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The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Discussions specifically about the web site and the way we run it. Also contains topics regarding what we're planning to do next in terms of it's development.

The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Sally » February 7th, 2013, 7:29 pm

Let me be frank: Lunaescence isn't a cheap site to run anymore. Server costs have gone up to $130 a month. That's just server costs. I can't really afford another $130 bill. That was part of the reason the site was so slow to come back up. I had to sit down with a spreadsheet and figure out where I could make cuts in my personal budget to keep this site operating. And then sit there with a bit of sticker shock.

Thanks to everyone's generous donations, we're good for a bit. But I do anticipate a point where I'll have to absorb the bill.

So... I'm looking very seriously at adding advertisements to the site.

At least at the moment, I think I'm going to go with Project Wonderful. A lot of webcomics I enjoy use them and I find none of their ads really obtrusive or annoying. Advertisers bid on spots and their ad runs there for a set period of time. Since we can get 10,000 visitors a month, that could be a lot... or not much at all. I use ad-blockers, though I usually see most of Project Wonderful's ads.

Ad categories I’m looking at are:
  • Art
  • Anime / Manga / Comics
  • Books / Literature / Writing
  • Comics: Webcomics
  • Education
  • Films & TV
  • Games & Gaming
  • Handmade
  • Hobbies & Crafts
  • Music
  • T-shirts & Apparel

Ads will need to be safe for work or school, so no porn or other NSFW stuff so everyone can still surf the site without being flashed naughty bits. If you go to their Explore Advertising page, you can view their available ad categories under "sizes and categories." I’m trying to be broad, in case any of you want to advertise your stuff. Do these look okay?

Secondly, positions. Ads need to be in places they'll be seen often, but not obtrusive or annoying to you guys. This weekend I'll put up placeholders with marked with a letter so I can put them up for a vote.

Sorry, guys. I wish we could keep operating ad-free, but I just don't know that I can afford this.
There is a pleasure, sure, In being mad, which none but madmen know! ~ John Dryden
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Sally » February 9th, 2013, 11:46 am

To see the proposed banner locations, switch your skin to Shinigami_HPB or log out:

Banner Position: A
Front Page Only

[strike]Banner Position: B
Categories, along the right side[/strike]
Voted Out: Disruptive, pushes story listings down on smaller resolutions.

Banner Position: C
Categories, at the top

Banner Position: D
Top or bottom of certain pages around the site.
There is a pleasure, sure, In being mad, which none but madmen know! ~ John Dryden
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Sweet-n-Chaotic » February 9th, 2013, 11:55 am

I'm still kind of confused and don't understand how all that works TT.TT
I'm sorry for being techy illiterate lol.
Would that mean we have to change our ratings on our story to PG13 or can we still keep it the same ??
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Sally » February 9th, 2013, 12:25 pm

No no, your stories will be fine... I'm not censoring or making it so everything has to be that rating. For the ADVERTISEMENTS I'll be forcing them to be safe for to view at school or work (in other words, no naughty bits on the picture)
There is a pleasure, sure, In being mad, which none but madmen know! ~ John Dryden
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Konekochan07 » February 9th, 2013, 1:54 pm

Wow...At least you're not going with really annoying ads. Project Wonderful has really nice, calm, you-can-ignore-it-if-you-wish ads. I don't think they'll detrect too much. Not like the ads on other fanfiction sites...Thanks for keeping us informed! I'll donate to the site next time I can. ~Koneko
I'm crazy, because it keeps me from going insane. ^-^
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby dream_catcher5113 » February 9th, 2013, 3:14 pm

I don't really mind ads, my eyes just sort of glaze over them, but I'm glad that you took the time to inform us. Thanks so much for all your hard work on Lunaescence! :D
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." ~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby jurassic-nark » February 9th, 2013, 3:22 pm

I don't really mind the ads, either. Just wondering, will you be using any of the "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'VE WON!" ads that randomly shout at you or will the ads generally be audio-free?
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby ctrlaltdie » February 9th, 2013, 3:34 pm

i just browsed around to see the various ad placeholders. meh. i can easily ignore them if i wish.
also, can i just say omg thank you for actually caring what we think, instead of just putting them up there and being like "uhm i have to pay for the site, deal with it"? because that's awesome. thank you. c:
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby DragonSilk » February 9th, 2013, 4:30 pm

I've played around with it a bit. So far, the B ads seem to shove the stories down the page to below the ad. (I thought it only did that on my phone, but it's doing that on my laptop too.)

I like Options C and D. They both seem pretty unobtrusive and they don't really reformat the site at all. :D I know you don't want to put up ads on Luna, but I think it'll be okay. Thanks for keeping the site going even though it's getting more complicated and expensive!

Oh, and A sometimes does the same thing as B, but since I don't go to the home page very often (maybe once a day to check comments on the news) it doesn't bother me really.
Last edited by DragonSilk on February 9th, 2013, 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby ctrlaltdie » February 9th, 2013, 5:05 pm

yeah, some do shove the stories down and you have to scroll. but i /think/ it'd be pretty easy to just adjust the width of the story thing a bit so they can be side by side?
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby xdeathbatx » February 9th, 2013, 5:11 pm

I think the placements are fine (maybe it only applies to my computer. Are the ads also going to be applied to the other skins?)

Well, anything to keep Luna up is fine by me. That's all I can say.
Avenged Sevenfold, to me, is nothing. And nothing lasts foREVer. So they can be my nothing.

'Tis Red Vengeance on Luna...
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Ayame » February 9th, 2013, 5:55 pm

All placements except B are fine by me. B indeed shoves stories down, but maybe if it was less wide it'd be fine?
Also, thanks so much for taking our opinions into account when you don't have to. That rocks, really. :)
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Blossom3542100 » February 9th, 2013, 6:12 pm

I vote for Banner Position A! :D The one on the front page. ^^ Every visitor will be able to see it. :)

I don't like B... since it's on the profiles. >.<

D is everywhere and on the account page and would seem kinda annoying...

C is fine by me also. :)
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby Crimsoncat » February 9th, 2013, 7:41 pm

I like C an D the best, but I could tolerate A too if that's what you need to run the site. I have the same problem with B as has been previously mentioned (it moves the stories down and is annoying). The categories sound fine, but I am less interested in "Education" and "Films and TV" and "Music" than I am things like "anime" and "webcomics" and "books".

By the way, do you get paid for having the ads up or by the click? If we need to be clicking let us know. I'd be happy to click a few websites to help generate cash for you!

Ps. Don't worry so much. Websites cost a lot of money and it is unreasonable for you to have to shell out $100-200 a month to let us use this for free. Don't beat yourself up about it. I know I'm not mad at all. :D
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Re: The Cost of Operating Lunaescence

Postby IMNight » February 9th, 2013, 8:44 pm

I'm okay with all of the positions except B. I think it really affects the layout on profiles and I don't particularly like that. ><
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