Upgrade Packages...Your Thoughts?

C

Captain Scumbag

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So, just to check I understand:

£70 per month for server costs, which is £840 per year. Then about £100 per year (or is £100 every 6 months?) to renew the software/plug-in licenses. So probably looking at a figure in the £950-£1100 range as the forum's annual running costs?

(BTW, tell me to bog off if you don't want to get into this in great detail. I'm just curious what a place like this costs to run. Often wanted to ask during the TFF days, but for various reasons didn't.)
 

Saddlerrad

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No problem C.S - one thing we shall be is more 'open' about most things with the community on here, it's firmly how I believe we will all stay on the same page as the place grows (or we hope grows).

Server - £70 x 12 - £840 (That's on current capacity, it may go up if the place really explodes)
License/Plugins - £100ish
Plus initial plugin costs - Media £30, Blog £50, Shoutbox, £20 etc - though they don't/won't count until next year and have happily come out of our pockets anyway (I personally had shoutbox, media purchased for months and months before TFF was even known to be closing).

Then obviously advertising and promotion etc is more a 'business' side of things, so myself and TB will be paying/sorting that out.

So roughly £950 a year in current state, it sounds a lot - but when you think about the hours we spend on websites, it's a really great value.
 

The Paranoid Pineapple

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Another site I was on (which was a very similar venture to this) had some very discreet advertising at the foot of the forum index page - a link to Amazon, stationers, that sort of thing, and they would recoup a small percentage of the money when anybody used that link to navigate to Amazon etc to place an order. It worked really well in generating some extra income for the site. That kind of thing might be an option?
 

TractorBoys

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Another site I was on (which was a very similar venture to this) had some very discreet advertising at the foot of the forum index page - a link to Amazon, stationers, that sort of thing, and they would recoup a small percentage of the money when anybody used that link to navigate to Amazon etc to place an order. It worked really well in generating some extra income for the site. That kind of thing might be an option?

Hey bud, same idea (I think?) as implemented in our 'store' - located in the forums header; http://www.onefootballforum.co.uk/store/
 
C

Captain Scumbag

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@ Saddlerrad

Thanks.

The figure is higher than I would have guessed, but I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to these things. And when I start to think of it relative to the number of members (limiting myself to the core group of regulars), it doesn't seem much at all.

It's of course ultimately for you and TB to decide the best way to ensure the forum remains on a stable financial footing, but I think it might help now that there's a ballpark "costs" figure out there – something to give would-be subscribers/donators a bigger picture to relate their possible contribution to.

Cheers again.
 

The Paranoid Pineapple

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Hey bud, same idea (I think?) as implemented in our 'store' - located in the forums header; http://www.onefootballforum.co.uk/store/

Aha, yes, looks a similar kind of idea! Might be worth promoting it a bit, in case others are as unobservant as me and hadn't noticed the existence of the "store"! I'm sure loads of people make use of Amazon, if they're aware that they can help the site out in the process that could be a decent little earner
 

Stagat

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1. I don't fully understand about the media thing. Does it mean if you're not a paying member then you can't post regular pics and videos to the Random Picture or Tune of the Day threads, for example?

2. I agree about not making people pay 20 quid for the privilege of being able to blog for you. You might get away with having it as something in the 5 quid package purely because anyone serious enough to want to write would probably be serious enough about this place that they'd want the Shoutbox and not mind paying a fiver anyway.

It would also be a nice low barrier to entry that would stop non-serious people from posting rubbish. 20 quid to be able to do it is too much, but either free or an incidental fiver would be okay imo.

3. That store should be explained to the group, as PP said, and in a way that spells out why it benefits the forum without affecting the buyer at all. If anyone here is buying anything from amazon anyway, it's free money for the forum if they use the link. Tell people, because some folk are still wary of affiliate links and such.

And tell people they can buy anything, it doesn't have to be the video games displayed. And the cookies last 24 hrs so they can go back later in the same day etc. Get everything out in a post so everyone is aware, not just 'we have a store at the top', and they'll be more comfortable about using it.
 

Posh Hammer

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Saddler, I would make it as simple as possible, so people know exactly what they are getting:

General use of the forums, including prediction league etc - FREE

Silver/Premium Membership which includes Supporters Lounge, Shoutbox etc - 10 quid (inflation over the past 10 years has moved the fiver up and people will be happy to pay a tenner a year).

Gold Membership - Supporters Lounge + Shoutbox + Monthly Prize Draw Entry + AGM Meeting Entry - 20 quid

Super Gold/Platinum - Same as gold, but lasts a lifetime - 50 quid

You can set up a monthly prize draw, where all gold members automatically qualify, prizes can be match tickets/shirt of their choice/cash/platinum packages/'shares' in the website.

AGM Meeting is hosted once a year by yourselves, and it is like a normal company meeting, but only gold/platinum members are invited to give their views on the day to day running of the site.
 

Stagat

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Something else about the 'Store' is to maybe reconsider the name in the title bar. 'Store' could be anything - people might think it's just 1FF t-shirts or whatever. Give it a more accurate title that tells folk it's an affiliate link to the main Amazon site.

Maybe get rid of the video games and other products you've got displayed on that page too as they could make people think they're all that's available. That page could be just a simple, open explanation of what it is, with a 'click here' to go to Amazon.
 
J

Josesemedosjockstrap

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Would people really miss a couple of quid/£5/£10 a month if a d/d was taken via paypal to cover the costs etc? I've put the idea to Tractorboys and he's given me a link so I can make a payment, obviously when the site becomes rich and wealthy Chris and TB waint forget us and buy us 'long term contributors' hookers and drugs.
 

Posh Hammer

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But you can't make a payment compulsory. As soon as you do that, people will leave.

We're trying to build something which is as good, if not better than TFF ever was. To do this, we need a membership structure that reflects this. A tiered membership is great, with a free option being the first one.
 

Luke Imp

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How much has been donated since the weekend, just to try and gauge it? Tbh, come next year and 'x' amount needs to be raised I think you'd probably manage it.
 

Cardsfan

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The thing that most appeals to me is the prize draw, not sure if that existed on TFF. PH's idea seems good to me - at the end of the day its up to Saddlerr, all of the features are great.
 
J

Josesemedosjockstrap

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But you can't make a payment compulsory. As soon as you do that, people will leave.

We're trying to build something which is as good, if not better than TFF ever was. To do this, we need a membership structure that reflects this. A tiered membership is great, with a free option being the first one.

Definitely agree with that fella, just some of us are in a better financial position so contributing monthly over and above isn't an issue.
 

Posh Hammer

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Completely agree with you. I think Saddler and TB greatly appreciate any financial support from members! I'm just talking about compulsory payments.
 

Saddlerrad

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Some excellent points made. But I'm at work until later so I can only type shorter messages. Couple of quick notes - I haven't had chance to explain and promote the store yet, TB is covering all the technical side of this place, but I'm doing all the day to day forum stuff and with work I haven't hada minute to actually get into everything yet. I'll do the prediction league later and then maybe the store tommorrow.

Just to make one thing absolutely, 100% abundantly clear - this will always be a free forum to use, no matter what and any packages will go towards server costs and prize draw/PL winners - payment will never be compulsory, ever. If people want to donate monthly then go for it.

Just to clear that up urgently.
 

JonBCFC

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I really like the sound of PH's idea, think that would work and I don't mind donating more.
 

Rammy

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The thing that most appeals to me is the prize draw, not sure if that existed on TFF. PH's idea seems good to me - at the end of the day its up to Saddlerr, all of the features are great.

They promised it when the lifetime member thing came in. They never fulfilled it, or if they did they didn't for very long.
 

Cardsfan

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They promised it when the lifetime member thing came in. They never fulfilled it, or if they did they didn't for very long.
Fair enough, yet another reason why this will be better than TFF
 

Cardsfan

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With the predicition league thing, you could give prizes to winners ofnforum games like Sheep/TFF Wars/Gameshow Marathon
 

lordofthepies

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Lifetime Member. That was £30 or £35 which meant you stayed premium for the lifetime of the forum i.e. no annual renewal.

Legends were just rewarded in the TFF Awards or to former Admin. You got absolutely no benefit from it, other than you changed orange.

Legends did get free access to the members forum and the SHOUTbox.
 

Rammy

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Legends did get free access to the members forum and the SHOUTbox.

I was a lifetimer, so wasn't aware of this. I did get my shoutbox editing rights taken away when I was made a 'legend'. :(
 

last request

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Been thinking this through in the last few days with TB and a few other forum members..these are the 'basic' outline packages we've been looking at. Obviously, people may or may not be interested but it's these 'packages' that are going to help ensure we never end up in a position similar to TFF, where we basically struggle financially to pay for sufficient upgrades and run out of ideas to keep the site fresh.

3 packages -

Normal everyday posting on the forum, use of prediction league etc - 100% absolutely FREE.

Yearly costs!
1) Cost - £5 - General Support - Use of the shoutbox.

2) Cost - £10 - Silver Member - Use of the shoutbox, the ability to use the 'media' as much as you want too, no adverts on the site.

3) Cost - £20 - Gold Member - Use of the shoutbox, the ability to use the 'media' section as you want, your own 'blogging permissions' to write whatever you please (on topic or certainly within reason).

Think the pricing is fair in comparison to other forums and the TFF legends package.

What are people's thoughts on this please? Any other suggestions?
Thanks!

Everyone on the site will be able to 'see' the media..just like mine now. However, they won't be able to add their own unless they are a Silver member. It eats bandwith so you can imagine having 600 people adding media twice a day would be like server wise...hence having it as a 'perk'.

Current server costs are £70/month and then we'll be looking at investment in advertising to try and keep the growth on an upwards curve. Prizes for prediction league and hopefully competitions for match tickets will all follow suit. On that note, your donations have been fantastic and all but covered our hosting costs for over 3 months so my personal funds are free to focus upon putting money into furthering the site, with new features (like the blog software), advertising campaigns etc.

I don't think free members should have restrictions like not being able to post videos/gifs/vines or whatever it may be. You've said you want this forum to be modern, savy with social media etc. so newbies aren't going to impressed with those kind of restrictions. On TFF there was a limit to how many youtube videos could be included in a post (2). I think something like that would be a better plan.

I used to host a forum myself. I'm not on TB's level of expertise but server costs were £4.50 a month. Now that forum didn't have close to the level of activity that this forum will hopefully have, but £70 a month gets a fair whack of a server! What I'm saying is that people posting youtube videos etc aren't going to exhaust that, especially if you have the limit I mentioned above of maybe max 2 or 3 videos per post. If someone is massively spamming videos or gifs then a moderator can step into action.

As far as I'm aware, the payment plan works on server bandwidth. So it's not like a mobile phone contract where you have a certain amount of data to use, and then once that limit is reached the forum is offline until next month. It works more that if the sever you have paid for gets overloaded the forum will run more slowly or temporarily stop working. Like I said, maybe different plans are different but that's just what I know from my experience.

All in all the idea of having to pay to post videos/pictures/gifs/vines or whatever specific types of media you decide to include in that is quite frankly a bit old hat. It reminds me of forums from years ago where you had to have 500 posts or something to post pictures. I think premium perks like a shoutbox are good, but to actually restrict people's posting on the main forum because they haven't paid up is a bad idea. I'd be all for a premium members only forum like on TFF.

Agree with whoever said the blogging should be free. If it's going to be helpful in promoting the forum you may as well include it. Writing blogs takes effort so you may as well provide all the encouragement possible.
 

Pilgrim Meister

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I don't think free members should have restrictions like not being able to post videos/gifs/vines or whatever it may be. You've said you want this forum to be modern, savy with social media etc. so newbies aren't going to impressed with those kind of restrictions. On TFF there was a limit to how many youtube videos could be included in a post (2). I think something like that would be a better plan.

I used to host a forum myself. I'm not on TB's level of expertise but server costs were £4.50 a month. Now that forum didn't have close to the level of activity that this forum will hopefully have, but £70 a month gets a fair whack of a server! What I'm saying is that people posting youtube videos etc aren't going to exhaust that, especially if you have the limit I mentioned above of maybe max 2 or 3 videos per post. If someone is massively spamming videos or gifs then a moderator can step into action.

As far as I'm aware, the payment plan works on server bandwidth. So it's not like a mobile phone contract where you have a certain amount of data to use, and then once that limit is reached the forum is offline until next month. It works more that if the sever you have paid for gets overloaded the forum will run more slowly or temporarily stop working. Like I said, maybe different plans are different but that's just what I know from my experience.

All in all the idea of having to pay to post videos/pictures/gifs/vines or whatever specific types of media you decide to include in that is quite frankly a bit old hat. It reminds me of forums from years ago where you had to have 500 posts or something to post pictures. I think premium perks like a shoutbox are good, but to actually restrict people's posting on the main forum because they haven't paid up is a bad idea. I'd be all for a premium members only forum like on TFF.

Agree with whoever said the blogging should be free. If it's going to be helpful in promoting the forum you may as well include it. Writing blogs takes effort so you may as well provide all the encouragement possible.

Pretty sure this is just from the media section and not in posts with regards to youtube video's and the like
 

Saddlerrad

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Pretty sure this is just from the media section and not in posts with regards to youtube video's and the like

Yep.

I don't think free members should have restrictions like not being able to post videos/gifs/vines or whatever it may be. You've said you want this forum to be modern, savy with social media etc. so newbies aren't going to impressed with those kind of restrictions. On TFF there was a limit to how many youtube videos could be included in a post (2). I think something like that would be a better plan.

I used to host a forum myself. I'm not on TB's level of expertise but server costs were £4.50 a month. Now that forum didn't have close to the level of activity that this forum will hopefully have, but £70 a month gets a fair whack of a server! What I'm saying is that people posting youtube videos etc aren't going to exhaust that, especially if you have the limit I mentioned above of maybe max 2 or 3 videos per post. If someone is massively spamming videos or gifs then a moderator can step into action.

As far as I'm aware, the payment plan works on server bandwidth. So it's not like a mobile phone contract where you have a certain amount of data to use, and then once that limit is reached the forum is offline until next month. It works more that if the sever you have paid for gets overloaded the forum will run more slowly or temporarily stop working. Like I said, maybe different plans are different but that's just what I know from my experience.

All in all the idea of having to pay to post videos/pictures/gifs/vines or whatever specific types of media you decide to include in that is quite frankly a bit old hat. It reminds me of forums from years ago where you had to have 500 posts or something to post pictures. I think premium perks like a shoutbox are good, but to actually restrict people's posting on the main forum because they haven't paid up is a bad idea. I'd be all for a premium members only forum like on TFF.

Agree with whoever said the blogging should be free. If it's going to be helpful in promoting the forum you may as well include it. Writing blogs takes effort so you may as well provide all the encouragement possible.

The reason we've got a hosting plan of such level is because of the traffic we already have - other 600 people forums wouldn't be 10% as active as this and wouldn't require anything like the hosting plan. If all of a sudden something happens and we start advertising it would make completely the wrong impression to bring newbies online and have a slow forum or one that goes offline/cuts out because the server is struggling - that's all.

On the media idea...I may not have explained it properly - but Rich has got it bang on. The 'media' has nothing to do with the rest of the forum. If people want to post 20 youtube videos and 10 gif's per day - then go ahead. The perk that the 'media' has is that it's at the top of the site, so everyone from guests to admin see it bang at the top of the site everytime the home page loads. So it's great for advertising stuff or just for trivial stuff like posting new film trailers (as an example).

Fair point on the blogging, these are only initial suggestions so it's something that we will continue to mull over before pulling any triggers, but all points are welcome.
 

last request

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Ah ok, now I get the media thing!

Like I say, I'm no expert in regards to servers and stuff so whatever fits for you guys. And really the more powerful server the better, I was more saying that when I had the wrong impression of the media premium perk. Hope that post didn't come across critical at all as it wasn't meant to. You and TB have done a great job to keep the TFF Legacy going.
DKKGNpt.gif
 

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