Donations: Why and How?
Donations is always a tricky subject to discuss but it has to be done.
A lot of Internet users are utterly annoyed by the websites that ask them to donate on every second page and that's understandable but we're never going to be one of those websites, not only because it completely destroys the user experience, but also because this attitude is simply disrespectful.
Our main goal is to build a great debating platform and it's our belief that in order for it to be such, it has to be completely free of advertisements and paid subscriptions, which, in its turn, requires finding another way to attract funds.
This raises a question: Why do we need to attract funds in the first place?
To put it blunty, reality is a bitch and even simple websites like ours require some funds to maintain, especially if the developers try to apply the best practices and techniques which make the websites, among other things, easy to monitor and deploy.
To be more precise, here's the list of the services that we currently use and which, more often than not, require monthly payments in order to work in production environment:
- Virtual private server: ~10$ and more
- Files storage and access: ~3$ and more
- Emails delivery: ~2$ and more
- Monitoring: ~15$
- Continuous integration: Free, but may change in the future as our requirements rise
Apart from the monthly expenses, there are those that require one-time or on-demand payments, such as crossbrowser testing tools, emails testing tools, icons and images and some other.
It's worth noting that maintenance expenses are not the only reason to attract funds. Extra funds can be used to attract new people to the website, for example via advertisements on Google or Facebook. Also the funds can be used to delegate some work to the third parties, a great example would be the development of the website's mobile version. Other less technical reasons would be to simply buy some beer for the moderators and the developers, or to buy some nice things that we could give away as presents to the winners of the debate tournaments.
Quite a few participants suggested that it would be a good idea to create a Patreon page for the website and that's exactly what we did.
Not only it is convenient to use, it also provides a set of developers tools that could be leveraged to provide, among other things, on-site gifts for the pledgers, and who doesn't like to get those?
Please notice that donations are by no means mandatory and will never be a reason for the annoyance of the users. Also it's up for the community to decide how and if we're going to reward the pledgers. But it's worth mentioning that no reward would ever put any user above the others in its rights or capabilities.
To see our page on Patreon, please follow the link: