the hard work and time you put in here. I know that it is a labor of love for you, but it allows an old retired guy to keep up with what is going on, and gives all of us much enjoyment. It is a good thing that you are doing. Thanks.
    Premium memberships fell far short of gaining enough to pay for the yearly server lease. I frankly don't know what else to do but hold out the cup and ask for community support to help pay for the server lease. It runs around just shy of $2000 a year.

    Do what you prefer. I didn't want to do donations any more at all. I hate it. If anyone has an alternative to where we can get the money for the server lease, I am completely open to suggestions.

    I would love to move the site back to a shared hosting environment that costs $10 to $25 a month. That is how we started and I didn't mind paying the tab. But the website has grown WAY to large for any shared hosting environment. We were actually kicked off shared hosting years back because of the traffic volumes we have - thus the need to have a dedicated server. We average over 5 million hits a month. At last check, we were number 1 on Alexa rankings of railroad news/magazine sites - Alexa - Top Sites: NewsandMagazines


    I knew this was going back on what I had posted months ago - that we would no longer take donations. I had hoped enough would support the site through premium memberships - but that didn't work out. You can actually see how few purchased premium memberships (they are listed in orange on the site visitors block). And half of those premium members were given free extended access because they donated during the summer for our software license renewal and search engine optimization package purchase.

    This is a community website. So I am open to any suggestions on how we raise the yearly fee to keep the site online. There is no one here that hates doing this more than me at this time of year.

    The lease runs out at the end of the month. I prefer to pay it by the year because we save around 20% versus paying by the month.

    Comment


    • #3
      Zeb, are you doing away with the paid subscription? I think the Premium Membership is a great idea, you just need to promote it more. There are many newer members here that may not realize the cost of running this site and that they are expected to help out. Just cruising around the site does not make it readily apparent. Maybe a little "self advertising" would help?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rrbob
        Zeb, are you doing away with the paid subscription? I think the Premium Membership is a great idea, you just need to promote it more. There are many newer members here that may not realize the cost of running this site and that they are expected to help out. Just cruising around the site does not make it readily apparent. Maybe a little "self advertising" would help?

        True. We have always had a notice when people visit the site promoting paid memberships. You don't see it because you are a paid member. It only displays to those that are not. We also have a notice that displays to unregistered members only when they visit the site to encourage them to sign up and register. I currently have those disabled while the donation bar is active.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just a thought, Zeb. A lot of us have always come thru when the site needed 'donations' to pay for the server costs. I'm guilty, as well as, many others of ignoring the message about joining in the 'Premiere Membership.' By the way, I just Donated $25. To me, that is the way to go. Let's talk about an improved description about members donating. I completely understand , but, some may not realize the costs involved in keeping this forum up and running. I believe that there will be more than enough members stepping forward with a donation that equals a few six-paks, 20 cups of coffee or twenty-something sodas consumed in a year. We railroaders are a strange breed, but, I think that's the way to handle this. Information as to the forums need for dollars will go a long way.
          NS should not require warm up exercises. We get enough exercise jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, running down our bosses,knifing friends in the back, dodging responsibility and pushing our luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Zeb I got $50 for you,but I'm sorry, I don't use PayPal.if you want to PM me for another method I'll gladly donate [pay]...thanks for all you do on here.this place rocks! :rock: EDIT: well, confirmation email from PP says I did use them...I guess they finally got their problems fixed.$$ sent.
            -sigpicLet's All Hunch!

            Comment


            • #7
              I kicked in $25, love the site and keep up the good work.
              It's not difficult to surmise how we here feel about NS Officials; and my own proclivities are, well-known and often-lamented facts of union lore.-Alexander Supertramp
              sigpic
              Eventus stultorum magister.

              Comment


              • #8
                The donation ticker is falling behind....I also kicked in and will kick in again later in the month.

                Comment


                • #9
                  zeb. i will gladly donate when i get back from vacation. i myself am not interested in the premium membership due to the fact of paying for it but there still being rooms i cant get into. i will donate and enjoy what is open to EVERYONE. its a great site. i see and here more and more coworkers checking it out daily. alot of lurkers but they are here.
                  --all postings by this poster are public information and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, or thoughts of any particular railroad-for their official position please see the particular carriers website

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just added 25 beans to the coffer...
                    Only 511 ft lbs of Tq and only 1100 degrees EGT, damn, I need more fuel...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Zeb,
                      Kick Ass site - Thanks! I would love the option of sending a little 'something' via a P O box. I just prefer dealing in money orders and/or personal checks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bear View Post
                        Zeb,
                        Kick Ass site - Thanks! I would love the option of sending a little 'something' via a P O box. I just prefer dealing in money orders and/or personal checks.
                        Sent you a PM

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zeb
                          Premium memberships fell far short of gaining enough to pay for the yearly server lease. I frankly don't know what else to do but hold out the cup and ask for community support to help pay for the server lease. It runs around just shy of $2000 a year.

                          Do what you prefer. I didn't want to do donations any more at all. I hate it. If anyone has an alternative to where we can get the money for the server lease, I am completely open to suggestions.

                          I would love to move the site back to a shared hosting environment that costs $10 to $25 a month. That is how we started and I didn't mind paying the tab. But the website has grown WAY to large for any shared hosting environment. We were actually kicked off shared hosting years back because of the traffic volumes we have - thus the need to have a dedicated server. We average over 5 million hits a month. At last check, we were number 1 on Alexa rankings of railroad news/magazine sites - Alexa - Top Sites: NewsandMagazines


                          I knew this was going back on what I had posted months ago - that we would no longer take donations. I had hoped enough would support the site through premium memberships - but that didn't work out. You can actually see how few purchased premium memberships (they are listed in orange on the site visitors block). And half of those premium members were given free extended access because they donated during the summer for our software license renewal and search engine optimization package purchase.

                          This is a community website. So I am open to any suggestions on how we raise the yearly fee to keep the site online. There is no one here that hates doing this more than me at this time of year.

                          The lease runs out at the end of the month. I prefer to pay it by the year because we save around 20% versus paying by the month.
                          You have my donation. Bless you for your dedication and hard work in bringing us all together. I think premium memberships are great and there is nothing wrong with asking for donations if the premiums don't cover the costs. Reach out and many of us will do what it takes.
                          The first step toward the solution to any problem is optimism.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            accounting

                            can you give us a little more transparency to the cost of running this?

                            Is this for each Rail (NS, UP, BN, etc.) or the full kit and kaboodle? Is it paid to Google? etc?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Slugo
                              can you give us a little more transparency to the cost of running this?

                              Is this for each Rail (NS, UP, BN, etc.) or the full kit and kaboodle? Is it paid to Google? etc?

                              Not sure what you mean 'each rail'?

                              The cost is for the dedicated server that this whole website runs on.

                              Basically we are so large (visitors to the website) that we have to be on a server that is reserved for this website.

                              Many websites you see on the net reside on a shared hosting plan. A shared host server can have 100 or more websites on it - each with their own traffic and visitors. We started out sharing a server with over 100 other websites. We purchased webspace on a server from a company called Lunarpages. But as we grew, we began to use too much of the server resources (too much ram, too much cpu percentage, etc) With 100 websites sharing the same server, a web host often frowns on one individual website using over 1 to 2 % of the cpu power or ram. We were using 10% of the server resources when they finally said we HAD to move to a dedicated server. Back then, we averaged about 1 to 1.5 million hits a month. Now we average over 6 million hits a month as of Decembers stats.

                              For the last 4 or 5 years we have leased a dedicated server (a server dedicated to this website). We lease it from Godaddy.com out of Arizona. The yearly cost is a tad under $1800. Last year I was able to negotiate it down to just over $1600. I hope I can do it again at the end of this month.

                              Leasing a dedicated server for this website has it's advantages. The main one is that we no longer have to worry about cpu or ram limits. This keeps the website running smoothly and can easily handle all the traffic we get. Another advantage is that we are completely free to put whatever we want on the server. We can add whatever server software we desire to improve the website. The audio/video chat rooms we added a few months back are examples of this. I added flash server software to the server that allows us to stream flash audio and video. We also are not censored in any way by a webhost since we are our own webhost. Many webshost will not let websites have porn, mp3's, or other material they deem objectionable. We also do not have to worry too much about a railroad complaining to a webhost about what we say here. Some webhosts cave in to any corporation that complains about content on a website running from one of their shared hosts. I have seen websites shut down that way. Don't get me wrong, we can still get flac from a railroad. The only thing is that they would come screaming at me instead of a webhost whose server we were on.

                              Now if you were wondering what portion of our website sees the most traffic, that would be the NS boards. Batman and the other mods that moderate that board have done a fantastic job keeping things hopping. Plus NS employees make up the largest portion of railroaders visiting the website. BNSF employees and the BNSF board are second as far as traffic seen. That board has been quickly catching up to the NS board. The UP board is next.

                              The current events board is the second busiest board on the website. But the visitors to that board are varied and a compilation from all the railroads employees and many non rail visitors.

                              I hoped this answered some of your questions. if you have more, just ask. I really do believe in transparency and will answer what I can or post the a complete breakdown on server costs if anyone desires.

                              Comment

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