Future of RetributionPaladins.com

Hello everyone.  Those of you are regular visitors to my site have probably noticed it has been down for almost a week now.  I offer my apologies, and have been diligently trying to get the site back up online as quickly as possible.

I believe in being as transparent as possible when it comes to these types of things, so I will be as honest as possible in explaining the future of my site, RetributionPaladins.com.

The Beginning

When I first made Retribution Paladins, it started out as a blog on the free blog platform, Blogger.  The website is still up, as it still is a source of re-directing web traffic to the main site.  The blog, Retribution-Paladins.blogspot.com was bringing in enough advertising revenue over a three month period that it allowed me to buy a .com name, and migrate to a larger website.

I signed up with a great hosting company, SuperGreen hosting, at a very low monthly service fee.  I opted for extra web services, such as domain privacy and daily back-ups, etc.  I placed ads on RetributionPaladins.com to help me cover these expenses.

This set-up lasted wonderfully for almost 15 months, right up until January 2, 2011.

The Boot

SuperGreen disabled my website in the middle of January 2, 2011 due to extremely high server usage from RetributionPaladins.com.  You see, in the fine print of my agreement with Supergreen, my website is only allotted 10% of their server’s resources.  If it exceeds that, then they can disable the website…which they did.
It turns out, that in October, November, and December of 2010, my website used 50.1%, 43.9%, and 47.1% of the server’s resources respectively.  The surge in website traffic on my site, thanks to Cataclysm and its relevant news, caused the larger server usage.

Prior to those three months, my site was generating around 100,000 pageviews a month.  As word of my site spread, and web traffic increased from search engines, I was averaging 500,000+ pageviews per month.  That created 5x the workload on my web host’s server, so it was time for me to move to a new, dedicated server.  Unfortunately, I received zero warnign about my site’s server usage, and that is my only;y complaint thus far with SuperGreen.  Other than that, they have been excellent.

The New Set-Up

I purchased a dedicated server from a new hosting company, and found out the original server I purchased was completely overlaoded by the size of my website.  The traffic and slow connections you guys have been experiencing over the past week is the result of this.  After one day, I bought a new, more powerful server, and had the website moved there.  So far, the website is running smoothly and with no errors, but I am waiting for my domain registrar to re-direct the retributionpaladins.com name to my new server.  Unfortunately, this can take anywhere from a few hours to 3 days.  At the time of this post, it has been over 24 hours, and I am still waiting.

I am hoping this resolves, very, very soon, as new patch news has been released, and I need to get some posts up!

Advertising on RetributionPaladins.com

IT is easy to see I use advertising on my website.  This helps cover server costs, and everything associated with running this website.  I was able to cover the costs easily when I was with SuperGreen, as my monthly costs were relatively low.  However, with a much larger site, I now find myself paying for a dedicated web server, which is costing me, very literally, almost 25x what I was paying before.  It is a very significant price hike.

I am hoping advertising revenue will help pay for this, and I am going to give this thing a 2 month trial run to see if I can generate enough revenue to continue to support this site.  In this time period, you may see me testing out new advertisements, or testing different placements.

I know web ads annoy some people, but to be honest with you, every large website almost HAS to have some form of advertising to help support the site.  CNN.com, ESPN.com, and even MMO-Champion.com use web ads to help bring in revenue to keep their sites online.  I must do the same, and while it was a luxury before, it is unfortunately a necessity now.

I appreciate everyone’s understanding here, and I hope to continue to make this site the best it can be for all you Rets out there! We will give this another 2 month run to see if the website can support itself, and after that well…let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!

Comments

  1. Noobish Pally says:

    Hi Khor,
    Well, I can see that the voluminous amounts of hits you are getting is all a result of your fantastic work and dedication.

    One idea, I certainly would not mind paying a bit for your services as I am sure many of your regular site visitors would also not mind throwing in a few bucks.

    You could set up a PayPal account or some other way for us to finally help you for all the amazing assistance you have given us! It is well worth every cent for us to donate/pay for your continued excellence!

    Noobish Pally

  2. nauti says:

    ^^^ seconded

  3. Rolann says:

    Khor,

    Good to see you back online, I know I have been off my game with out your site. I find myself checking for updates everyday. And I agree with noobish pally. I have no problems sending a few bucks to pay for the pricless info you provide on your site.

    I think the donation idea is agreat plan to start with, atleast give it a shot before resulting to a monthly member fee. Not saying I wouldnt pay a monthly, but Im just saying….lol.

    Rolann

  4. Khor says:

    Hey guys, thank you very much! While donations are never expected, they are always very appreciated. I actually set up a paypal account last month, and the donation button is in the sidebar. I may, however, put a small link in between the articles and comments sometime in the near future as well!

  5. Uriell says:

    Quote, the excellent idea of Noobish to support your beautiful site 😉

  6. Khor says:

    Oh, and there will never be a monthly member fee 🙂 I promise you that!

  7. Pedey says:

    The information on your site is excellent, and is the main reason I reactivated my account for Cataclysm. [Well, that and Jin’Rohk!]

    I, for one, can handle web ads if it keeps the a good, frequently updated ret pally site out there up. There’s not much out there at the moment, might be one reason why people are coming here in such numbers.

  8. Anthony says:

    Well well well, the famous Khor has hit the top!

    I agree with Noob, that a Donation Link would be great! I for one would not mind paying a small fee every now and then to help support your site and all the work you do!

  9. Niz says:

    I take it you’re using a caching system such as WPSuperCache? http://www.google.com/search?q=wordpress+cache+plugins
    Otherwise you are wasting your (and the donators’s) money.

    Let me know if you need help setting this up. You will save money in the long run.

  10. Khor says:

    Yep, it’s an outstanding plug-in. The first dedicated server I was set-up with was the equivalent of 2 netbooks. I was very skeptical on this, and even asked if it would handle my website load. I was told it would.

    There must have been some severe miscommunication between my old and new hosts in regards to bandwidth usage, and obviously, the dedicated server I first bought was overloaded. The system was completely overwhelmed, and was having to retart every 30 minutes to an hour. In less than 24 hours, it was clear I needed a better server, which I upgraded to.

    This server isn’t just barely holding this website, it will give me some wiggle room for growth.

    What hits me hardest are days and weeks where web traffic is high due to a) patch news releases and b) server downtime.

    Thus far, things seem to be running smoothly. I have cleared up some of the php clutter, particularly the saved revisions that are continuously and automatically stored when creating content.

    Other than that though, most of the server usage was/is from web traffic.

    The website itself is getting larger, at almost 400 created pages of my own content, and google has about 1500 listed results for the site, the extras stemming from archives, searches, results listings, forums etc. While this seems like alot, the coding and website itself are still what I would consider light-weight.

    Hopefully ,I will have a very good idea of hwo things will perform at the end of the month!

  11. Argandorn says:

    Hey Khor. Great to see the site back online. I’m apparently one of those people that found out late about this great site. None comes close atm! And although I’m not an expert by any means I would certainly place my bets on advertisements to generate an income to host the site. Paypal donations are great but it won’t provide a steady income. A monthly fee will do the job but I’m a bit afraid you might lose a lot of your regular visitors by this way. Even I’m not sure if I would be willing to pay a membership, although I know that your efforts in this site are huge so you should be rewarded some was. So I really hope advertisements will do the job for you. Good luck and keep up that great job!!!

  12. Khor says:

    Hey Arg! Don’t worry, memberships will never, ever be a part of what I do. Ever!

    No income is ever guaranteed when it comes to websites. In terms of advertisements here, I actually am unable discuss how this site generates revenue, because it is against my ad program’s policies. I can say that I use Google Adsense, but anymore than that might find me in violation of their terms and policies 🙁

    When Google slams the banhammer, it’s usually permanent, and I’d like to stay in their good graces 🙂

    In all honesty, I do think this site will support itself, but only time will tell!

    And as an apology in advance, I had to edit part of your post that is more compliant with the all-seeing Google eye!

  13. Sabea says:

    I don’t post much but do read a lot. I will definitely support the side, you do a great job. I think it (along with shadowpriest.com) are the 2 best spec specific websites around!

  14. Kisandur says:

    Hi Khor,

    like your website a lot! One point about the adds though. I sometimes see adds for goldsellers or guys offering to level your char for $$. I understand you need the adds and perhaps you cannot decide which adds google places on your site, but ….

    Thumbs up on everything else!

  15. Khor says:

    @ Kisandur – Yes, actually I have addressed that in my FAQ page, http://retributionpaladins.com/frequently-asked-questions/. I do not support these ads, but unfortunately, I cannot pre-screen the ads that show up on the site. I CAN, however, ban specific ads and ad websites if I know exactly what they are. There is an area within my ad account that lets me blacklist specific sites, and that list is already quite long. If you see a site that is offering gold selling, powerleveling, etc., you can email me at retpallykhor@gmail.com, and I will add it to my list.

    These companies are smart, and they know many of us block their ads. What they do is they create additional websites, such as leveltoon1.com, leveltoon2.com, leveltoon3 etc. So when they see one of their sites is starting to get heavily blocked, they simply switch to those other sites, so that the ads will start to display again. It’s an ongoing process, but one I am diligently keeping up with!

  16. Mhalek says:

    I would donate in a hearth beat. Let me know if you have a Paypal account

  17. Balathor says:

    Donated 🙂
    Thanks for the great work Khor
    I would be even worse than I am now, if not for this site 😛

  18. Argandorn says:

    Hey Khor I know enough ;). No problem editing my post. Thanks and keep up that great job. Don’t forget to enjoy your family though!

  19. lordmogg says:

    Hello Khor,

    Your site has helped me loads. And im pretty sure it will in the future too. As I will undoubtedly be popping back most days as I have for some time I don’t mind at all sending a small something your way. Donation given. From Sunny Bournemouth. UK.

    thanks

  20. Hudewey says:

    Hi Khor,

    Enjoy this site very much & am happy to see you back up & running. Let us know if publicizing is helpful or too much bandwith, :)). My guildies keep wondering where do I get this great RetPally info. I let my friends know of course.

    Good update on Mastery. Sounds like it may be very important as we raid. Thanks again.

    Hudewey

  21. Xav says:

    I’m happy to see you back, lately we have been losing a lot of great Paladins since Cataclysm hit 🙁

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