Most of you have probably noticed that SpywareInfoForum has been much less busy than we used to be and this means that we also have had far fewer donations to keep us going. The truth is that we are almost out of money to sustain hosting and other charges. We have been looking for ways to either increase revenue or decrease costs. There is a possibility that we might add advertising to the forum in order to increase revenue, but since that is dependent on traffic, it may not be enough to sustain the forum even then. We have been looking at the option of changing hosting services to a cheaper option and it is likely that we will be acting on that soon. We have been contacting some of the best reviewed services to find out what they offer and determine what the costs would be. We believe that we may be able to significantly reduce our hosting costs by making this switch. One company indicated that we would need fairly advanced services for the size and traffic of the forum and the costs they quoted were not workable for us, but we are still researching some other companies and hoping to get a better deal. We may need to deal with a slower forum and more glitches in order to survive. The main options being considered right now are shared hosting and virtual cloud hosting because they seem to be in the range that we can afford. However, until we actually speak with them, we won't know for sure that the costs promoted on their sites are real and sufficient to host the forum.
As many of you may know, we are using an outdated version of IPB software because we found out that the updated version would significantly increase our costs while also decreasing our functions. We are looking at the possibility of changing to an open source forum software called MyBB which would be free. It appears that it is capable of everything that our current software can do and more. Since we are at a dead-end with our current software we need to come up with some workable option.
In regard to both of these issues, if you have expertise in working with forum software and managing websites, we could use some help. Neither I (Budfred) nor the other Admin (Rocket Grannie) have the expertise to manage some of the technical aspects of the changes we need to make. We may be able to get help migrating the forum to a new host and there is a conversion program for MyBB, but if we run into any tricky issues, we are likely to be stuck. If you have the expertise and are willing to help, please let us know.
We believe that SpywareInfo Forum is a valuable resource as an archive even if it is not as active as it was in the past. If the costs of these changes work out the way we believe they will, we will have enough funds to cover almost a year. However, to maintain the forum over time, we will need more donations or other sources of revenue. If you value this forum as a resource, please consider donating. If it works out as we hope, a month may cost us about $15 US, so each donation of $15 will represent another month. If you can afford that much, it will go a long way toward sustaining the forum and we will be most grateful. We continue to be run entirely by volunteers and we plan to continue to provide the services we offer for free.
This topic is open for ideas, comments or anything else that might address the issues noted, so please let us know what you are thinking. If you know of other resources that might be able to help, please note that as well.