The Future: Dreamhost, Donations, and a Podcast?

As you may have noticed over the past several months, I’ve become ridiculously dedicated to Nerfbat. I’ve posted consistently, relaunched the Nerfbat Forums, and redesigned the entire site. All of that has brought more visitors, which means that the site gets pretty busy sometimes and can slow down.

I use Dreamhost, which honestly kicks butt, but now that the site is getting more popular, it sometimes hits a rough patch. For this reason, I’d like to upgrade my Dreamhost service to Dreamhost PS, which will mean I get a block of CPU and RAM reserved just for the site. I’m on the waiting list to get it now, and it’ll cost me a bit extra.

To get that extra money for hosting services, I’ve decided to try a couple things out.

First of all, I’ve started accepting donations via PayPal. You can donate any amount of money that you want, even $1, and it will really help contribute to upgrading this site’s hosting service. My current goal is to get about $45 a month so I can upgrade both the MySQL server and web server. As I mentioned, any amount is great. If each regular visitor donates $1, I’ll be set for the year! If you’re interested, click this button to donate to the hosting service via PayPal:

Secondly, I’ve set up a referral program via my web host, I get some money if I refer any of you to Dreamhost. If you sign up and use the promo code “NERFBAT” (without the quotes), you will get $20 off. If you sign up for a monthly account (as opposed to yearly or longer), that’s $10.95 (monthly) + $49.95 (setup fee) – $20 = $40.90.

What do you get for that? A free domain name registration, 500 GB of storage, 5 TB of bandwidth (both of which increase weekly), and a heck of a lot more. You also get a one-click install of a lot of popular web apps like WordPress (which I use for the blog), phpBB (which I use for the forums), MediaWiki, Gallery, and others. So, if you ever wanted your very own blog, forums, website or just want a new host, entering the promo code “NERFBAT” when you sign up for Dreamhost can save you $20.

Some of this is prompted by the increased traffic, but I’m also interested in trying my hand at podcasting. Yep, mostly because I don’t already spend enough hours in the week working on Nerfbat in some way. I wouldn’t do anything lengthy, but even a short podcast can really bring a server to its knees (assuming people listen to it, which they may not). And, maybe I can entertain a few people in the process.

What will happen if I don’t get enough donations or referral money to upgrade the site? I’ll probably cry, or I’ll have to try out advertisements. As much as I dislike advertising on websites in general, I really want to upgrade the server and will see if I can get enough to do so through ads if I need to. If I use them, I’ll try to make them as unobtrusive as possible so they don’t make coming to Nerfbat worse.

Anyway, the future of Nerfbat should be pretty awesome. I plan on continuing my increased volume of posting, especially if I get some coin. 😉 And, there may be a Nerfbat Podcast on the horizon, tentatively titled “Substance Free.” Hopefully, the site will also be even faster and the Nerfbat Forums can keep getting better.

If you decide to donate to the site or sign up for Dreamhost, thanks ahead of time. If you don’t do either, thanks for the support anyway. Enjoy the future of Nerfbat!

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