Funds Raised: $555/$500
You might have noticed some SQL errors in the past few months, and even time offline and setbacks on the forums. Unfortunately, we seemed to have outgrown our current host. In the past 30 days alone, we've had almost 30GB of bandwidth (network transfer) and about 4 million requests. These numbers increase every month, and as tulpas become more popular, they're bound to continue. Hostlatte has already suspended one of our mysql databases for having too many concurrent connections (with no further support with "limiting the connections"), and it wouldn't be the first issue we've had on this hosting plan (we're still having problems with sending emails and people having the same IP address).
After much thought, we've decided to have a one-time donation drive to purchase a new web hosting solution.
Ultimately (and if we raise enough funds), I'd like to have a dedicated server. I have gotten access to the data center that tulpa.info's old host used through a friend of the old host's owner. This data center is hooked into one of the fastest networks with a dedicated CDN, lots of backups and all that. However, that's very expensive, and it's unlikely we'd get that sort of money (over $3500/year).
However, I have found a very nice plan, it has more bandwidth than we'll ever need, plenty of hard drive space, a dedicated IP address, and it even offers SSL (that is, "https"), which is something that's been requested for quite a while. We'd be the ones in charge, as we wouldn't be going through one of these shared hosting companies like we currently are (we should also see an increase in speed). This will run us about $500/year.
Since this plan we're getting will allow us to be our own web host, we can offer some neat benefits for the members who donate, and even offer our own web/blog hosting to members. You see, the reason I'm getting a plan that allows us to be our own web host is because I'll be starting my own web hosting company to host tulpa.info. This way, I'll know just how many resources I have available to run tulpa.info, and any extra space can be leased out to host others' websites. I began dwelling on this after AdSense dropped us on the forums, leading to donations being the only things going towards paying the hosting costs while I found myself sinking further into debt (unemployed college-student reporting in!). I figure, if we can get enough income to break even, it'll pay for tulpa.info for years to come.
With that being said, this will be much more than just a donation drive: we're having our very own Kickstarter-type fundraiser! In exchange for any donation amount, we'll grant you one month of web hosting
(domain name not included, but if you don't want to purchase one or don't already own one, I can even give you a tulpa.info subdomain). This will be a full-fledged hosting plan, which will include:
- Unlimited Diskspace
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Addon Domains (websites)
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Unlimited Subdomains
- Cpanel with Softaculous Auto Installer & Site Builder
- Priority support (though support tickets)
For any amount that you donate (even $1, though it'd be awesome if you could donate more than that!), you'll get one month of the above hosting package. After that, the price will be $5/month if you chose to continue with the service. If you'd like to outright preorder (for example, for $60, you'll have one year of hosting), just donate that amount and then shoot me a PM
(or I'll send a message to the email attached to the paypal donation). Grab this service now and it'll always stay that way for you.
Once this fundraiser is complete, I'll keep you posted through PMs on the status of the new web servers, and I'll work to get it all up and running within a month. You won't start your month until everything is finished and set up and you've already been given your stuff. Donations can just be ran through PayPal as always.
Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to talk about what will happen to any future donations to tulpa.info after this fund raiser is over. Well, any donations after this will go into a dedicated account just for tulpa.info (unless otherwise specified in the notes, e.g. "I want this to go to Pleeb's credit card payment this month!"). I know some members have been calling for transparency before they'd feel comfortable donating, so that's just what they're going to get, and they'll get it to the highest degree. Every month we'll publish a report stating exactly what the donations for that month went to. For instance, "We got $30 this month, it went into advertising tulpa.info through banner ads" or "we used the donation to buy a MyBB Blog Plugin." How does that sound?
Anyway, this donation drive will run until July 1st. If you can afford to donate, please click here
. Otherwise, you can always send me a PM
to pledge a donation and follow up later.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
P.S. I should note, while there's no official "Terms of Service" yet, they'll essentially be what most web hosting companies would request in their ToS: Don't use this for illegal things (as defined in the USA), don't eat ridiculous amounts of CPU, RAM, or disk space (which is meant for hosting space, not storing backups or excess multimedia files -- don't put a bunch of pictures up for others to download as a file hosting service).
P.P.S. We now support bitcoin! The address is: 1CrENmqx12Zi4uvqnzGVxY77KKhc284dRR
And here's a neat QR code I made myself: