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Prices... We need to discuss a price change....


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Subscriptions on the site have been happening. There are things about it that just aren't making the grade. Now after Paypal takes there cut of 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction.

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS ------

Current prices are a month... Total profit monthly -$19.53 (Including inactive total $206.45) 

Silver $1.99 ($1.63) - Currently 7 active 80 inactive - $11.41 profit. (Total $141.81 including inactive)

Gold $2.99 ($2.60)  - Currently 1 active 9 inactive - $2.60 profit. (Total $26.00 including inactive)

Platinum $5.99 ($5.52) - Currently 1 active 6 inactive - $5.52 profit. (Total $38.64 including inactive)

($x.xx) numbers are the paypal adjusted profit.

Just the monthly total will not pay for the main software license fees and update fees. ($360 a year!)

 

Current prices are a year... Total profit yearly -$3,224.28 

Silver $20.00 ($19.12) - Currently 52 active 23 inactive - $994.24 profit.

Gold $25.00 ($23.98)  - Currently 28 active 16 inactive - $671.44 profit.

Platinum $45.00 ($43.40) - Currently 29 active 16 inactive - $1,258.60 profit. (Just close to paying the hosting bill!)

($x.xx) numbers are the paypal adjusted profit.

 

Total yearly --- $3,430.73 (Basically $9.39 a day in subscriptions)

 

 Sorry to say this barely is paying the bills. For just the web site and I need to be paid as well for my time. Just in hosting alone for just the server is $1,300 a year. Then you start adding up everything. Cellphone, phone/internet here at home, keeping my computer in good repair. The bad part is that people are skipping in on the test drive or 1.99 monthly raiding the members and bailing out quickly not to return. So say member X creates a month silver account then calls me up burns my ear for over 3 to 4 hours it doesn't pay for my time at all. The whole low price monthly will have to raised in price. 

 

I'm considering raising the monthly to... Still pretty cheap per month.

Silver for 30 days - $10.49

Gold for 30 days - $16.69

Platinum for 30 days - $25.39

 

Now on the monthly side I adjust the price to include all the paypal processing fees. I shouldn't have to pay for your card fees. for such a low price. Then make it at least profitable to keep the doors open. 

 

Several people have mention to me in phone calls that the yearly is rather low. I've considered raising them as well to give more bonus on the year plans. Then I know my knowledge and all the data here has value. My time has value to doing phone support hours on end. We need to come to agreement on a fair pricing. Then looking at the yearly prices are going to have to raise too. 

 

I'm considering raising the yearly to... 

Silver for 365 days - $50.00

Gold for 365 days - $75.00 

Platinum for 365 days - $100.00 

 

I'm willing to put more into the site and give certain member group free phone support. (Discussion requested) But these long hours helping people on the phone. I know I'm worth much more than 40 cents an hour. This is part of the problem I want to fix here so everyone gets a fair shake. Let work this out so we build a website that gives the best support to Cummins owners but also is fair in paying me for my hard work and efforts. I'm sorry I'm not going to work hours 2 to 3 hours for $1.63...  

 

I'm planning on expanding the store as well. Currently all product purchases automatically give a free year to the site for customer warranty. All members with the group of Customer are in this automatically and will expire after the year is up. Back to the store the I'm already been talking to several vendors about selling products. I will been expanding my store very soon. 

 

One thing I must say... We cannot block view of the site to the free public. If this is done I will loose all Google rank I do have. So all pages and articles must remain available to the free public. Never can be blocked. So any ideas to limit viewing or reading of articles and forums can't be done. 

 

This will become the pricing for the subscriptions, We plan on honoring current subscription prices till your next renewal comes. I want to reconsider which groups are going to get phone support any longer. My thought is only the Yearly Platinum members will get phone support. Because looking at monthly for $10.49 wouldn't even pay 2 hours at minimum wage. Even when I do turn a wrench I do charge $85 an hour for working on a Cummins trucks. I just want a fair shake for my work supporting you guys here and not get short changed. 

 

So then we can discuss how the permissions per each group will work out. Which members can see what. This is not set in gold yet and in discuss mode right now to let the members feed into this with suggestions. 

 

 

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Subscriptions on the site have been happening. There are things about it that just aren't making the grade. Now after Paypal takes there cut of 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction.   SUBSCRIPT

I used to get a monthly notice for a PayPal payment for the site. Haven’t been getting it. I’d be more than happy to pay $100 for a year. This site has saved me way more than that on my truck. Plus I

FWIW I planned to upgrade to the platinum package when the time came simply based off the amount of mature and helpful people which roam this website. I have received more help here than any forum in

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I used to get a monthly notice for a PayPal payment for the site. Haven’t been getting it. I’d be more than happy to pay $100 for a year. This site has saved me way more than that on my truck. Plus I got off Facebook and Instagram. You guys are my only friends now! 😂

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8 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

 I don't know how feasible this would be Mike but in regards to your time on the phone, could you possibly have a way to charge separately for phone support? $X.xx per hour of phone time paid in advance with an appointment time for the call? 

 

I could invoice for that. The store invoicing allows for misc charges. Small problem there is no way to do fractional amounts of time. The invoice is limit to whole number quantity. I've made a require to have to customized but for $500 to have it done... Nope. So I'm hand mathing the fractional prices. So say I got 3.2 hours if I input that it turns to 3 hours period. Like if I do 2.8 hours labor I've got to hand math the number for the system. Only draw back...

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I'm looking for productive way of spreading the word of the site. Like a referral system that rewards members by inviting members. That is just one mod I could add. Years ago I had another mod that turn the site into a point system and reward members for certain actions and then charge point for other actions. 

 

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Actually it could simplify a bunch. 

 

I could give points back to people the refer other members.  Kind of like some companies do if you refer you get $50 off.. etc. Currently I would have to be notified of this and then wait for the user to join. then give the credit manually back to the member of the referral.

 

I could give points for writing articles. We been trying to manually give extra subscription in the past but the member has to tell you and then you have to review the article then manually update the account. 

 

I could give points for writing reviews of articles. It helps a bunch when people review products and articles. People like to see reviews on products but very few have any reviews. Again I can reward for these actions but now I have to manually do the reward for these actions. 

 

The whole 3 tier setup with silver gold and platinum. I'm thinking of ditching. No matter what the entire site needs to be free to read. Now as for support and getting support that requires posting to ask questions. (One possible way to keep the freeloaders out). The "Test Drive" is 30 days I'm thinking of dropping to 7 days and then kick to a unpaid status (Expired member). Some members have shown there dislike for freebie coming in cheap with 1.99 and ask for hours of support (textual or phone calls). 

 

I'm working it over in my mind building the code and looking at the different aspects to the subscription. Like no posting free (one option), like currently allow 3 post per day (Expired member). 

 

Unpaid Member - Changed the name of this group.. I want to make unpaid basically a read only group. You can read all the forums and articles freely. No posting. No Downloads (Except Quadzilla Tunes)., No Classified Ads (Can read but no posting), No Raffles (Can see the raffle, but no purchase of tickets), No Garage (Can see others vehicles but can't post yours). No phone support. So this would be a Free membership. 

 

Test Drive - Make this a 7 day membership that rolls over to Unpaid Member after the 7 days. Not sure how much I want to give here for access yet but I'm thinking.

 

Still thinking this out...

 

 

 

Phone Support - Should come at a premium price. Being my average phone calls are 2 to 4 hours long at times. Or like someone mentioned early to invoice for that to the customer. This might be difficult to do the invoicing being some days I might be out and about. Kind of hard to do on a cellphone screen. I can't be at home all the time either. Like currently I get $85 an hour for twisting wrenches for clients. So how about $40 an hour for phone support? (We can discuss this price yet)

 

I would be willing to create a customer calendar and you can pin in your day and time you want the call to be made this way I would be home for your call. So make appointment for my phone time. Then I can invoice for your time, the charge $40 an hour. 

 

Web Support - Would be strictly on the forum. No phone support given. I really don't like given support in PM's being it make me committed to handle your request directly. Supporting on the forum allows all the member pool to inject there knowledge in solving the issue with the truck. Being most of it bounces between pictures, Video (youtube), and other misc files I've got to consider what amount of storage I've got to provide for photos, files, etc. Remember my Server is only a 150 GB drive. Then consider 7,xxx members which is about 20 MB a piece to split it up even. So I can't compete with Google Drive at $1.99 for 100 GB. Now I've got to ask how much space does a member need to store there files? What is a fair amount of space for a monthly price? Just remember the server is $1,300 a year for 150 GB of drive space. 

 

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Let put it together a bit better now. My yearly expense are out weighing the income here. So I'm turning wrenches to just pay the website now. 

 

Monthly plan total year income = $245.00 (6 Active members, 97 expired)

 

Yearly Plan total yearly income = $3005.00 (107 active members)

Inactive do not count since that's last year income...

 

Total subscription Income for the year... $3,250.00

 

Just the main expenses are $4,751 per year. (Server, phones, internet, and software)

There is more smaller bills... email server, 3rd party license renewals, domain name, SSL certificates, not included above...

 

That is a shortfall of $1,511 dollars this year so far.

 

Server, Software (Main), Phone/ Internet, and my cell phone. We have touch any of the other bills like email server. 3rd party software updates, or some profit for myself even a few bucks. This whole monthly plan at mere 1.99, 2.99 and 5.99 doesn't work. Yearly subscription is close but still not enough. This is just the basics. I've not added all of it up yet but the main biggy bills are listed. 

 

Here is the problem I'm current on a server that will no longer be updated because of operation system is obsolete. in 3 months basically I'll no longer get any software updates. Then currently I locked out of updates because server software will not allow updates being operating system is obsolete. I've got to move servers no matter what before December. At the same time I get hit will massive update for the forum software which is now failed twice from software bugs.  This took me hours on the phone dealing with software issues and dealing with an out of date server which the company has now move all the support to the Philippines (No US support any longer). Now in the meantime I've got people calling here for support and burn hours off my day wanting help with their trucks. Any of the monthly plans doesn't even pay for me o answer the phone. The monthly plan not even paying for the server or bills. Now I've got the migrate the entire site to a new hosting company which of course the price gone up a bit more. I've got to invest the time in making sure everything is work software wise. Once I get the migration over the server I can roll back to core managed to save a few hundred a year. Again full managed I don't do anything for $1388 but core managed they just manage the core software and that's it. After that it up to me. I'm the one hold the site up right now working Cummins jobs to just pay the bills. Subscription is not...

 

No matter what... Either the prices go up for subscriptions or the site will be closed by December... That simple. 

 

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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25 minutes ago, Threadzy said:

More ads for non paying members?

Be honest I've already increase the amount of ads on the free side. Look at the thread listing ever 10 entries there is a ad. Then on the post screen every 10th is ad. Changed the sidebar back in and added that back in on the desktop since mobile is at the bottom of the screen.

 

25 minutes ago, Threadzy said:

Venmo or PayPal for your time with tech help on the phone?

I'm good with that too but I want to build a subscription plan for such. Then the I can make a permission mask that limits non-paying out and then the subscribers would have the option. That way I can capture user name and phone numbers and then I could start billing at a set hourly rate. Again setting this up takes time and programming to get all rigged up right. I would want to identify by phone number or something so you can randomly pick a user name off the site and bill it to someone else possibly. 

 

25 minutes ago, Threadzy said:

Like I said I’m willing to pay $100 for a yearly subscription.

That is only 1 voice in 7,7xx members... How many would do $100 a year? That's a $8.33 a month... Which is not going work for monthly plans. ($5.99 a month only made $41 for the year) Maybe $10 a month I could make that work that would make the yearly plan $2 less per month.

 

25 minutes ago, Threadzy said:

For non paying members can you charge for the tech articles?

No way to block from reading again it will destroy the Google search ranking. Reading will always be free. But I can charge for inaction with the client. Phone calls, forum support, etc. 

 

I'm stretched thin now and working longer hours and not getting much time off from work.

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Your time is $$

 

$40 for Phone support is totally fair.

 

$100/year or $10/month is totally reasonable.  I would just forget the complicated tier thing.

 

I want to see a spot where someone can send a donation any time at all whether they are a member or not.  Every-time I solve a problem with the help of this site I want to send some $ but have not place to go to do that.

 

Consider sending out weekly emails to expired members letting them know it's time to step up or this resource will be gone by December.  Change the rates first so you can try and retrieve and retain expired members.

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4 hours ago, Me78569 said:

@Mopar1973Man the paypal donation banner I had is now gone with the update.  

 

 

Go here and fill this out and send me the html

https://www.paypal.com/donate/buttons

Give me time to get things laid out. Going to use the internal donation software not the 3rd party. And still working on a software bug for the announcements. 

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 I never realized how much really goes in to all this Mike. After reading through this thread again I appreciate all you do even more. 

 I'm not a technical person so I had no idea what goes into all this, nor did I know how much phone support and advise you give. You do invest alot of time to help others. You also deserve to be compensated for that time, I think your rate of $40/hour for phone support would be fair. 

 Also maybe a pay site within the forums for online support? Where a person could get you one on one? I prefer the forum format where everyone can give input. I appreciate different opinions and alternate ways of going about things. Feels more like a friendly conversation to me if that makes sense. 

 On the off chance someone needs your experience and knowledge in short order a pay forum for such cases may be practical.

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1 minute ago, Doubletrouble said:

 I never realized how much really goes in to all this Mike. After reading through this thread again I appreciate all you do even more. 

 I'm not a technical person so I had no idea what goes into all this, nor did I know how much phone support and advise you give. You do invest alot of time to help others. You also deserve to be compensated for that time, I think your rate of $40/hour for phone support would be fair. 

 Also maybe a pay site within the forums for online support? Where a person could get you one on one? I prefer the forum format where everyone can give input. I appreciate different opinions and alternate ways of going about things. Feels more like a friendly conversation to me if that makes sense. 

 On the off chance someone needs your experience and knowledge in short order a pay forum for such cases may be practical.

I 2nd that!

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I am in for whatever keeps this place and you healthy. The return on that $100 are worth it i my opinion. I too like the forumn for the different opions on what and how to accomplish things. There is more than to skin the proverbial cat.

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My morning typically starts at about 5am to about 6am usually my hips are hurting. I'm up making coffee and hopping on the website working on the server performance and software for the last couple of weeks. Then like this morning I had a job down at my other shop doing a transfer case in a 1978 Chevy truck.

 

20200924_163323.jpg

 

Then now getting home and got a shower and now hopping on the website. Through out my day I get at least 2 to 3 calls per day asking for advise. Typically toss the phone on speaker and continue working either turning wrenches or working on the website. I'm multitasking two things constantly. I will most likely get done with the website duties by about 8pm tonight and quit. I've now bound the shop work to the website as well. 

 

Like tonight I'm going to work on some of the suggestion mention here and see if I can make the code do what we need it to do. If not find a another solution either in 3rd party provider or 3rd party code monkey. If I hit a problem then I can mention it here and then figure out another solution. Nothing is set in gold I'm building all this behind the scenes and even using a TEST USER and walking the site to see if there is any issues with what I made for code. So now to the grindstone after dinner...

 

On the main forum page. In the sidebar is now a tip jar people can drop a extra tip beyond the subscription. 

 

image.png

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3 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

You do invest alot of time to help others.

 

I talk to at least 3 people a day on average of 2 to 4 hours for the longest. 

 

3 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

You also deserve to be compensated for that time, I think your rate of $40/hour for phone support would be fair. 

Thank You... That means a lot to me. I was really struggling to try to put a price to number of value to my efforts. I know what I'm worth to employer like my diesel skills is worth at least $85 and hour for my local work. $40 an hour for server administrator. I've been handling this server on my own since the first time I've switch from shared hosting back at GoDaddy to Virtual Private Server. (iPage) I've been doing this since 2004 (16 years) when the first website was built. Now I've gotta move by December being our server is obsolete. 

 

3 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

Also maybe a pay site within the forums for online support? Where a person could get you one on one?

Well the phone support has been happening since about 2006. I've always listed the phone number to support people all over the US and Canada. I've had phone call in the dead of the night when people are stuck in Alaska and lost all throttle control (idle only) this was at 11pm at night and the the temp was -44*F and blowing. I stayed with him to the bitter end making sure he got to safety. I've done this day and night for years now. 

 

3 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

I never realized how much really goes in to all this Mike. After reading through this thread again I appreciate all you do even more.

I've been remote working on servers since I started into the Linux World. I started that about 2011 and continued to study Linux OS systems. Since my PC here is Ubuntu 20.04 and the Server is CentOS 6 two different platforms but work flawless together. It all in textual format like old DOS. Lots of typing...

 

image.png

 

3 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

I prefer the forum format where everyone can give input. I appreciate different opinions and alternate ways of going about things. Feels more like a friendly conversation to me if that makes sense. 

 

No problem that is the most optimal method of support being you do get all the different feedback. There is that 10% out there that is too sky or don't want to be in the crowd and look to the one on one either by phone or PM's. I could open up the support tickets and have a special one on one area. Your right the forum is the best place being I don't have to focus on the threads I can just reply and move on. 

 

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I know the system of credit cards and all is certainly convenient, but for something like yearly plans is it not possible to skip the middleman and send a check or cash to you and not lose the 3-5% most charge? All that would really cost is the 55c stamp. 

 

Most shops around here charge $120+ per hour of labor. As the joke goes, hitting thing with hammer = $1, knowing where to hit the thing = $2999. $40 per hour for remote support seems perfectly fair. 

 

I would certainly be willing to pay more for a membership. I think $100 might be a bit steep for some folks, but I would pay that. I would hazard a guess to say that most of the platinum members pay for that level to support the forum rather than all the benefits, though that does ease the wallets a bit more I imagine. 

 

 

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FWIW I planned to upgrade to the platinum package when the time came simply based off the amount of mature and helpful people which roam this website. I have received more help here than any forum in my past, if the price is $100 a year sign me up!

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The 3 tier system will be gone soon. (silver, gold and platinum). I'm going to be rebuilding the permission mask and continue to ask question about about features for the plan. Just the simple fact of more we grow the more it will cost in the long haul. Some people don't even know the database that holds all the post and messages is now nearly 1 GB in total. With over 1.1 million entries to the MySQL database. This is all the text of the forum.

 

image.png

 

Then there is a total of 120GB here for storage, after LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) I'm left with 48GB used with the forum included. We have 65 GB left.

image.png

 

This is another question to you ALL. How much storage space would be fair per the 10 (mo) /100 (yr). If I've got 7,8xx members. How much storage do you all figure you use in your attachments of photos, garage area, etc. This is a total amount. 

 

The biggest problem is the current hosting company does not migrate for you at all. They do not provide any means for upgrading software. Just to give a clue the first time the update went bad. It left me with a error message saying I needed to make a writable folder. So for me to download a backup copy of the server it took nearly 4 hours to get it downloaded at 27 MBit/Second speed. No bad. But the upload speed here is super slow at 2.2 MBit which now to re-upload all the server data was a bit over 26 hours. This is partially what a migrate is like being the same action is done. The only difference with a bit of Linux skill you can call out scp (Secure CoPy) and it will transfer all the data over a backbone. But this requires two domain names typically. (old mopar1973man.com to mopar1973man.NET) which is how I did it last time. Typically it takes me 3 to 5 days to get this done. (Reconfig the server, etc.)Hence why I'm going to let the new hosting company do it. New company said it would be 15 to 30 minutes of down time. To me that is worth paying extra $200 to have it moved. This why most of the server software is creating issues against the forum software. Just the foundation (LAMP) is out of date. I've never had to migrate cPanel and WHM so this should be interesting... :whistle:

 

This is why I'm doing all this being the server is out of date, and all my software is up to date so when I move things should improve ofr performance. Better performance is a better Google Ranking. Yes page load times do impact how we are ranked against other websites. Hence why I do more work in the background trying to shave off another 1 second of load times. 

 

As you can see Google doesn't like us much...

Screenshot from 2020-09-25 05-32-29.png

 

I can't do much with an out of date server. Now if I can reduce the load times on pages and get both of these near the green at least or reduce the page loading times I could place better in the Google Search Engine.  Now to show this... Let's to a search for "vp44 pump removal" we are the top entry even beat BlueChip. 

 

Screenshot from 2020-09-25 05-37-02.png

 

To keep these kind of ranking up I need a server that is up to date and start working at shaving the load times back. More I do the most my average rank will rise. Right now we are roughly 13.1 for average placement. Means most of our stuff is on the second page of Google where most do not look beyond the first page. 

 

Some people think it just copy and pasting to make articles. Well not really. That part is super easy but the formatting typically is destroy on the pasting to the editor box. So I got to flip to source mode and sort out the raw HTML and get the layout correct again. Then while I'm doing all that add the SEO code to the each article so Google understands what the document is about. This is the important part. Which I need to go back and re-write most of the articles now to freshen the publish date and then add in the missing code. 

 

This is what you see...

Screenshot from 2020-09-25 05-43-15.png

 

This is what I work with. Take a look the formatting is clean and proper usage of HTML code. 

Screenshot from 2020-09-25 05-43-19.png

 

There is a ton of work for me to do. I've got all the books for 4th gens but need to get them in when there is free time. The copy and paste is easy but proper HTML5 and CSS3 coding it not easy. This points back to the requirements that Google needs to be a good ranking. Takes about hour per article to do right. 

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Well that lost me once I got out of the first paragraph. I am not techy enough for the rest. As far as a 3 tiered system goes I think you ought to keep it or something similar. If all any one had to choose from was $100 memebership then I believe some will be scared off. While I know the 100 bucks is worth it, alot of folks are just going for what info they can get for free. 

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The only thing is if I do keep the tier system it will go up in price from there... Not down. 

 

Monthly $10, $20 and $30 but that means when you times it by 12 months. turns to yearly at $120, $240, $360 a year. That's the problem I cannot go below $10 a month or $100 a year. Because we were at 1.99, 2.99 and 5.99 which turns to 23.88, 34.88, 71.88 a year, which the yearly ($20, $25, and $45) barely could pay the server bill and nothing more. So $10 a month has to be the bottom. Only goes up from there. Just look backwards $100 a year changes back to mere $8.33 a month when divided by 12. So the yearly plan is actually a better deal saving about $1.67 per month for $20.04 savings per year vs. monthly.

 

So... The $100 a year (possibly $200 and $300 a year) but no going down from there. Even $100 a year is $8.33 a month and 27 cents a day. That's it. If I go down in price all anyone will do is like we learned is jump on the $1.99 plan get what they need and bail out. So now the raid the entire site as much as they can and run with downloads of books and any information they can get. Hence why the short fall of paying the bills.

 

Being transparent look at the numbers for yourself. Do the math...Figure the site needs at least $5000.00 a year to function with all bills paid. That doesn't even pay me for my time. Remember the inactive of the yearly is LAST YEARS income. Doesn't count towards this years bills. 

image.png

 

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I was thinking having the 3 tiers of yearly subscriptiions. I never really considered the daily and montly plans. I dont like monthly bills anymore. Paying once a year is better in my feeble mind. 

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22 minutes ago, dripley said:

I never really considered the daily and monthly plans.

The only reason I left the monthly so people had a cheaper option than getting $100 a year. Some folks are just on a super limited budget. The only reason I'm breaking down that low is to show how very little amount per day works out. I'm fine with yearly plan too. Just like the server bill... If I pay it monthly its... ($1,668 per year or $4.56 per day)

 

 

image.png

Then if I pay it yearly... $1,188 per year (or $3.25 per day). That's a $480 dollar savings per year.

image.png

I'm doing the same with $10 a month and $100 a year. Since $10 a month times 12 is $120. You end up with a savings on the yearly plan just like what my hosting company is doing. 

 

The other thing I've got to look at is limiting the FREE side as much as possible. I just can't do this for free any longer. This is the server I will be moving to here in the next few weeks. 

 

Again look at the amount of space I get just a mere 150 GB of hard drive. How do you divide that up per user and give a fair amount of storage for everyone without running out of space? See I've got to figure that out too. I can't compete with Google Drive at $1.99 a 100 GB. It going to cost $1,188 a year for 150 GB. Lots of stuff to figure out. 

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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