So...funny story.... Yesterday, I went to create servers on AWS, and spent some time doing the exact math on what I needed. Well, turns out my initial estimate was high. Quite a bit high, in fact.
I had promised to go with smaller servers if possible, and, well, it's possible. Turns out, if I check all our RSS feeds even once a day (spread out, of course), the load is actually quite reasonable. So, after checking in with the operator of our current servers, I've decided that we're staying put.
Thanks for everyone who contributed to the Patreon drive. It really means a lot to me that you guys were willing to pitch in. Staying where we are means our monthly hosting costs stay much lower than they would have on AWS, and that I get to spend more time running and developing the site (instead of managing servers). I think that's the best-case scenario. I'm currently paying $5/month for WFG hosting. That might need to increase to $10/month, depending on how the load actually shakes out. I've already removed the two original goals from the Patreon page. Any money already collected will go server costs, as promised. Those of you who pledged: please feel free to reduce or eliminate your pledges, with my thanks. For the time being, they aren't necessary.
As I didn't have to spend the weekend building servers, I've used it instead to work on some of the stated upgrade goals. So far, that includes:
- Loosening up the criteria for the home page "Featured Updates" section
- Enabling support for RSS feeds on all listings
- Reviewing and updating/enabling about 220 of our 420 RSS feeds (I'll do the remaining 200 over the coming week, as it's rather time-consuming work)
- Assessing what else can be done before rewriting the software
Thanks again to everyone for your support during this process. Server concerns dealt with, I'm looking forward to building some better software for us.