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Spellhold Studios Donations


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#1 SConrad

SConrad

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 02:17 PM

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As for November 1st, 2007, Spellhold Studios has opened up the possibility to donate money through PayPal to keep SHS alive and running. Donations are completely voluntary, and with no benefits other than helping keep SHS alive.

To donate, please visit the donation page on the SHS forums and enter your amount and select currency in the donation form in the upper left corner of the page. Click "Donate" and you will be guided through a very short and simple process where you can use your PayPal account or credit card to donate.

Relevant links:The basis of the donations is as follows:

Objective
The objective of this is to have SHS be self-sustainable. We realize this might not happen, but contributions to help pay the monthly bill are always welcome.

Voluntary donations
Donations are voluntary; no one is forced to donate. There are no benefits to come from donating - no extra usergroups, privileges or other gains for donating.

Donations will automatically be added to the list of donations. Donors who wish to remain anonymous can select this option in the donation process.

Full disclosure
We will make everything public; both the expenses SHS has, as well as all donations we receive. All members and visitors will be able to see exactly how much we "make" on the donations.

Information about any donations will be made available immediately on the list of donations.

Excess income
In the event that the monthly income from the donations exceed the expenses, all excess money will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. SHS has never been, and will never be, for profit.

In the beginning, the excess income will be used to create a three-month buffer for SHS. Any additional income on top of this, will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

Background
Creating a website is easy, and quite cheap. You can get a domain name for less than $10 (US), and a good webhost doesn't cost more than $5-20 per month. However, this is based on certain assumptions; among them that the hosting is "shared." Shared hosting means that on the web server the site is on, there are a number of other sites as well that share the space and performance of the one single machine.

With SHS, this is not possible. Although there are shared hosting plans that cover the space (right now, roughly 20 GB) and the bandwidth (normally around 1000 GB/month) SHS need, they are very rare, and unfortunately don't cover the main problem: server performance. SHS can't be on a shared server, not mainly because of the space and bandwidth it requires, but because of the CPU. SHS is a very busy site - especially the forums - and that puts a very heavy load on the machine; too heavy for a shared environment. This was the reason we had so much downtime (max_user_connections, anyone?) before we switched servers. In conclusion, SHS needs a dedicated server.

Dedicated servers, on the other hand, are much more expensive. The one we have costs $195 per month, which is a very good price considering the fact that we are on a server that normally costs $400-600. Nevertheless, SHS starting to become a very expensive hobby for its management and we have decided to set up a voluntary donation system, where any member or visitor can donate money out of their own free will.

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Edited by SConrad, 02 January 2010 - 03:53 AM.
Edited with new form information

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