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Subscriptions absolutely destroyed our site

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  • #16
    from a users point of view i would be quite willing to stump up 5 quid every now and then to help with the running costs of a site i used and liked a lot, but if i was forced into it i would think again


    • #17
      Why would anyone pay for that site when you even have to register to view!!

      I've seen a few sites go pay per content, but the forums have always remained free.
      Motorsport Forums


      • #18
        Originally posted by Mark Hewitt
        Why would anyone pay for that site when you even have to register to view!!

        I've seen a few sites go pay per content, but the forums have always remained free.

        There are some free baords though.


        • #19
          Originally posted by DR€@M W€@V€R
          id rather close it down than charge people to view n post etc...its like saying to the dss...ok i dont have a job...thanks for the job seekers allowance...can i have a new three piece suite too...

          ok business ones yes but most other ones are hobbies n i dont asked people to help me pay for vinyl ive bought off ebay do i ?

          I think 95% of the boards out there are just for hobby, don't cost much money, and therefore should stick to being free. However, I think there are a few boards out there like mine that offer much return value and there's no reason not to think about it like a magazine. A magazine gets revenue through ads and subscriptions.

          If the operator takes the risk of implementing paid subscriptions, then if the community doesn't respond favorably then it's no ones fault but the operator. If it works out, then more power to that person for taking the risk. My community started out as a hobby and now I spend 30+ hours a week working on it and I could spend 80 hours if I didn't have a full time job. My goal is to have this community become my full time job.

          My average user gets over $1,000 in return value a year from my community and some have even received $50,000+ back a year from information obtained through my community. 99% of my users are very receptive to subscriptions because of the value I add and actually think I should charge more than just $9.95 a year.


          • #20
            My site is for discussion about sport and there are many competitors (as well as usenet) so I could never get away with charging.

            However the site does cost a great deal to run and without generous people donating server space the forum would have to go offline because it's too popular!
            Motorsport Forums


            • #21
              Well we did an about face.. dropped the PayPal mandatory subscription for now and put up a donation system.

              Got most members back in a hurry and donations are outweighing the mandatory pay thing.

              Question to Wayne:

              Does the new VB3 support a Donation system through Paypal with user profile/memberlist updates for those who have contributed (similar to some already done hacks)


              I still plan to use VB3, and may even incorporate the subscription feature to some special forums, but I learned my lesson in switching the site overnight to an all paid one.



              • #22
                vB3 doesn't support Paypal's Donation system. However it handles regular PayPal IPN transactions through the system.
                Translations provided by Google.

                Wayne Luke
                The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
                vBulletin 5 API


                • #23
                  Starting a pay site.

                  As time rolls on, I think that sites that not only offer content but also allow the viewer to contribute will dominate the web. Hence we have forums.

                  I am presently running a non paying forum for professional photographers, and my members love it. But I am now starting an additional pay site, which is why I have just purchased a copy of vBulletin.

                  There is nothing wrong with charging for a forum. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be wealthy.

                  The fact is, it is the information age, and if you are giving it away for free then you are missing out.

                  My idea for a forum is called , a forum for lovers of food. here members will be able to post images of their cullinary creations and give details about them.

                  I am currently going around to the best resturants in Houston, talking to the owners and chefs, and they are contributing their best recipies for free advertising. I am contacting students in cullinary schools to be my moderators and I have saved up some money to purchase three digital cameras to give them to make sure they can post images of their food. I am going to contact authors of popular cook books to see if they would like to contribute in return for free advertising for their books. i will be contacting cooking classes to see if they would like to contribute in return for a banner add. And finally, I will be purchasing advertising from as many cullinary magazines as I can afford. Each month I will be adding new cullinary creations from my contributing returants.

                  Now, after all that work, I had to pay for my Mac OSX server. I had to pay for vBulletin. I need to pay my monthly bill to my ISP. Each night I must back-up my databases.

                  I am planning on charging $20 a year for membership to the site. I will have one section of the forum for non paying members. This section will have content from my professionally contributing members as an inticement to join.

                  If anyone has any further ideas on how I can structure this upcomming site, I would love to hear them.



                  • #24
                    I'd be interested in any seeing any other sites that charge their members a fee for extra options. I have been considering this as an option and would love any and all feedback on good and bad experiences.



                    • #25
                      I definitely will be. It's unfortunate that most of us are in the position to where we've already given most of the features for free. I don't think anyone wants to take away from what the users currently have. There's still enough though to make it worth a small donation. As if the sites themselves weren't enough of a reason.
                      HBO Forum - Discuss Game of Thrones, True Blood, Big Love, Boardwalk Empire, and more!
                      Disney Forums - Disney theme parks, vacation, entertainment, and more!
                      iLoveTalk - Our general discussion forum.
                      VeggieBoards - The largest and most active vegetarian forum!


                      • #26
                        Want to know what I'd do?



                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Wayne Luke
                          Why don't we just stick to you running your site how you want to run it and allowing others to run their site how they want to run it even if it includes charging people hourly fees.
                          Totally agree.

                          DR€@M W€@V€R, your 2 posts in this thread are ridiculous.

                          You have 2 forums by the looks of things:

                          Cult Members: 71, Threads: 255, Posts: 1,390
                          Leet Members: 52, Threads: 82, Posts: 395

                          You could run both those at 10 bucks a month combined. No wonder you are not worried!

                          Wait till you start being pressured to move up hosting accounts, get pushed into a dedicated server and have costs of thousands a month. I don;t have costs that high but if I did, I would probably have a subscription model implememted or at least a viable revenue model.

                          Some people start up sites with the intention of being free, but as they grow it becomes unrealisitve to spend lots of hours a week and lots of money a month to keep it up.

                          With the attidue you have you will never have a successfull forum. You'll close it down the minute it becomes anything but dead.


                          • #28
                            It cost me big dollars to keep my forum up and running. I host from my home, built my own servers and the T1 and T3 I have installed are not cheap. Yes I use the T3 for business so I get a return there, but, lately the forum is accounting for heavy bandwidth charges. I always wanted it to be free and ad free. I added a couple banners at the bottom of the page and a Paypal donation button. This doesn't generate nearly enough to pay the bill.
                            Once vb3 goes gold I will be going to subscription. Nothing will be taken away from the current users, but, new users will only get avatars, something that is very popular, custom titles and access to premium forums which will allow them to sell there software and advertise thier products, something that we strictly forbid now. Premium members will get a little more leeway when posting in members only forums.
                            If this fails to make the site self reliant then the forum will remain. If not I will have no choice but to sell it. I do get offers a couple times a year.
                            One thing to remember is to not take anyhting away from the current userbase. If you do they go elsewhere.
                            There comes a time when a community grows to the point where some sort of pay service has to be added. If you don't you can go broke quick.
                            Admins Zone - Resources for Forum Administrators


                            • #29
                              My site is the same, we started out as a freebie. I paid for everything out of pocket. fury the forums man behind the curtain donates his time to making the eperience everything it should be. But after a couple years I was starting to see the trend of not enough bandwisth, killing a host server cause of the traffic. Being told either go semi dedicated or leave.
                              I looked around and found a host, everything was fine and then they were bought up by a bigger host. fortunately they were kind enough to leave us at the package we were at.
                              But i asked fury to put a donation button on the site. We want to make the experience even better.
                              We dont rake in thousands, but it does offset the monthly cost. It also allows us to consider upgrades to the site we could not have considered a year ago. Nothing is forced on the members, but if yo make a donation we give you things that you would nt normally get. It has been a godsend for us. fury even got it working in vB3 and set it up so when a donation is made everything is automatic now.
                              It just depends on your site. never discount what a 5.00 donation button will get you.
                              Yes, Im an active vb owner...


                              • #30
                                Hey guys,

                                What do you guys, where can I get more information about this future "subscription" feature. ?

                                btw - runs a registration powered vb.


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