Make MacTips Happy Month – are you the one who can make it happen?

MacTips needs your support

Here it is, short and sweet: MacTips is free but needs money to pay for hosting, anti-spam protection and backups. Its huge success means these things cost more than I can afford. Please pay a voluntary subscription towards costs so I can stop worrying and keep making great Tips. Read the gory details or fine print if you need to (below).

One-off Donation — any amount
Note: the PayPal account is in the name of First Bite of the Apple which was the name of my business when I set up the account years ago. If it asks you for my email address, please use .

MacTips Friend $12 per year

MacTips Fan $26 per year

MacTips Supporter $52 per year

MacTips Best Friends Forever $104 per year

MacTips and Double Rainbows all the way $365 per year

Just so you know: subscriptions renew every 12 months until you cancel.

Other ways to help

If you have products or services of interest to MacTips readers you could advertise on the site, offer discounts or coupons, competition prizes or review items. Please contact me to discuss the options.

The gory details

Google Analytics March 2011 for MacTips.

Google Analytics March 2011 for MacTips.

MacTips is becoming a victim of its own success. Google Analytics reports that in March 2011 we had around 65,000 website visitors who generally looked at 2.53 pages per visit, for a total of 163,000 Pageviews.

A year ago, in March 2010 MacTips had 34,000 visitors and 96,000 pageviews.

In other words, use of the site has almost doubled in the last year. And the trend is for more visitors each month.

More MacTips channels

61 YouTube videos and 61,000 views.

61 YouTube videos and 61,000 views.

At the moment around 1,850 people subscribe to the Feedburner RSS feed. Back in March 2010 that number was closer to 900.

The Facebook page has 170 subscribers, and the YouTube channel has 186, with 61,980 views in the last 21 months of currently 61 videos. On Twitter there are 349 followers.

I’m thrilled with the growth, but now MacTips needs your help.

A cup of coffee, a magazine, a DVD

Did you buy a cup of coffee today? A magazine? A newspaper? A bottle of water, or beer or wine? Maybe a DVD or a book?

Has MacTips saved you a few minutes that meant you had a spare dollar or spare time to buy that small item?

Would you be willing to spend the price of a coffee, a newspaper or a book to help MacTips cover its costs?

Or perhaps you recently attended a workshop or conference that cost several hundred dollars. Does MacTips teach you things too? How about buying a one-year subscription equivalent to the fee for one workshop?

MacTips costs are growing

While I’m thrilled to be reaching more people there’s a financial impact. I pay for MacTips out of my own pocket. I write the Tips, record the videos, and publish them in my own time and for no pay, using equipment and software I’ve bought myself.

I pay for web hosting, backups and some of the software behind the site.

While MacTips was small I just included the costs in my general activities, but those costs are increasing and now I need the help of my readers and supporters.

MacTips needs a new web server

MacTips needs to move to a new web server where it’s not using more than its share of resources. It’s currently part of shared hosting, but it’s pushing the limits of my hosting plan.

The new Virtual Private Server that I’ve been advised would be appropriate costs $40 per month.

We backup with VaultPress
VaultPress Premium plan.

VaultPress Premium plan.

I already pay for the lowest level of backups using VaultPress, but I’d like to move up to the more complete service that also watches out for malicious activity. That’s another $50 per month.

We keep spammers at bay with Akismet

Akismet, the crucial anti-spam plugin, has already protected us from 12,280 spam comments in 2011 alone (or almost 150 per day on average). Now, quite reasonably, Automattic want us to pay for the protection. With MacTips number of visitors they want $50 per month too.

Miscellaneous costs

I also use a paid theme and a paid form for contacting me, so I can add perhaps $10 per month to cover them and similar paid services that come up from time to time.

MacTips needs $1,800 per year

That brings the total required outgoings to $150 per month, or $1,800 per year.

That doesn’t in any way account for my time — around 4 to 6 hours per week — or the hardware and software I use, including a recently purchased new microphone for better sound quality on the videos.

But there’s advertising

For the last while I’ve included ads on MacTips. I’d rather not, but they do bring in an average of $70 per month — less than half of what I need just to cover basic costs. And, quite honestly, I see the ads as a small (trivial really) compensation for the time I spend learning and creating new Tips.

Be the one who makes a difference

I’m running a 1-month only Subscription Drive.

If every single reader and website visitor in April were to give just $1 the MacTips money problems would disappear, and allow me to do some development too.

So how about it? What’s MacTips really worth to you? Will you be one of the 10% to donate $1? Would you even go so far as to donate the equivalent of a cup of coffee, a book or a workshop to make up for the visitors who don’t donate anything?

The Fine Print

Buy a 1-year MacTips subscription this April. Your subscription helps pay for hosting, anti-spam protection, good backups and development for the next year.

And you’ll get that good feeling of supporting a valuable resource for the Mac community — all for the spare change in your pocket.

How about paying what you feel MacTips is worth to you?

Your subscription registers you as a supporter for 1 year, until March 2012. If you wish, your name will be added to a Supporters page on the site.

MacTips Supporter subs entitle you to a live link to your website. With around 70,000 visitors per month that’s cheap advertising for a business. Pay a MacTips Best Friends Forever sub and I’ll add your logo.

Sign up for a MacTips and Double Rainbows all the way sub and I’ll add your name and URL to the end credits of my MacTips videos too.

I reserve the right to not publish links to sites I find objectionable or unsuitable for publication on MacTips, such as adult sites or sites promoting illegal goods or activities.

Subscriptions renew every 12 months until you cancel. The Tips remain free to all comers, but MacTips really does need your help. A donation of any size will help MacTips survive and thrive for another year.

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