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Important stuff in bold.

 

AF-UK does need money to sustain its servers, and I'm looking into upgrading our current one as well

There's been a slow but steady decline in site performance that I would like to head-off before it becomes too much of a problem - this effectively means close to doubling our server costs from the rather lean ~$30/month to ~$55/month (this is minus licensing fees that're paid on board software twice a year). You may have seen the site crash in the early hours of the morning while it backs up - while this is basically the result of some strange interaction between IPB's cache and how its interrupted by the back-up, it is annoying and could be avoided by having a server without such little overhead capacity as the one we have now. Additionally, there are sometimes problems when someone is/some people are uploading a lot of images that have to be 'crunched' down to a reasonable size (we are fairly liberal with the amount of image space allocated to each account for the sake of making sure people can share their pretty gun pics, but that does come at the cost of some extra computing to resize and compress images server-side).

 

Whilst I don't aim to make any money off AF-UK, I would rather have it sustain itself as it grows so that it's never reliant on my own personal finances and that I can comfortably scale it up if/when it begins to chug a bit. That leads me - more importantly - onto the reason why this 'self sustenance' has become an issue only recently;

 

Google AdSense has banned AF-UK from advertising on the forums

You may have noticed around October that all the standard advertising just upped and disappeared. Well, we'd been receiving warnings since the middle of the year about various parts of the site (mostly the classifieds, but forum topics too) being 'unsuitable' and 'in violation' of Google's terms. I couldn't find anything specific in the terms that related to airsoft, but their reasoning was the usual promotion of violence or sale of guns and gun accessories.

 

Despite the appeal (in which they gave me 120 characters to state our case that these are toys), they metered out an account ban in October. AdSense used to just about pay the server costs every month, and its convenience meant I was happy to make up any shortfall (plus patch sales of course help, though measuring their long-term income will be difficult - most of you regulars who wanted one have already bought one).

 

We'll begin allowing airsoft-related business and individuals to advertise on AF-UK

The solution to this was really just more advertising as it's the only reliable form of income for a forum like this that doesn't require excessive amounts of admin. As such, I - as we used to ~3 years ago - have approached some prospective businesses (and many who had already expressed interested in the past) and invited them to pay to advertise on here under the terms/positions laid out in the attached .pdf (this .pdf is the same one sent out to advertisers).

 

Airsoft Forums UK Advertiser Options.pdf

 

In short, there are two areas they can advertise in:

Header

Only one advertiser at a time

More expensive

Shorter run time

Obviously ar more visible

No mobile-friendly 'rectangle' ads that take up a lot of vertical room (this was mostly done to keep you mobile users from having to scroll half a page on every refresh)

 

Footer

Rotates through three different advertisers

Cheaper

Longer run time

Obviously less visible

Mobile-friendly 'rectangles' allowed

 

Of course the aim has been to keep these even less obtrusive than the AdWords in the header that we had from February as far back as I can remember, but I understand that for some of you ads are just a no-go when browsing (and for that you know what to do). Also, a few of you have asked how to 'donate' to support the site. I have no intention of allowing this, but really that's what the patches are for.

 

Feel free to ask questions in this thread.

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I suppose one of the benefits to Adsense banning us is we'll get some more Airsoft related sponsors rather than, well.. 

 

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1 hour ago, L3wisD said:

I'll miss that plump bottomed 40 year old.

Never wanted to be a Banister more in my life 😂

 

You’re not alone there 

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and i thought it was just my pc & phone..............:lol::lol::lol:      :rolleyes:

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