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Subscriptions - forum update. Please read.


Staff member
Feb 24, 2010
Country Flag

With the rising costs of the server and bandwidth, it's with a certain amount of awkwardness that I need to introduce a subscription. I've resisted the need to do this for a while now but here it is.

As most of you are aware, I foot the bill for the server hosting and since I don’t litter the forums and posts with adverts for the registered users, I get nothing back from it (except the warm fuzzy feeling that you’re all enjoying the great community)

In the beginning I was happy to absorb the cost as it was small. Now however, 3 years on and 3 server upgrades, it is cutting into my beer, I mean, daughter’s clothing money.
Back in September I did a forum upgrade where I bought the new software and then had to upgrade the server. Tony put a shout out after he heard what the upgrade was costing and you all came to the party (again, thanks!). Because of your donations, the cost of upgrade and first couple months of hosting on the new, beefier server, were covered with change to buy some nice anti-spam software to keep the pesky spammers at bay.:icon-twisted:

I’m going to start the subscriptions at £12 a year which works out to a whopping 3p per day (2.8p ever leap year though).

With time, non-subscribers and new users will be limited in what they can see and do compared to subscribers. The good sections, those that make the forum as helpful as it is, will stay for all to see.
Some of those limits will be trip reports, the selling sections, the club discounts, avatars etc. I’ll find a happy medium…

Hopefully you’ll all understand where I am coming from and that I need to offset the cost somehow; be it a subscription based option or spamming everyone with adverts (which I loathe anyway). It’ll also give me some change to buy some add-ons like a better image uploader!

Feedback and suggestions welcome.


{edit: Bat21 pointed out I need maths lessons}
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£12 is a very small price to pay for the huge amount of info and help this site has provided. Happy to contribute, so I'll be the first subscriber....

Now do I get a prize??

It is always a tough decision which way to fund a forum as its popularity grows. Personally I think a member subscription is the way to go as it generally makes the forum a more cohesive place to be. And if there's any cash left over once the bills are paid, I for one are more than happy for it to go into the CBF (Crispin beer fund) :icon-biggrin:

And if anyone complains at paying the 3p a day, come on..... the help and advice here is worth it a 100 times over.

Where do I sign up? :clap:
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Me too - I'm in for £12. Open a savings account we can all chuck pennies in, in the forums name. That way you can get someone else to help with admin too.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
I'm in, do you want it in one lump or 3p per day. :laughing-rolling:
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I won't be signing up, and if there are to be 2 levels of membership then I just shan't bother, that's not how I thought this place was going to work.
No probs with a reasonable fee. Just post a Ppal link.

A question tho: Have you approached t0yota UK to ask if they would foot the bill? They might be willing to support anything that promotes their brand, like we do (some of the time at least :icon-twisted:). Or maybe host it for you.
Or maybe t0yota €urope is the right supporter?
I won't be signing up, and if there are to be 2 levels of membership then I just shan't bother, that's not how I thought this place was going to work.

That's a shame Jon, you are one of the few members whose posts I value, I hope you will stay to give us the benefit of your knowledge and expertise in the future. :icon-cry:
I won't be signing up, and if there are to be 2 levels of membership then I just shan't bother, that's not how I thought this place was going to work.
I agree with Jon, a donation is different from subscriptionsin my book.
It’s not the money, but the principle.
This is a really tough call. It's dead easy to say 'Sure, count me in, I'll pay' and to me £12 is less than a bottle of gin. It's not the money. I can see where Jon is coming from. BUT my over riding feeling is that no one, not just Crispin should be out of pocket - cash wise. Ths forum has always been free to put in and free to take out, but it can't be free if someone is floating it. I'd rather find a way to make running it free than to have to pay subs for it. I'm not really here for the chat and the jokes, word association etc, I don't need to go on the internet to talk bollocks. So the paid sections would be probably more my interest. You then get into 'well I contribute more than I take out and some people just take' you know.

I am not a grouch, I just tend be objective some times. Would I pay? Yes of course I would. Will I pay - well I think we need the discussion. As I said, this is n't just about asking wouldn't paying be a good idea, it's about making sure that no one is subsidising us. I had no idea that you were mate.

Subscriptions are the way forward folks..... would you be happy to give your 'free time' for free?

There has to be some 'reward' for Cris for the time he so freely gives here.
Our posts crossed Chris.

With regard to running it 'free', what 'value' do you put on Cris' time?
Interesting,Im not very computer literate and had no idea that these things cost money. I assumed that time and effort was involved of course.
Im,a relative newbie and have found this forum invaluable,Ive read nearly ever post in the 80 sect and a fair chunk of other sections and the info I've gained from it is a snip at £12 a year.
I have to ask though,how many members at £12 each are needed to cover costs? Is it 'that' expensive?
Excuse my ignorance!
Lots of people do lots of stuff for free all the time Paul and I for one think that is a significant part of why this place has been a success so far.
It is a very difficult decision for you to have mad Cris I'm sure and TBH I am not overly fussed either way. The only downside I can see to a subscription is that it may discourage new members joining. I belong a couple of other forums that do have advertising and I feel it is rarely overly intrusive to the forum experience but I have no idea weather or not that route is viable.
Im of the same opinion as Chris above. While Im not adverse to paying for the brilliant service this forum provides I feel it will discourage potential new members from joining. I use plenty of forums with adverts and tbh you dont really notice them.
Well I dont know if I would subscribe (but I might donate).

But imagining yourself as a 'newbie' to Landcruisers and looking for advice and information no way would you subscribe to an unknown site !!!
I currently give lots of time for 'free' to various community projects and fun things (bike Hub, youth club, community council and many other things) but I (personally) would look for advertising to cover the costs of a forum based community. There are plenty of businesses out there that would benefit from forum promotion and that could be a good source of income.
I would rather one of the offers of free hosting was taken up than charge a subscription, I'm not suggesting Crispin should continue to pay if he doesn't want to.