Last week I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep DW going. The site kept crashing over and over, and I was told a server upgrade would solve that problem but that it would cost $12,000 a year, which was way out of my budget (a full $9,500 more than I spent on server fees last year). At the same time I was seemingly the target of click-bombing on my ad accounts (look it up if you don’t know what that means) and I worried my account would get suspended indefinitely and I would lose my biggest source of income. (I’m still worried about that, but after some research it looks like it’s a somewhat wide-spread problem, so I’m hopeful I am not being singled out). In the last week, I was able to get the price of a new server down to $8,000 a year, which is still out of my budget, but two readers who are in the IT business are helping me find the best deal for my needs, and as a stopgap measure in the meantime I purchased additional memory for my current server, and, thankfully, that has solved the problem, at least in the short-term.
While all of this has been going on, I started a donation drive, and in one week we have raised nearly $6,400 for the next six months. (To the 70+ people who signed up for monthly donations, I am counting your designated contributions for the next six months. Obviously, if people cancel their donations, the amount will change). Over 220 people have contributed! I am just blown away and so grateful for your help and for your investment in the site. Your contributions mean that I can keep DW going for at least six more months and likely another year (at least). Beyond that, your donations and kind words have been so heartening at a time when I was feeling pretty defeated. To not have to worry about whether I’ll be able to afford the overhead costs associated with running a site this size is huge. To think I could even have a small profit after fees and childcare coverage is paid for makes me … giddy. I even asked our babysitter to work a few extra hours over the next three weeks so I can make some headway on the book I’ve been talking about for many months. None of that would be possible without your help, so I hope you know how thankful I am.
I’m going to end the donation drive at this point, but you are more than welcome to continue donating. I’ll keep the fundraising thermometer up on the right-hand corner through the end of the week and we’ll see how much closer we can get to the $7,500 goal. I can’t believe we’ve raised as much as we already have, and I promise that I’ll continue working hard to create the content and maintain a site so many of you love visiting. Thank you for everything!
P.S. Everyone who donated/donates gets a fortune cookie message from me (I’ve been known to be psychic!), as well as your name mentioned on the Thank You page (if you want). If you’d like your name to link to something — like your business’s website, for example — please let me know and I can easily do that. Additionally, I’d like to start sending hand-written thank you notes through snail mail (a few at a time — it’s going to take a while!), so eventually you may get an email from me asking if that would be ok and verifying your address. Some donors will even get special packages with DW swag inside, ooh la la. Maybe by the time I do another donation drive, I’ll be able to share a preview chapter or two of the book I’ve been working on as a thank you gesture — we’ll see!
GatorGirl March 12, 2014, 3:19 pm
I loved my fortune!
Classic March 12, 2014, 7:12 pm
I loved mine, too! It was great. Especially after adding “in bed”, right?
Lyra March 12, 2014, 3:24 pm
Thank YOU Wendy for all you do to keep this site going! We love you and appreciate everything you do.
I also love the “Cats of DW” calendar idea. My kitty is ready for her close up.
LlamaPajamas March 12, 2014, 3:26 pm
I’m so happy for you! This site means a lot to me and I’d hate for it to be a source of stress for you.
Classic March 12, 2014, 3:27 pm
Oh, I wish you would keep the donation drive going. Let’s try to keep it going by commenting on the related posts. I love seeing the fundraising thermometer going up, and I am happy that we get to keep it!
landygirl March 12, 2014, 3:30 pm
I don’t get paid until Friday, at which time I can donate.
Hurricanem March 12, 2014, 3:48 pm
Yay! We love you Wendy.
This makes me so happy to read.
Lolabeans March 12, 2014, 3:50 pm
Have you thought about applying for a small business loan?
You could get advertising videos after people do a couple clicks on the site to drum up more ad revenue for you as well.
TECH March 12, 2014, 4:17 pm
I love the idea of handwritten cards as well as DW swag — I am intrigued about what the swag could be. Also, I am soooo looking forward to a book by you, Wendy. As long as you keep writing, I will keep donating! 🙂
honeybeenicki March 12, 2014, 4:20 pm
I definitely loved my fortune. Mostly because it told me something I really wanted to hear 🙂 Hopefully you truly are psychic and it comes true!
lets_be_honest March 12, 2014, 4:22 pm
Your’s what about finding the perfect pair of shoes too??
lets_be_honest March 12, 2014, 4:27 pm
and I’m now realizing how insensitive that was…
I hope yours and bethanys both come true, tonight. Or cum true if you will. haha. (gross?)
iwannatalktosampson March 12, 2014, 4:28 pm
honeybeenicki March 12, 2014, 4:35 pm
LBH is the reason we can’t have nice things. 🙂
theattack March 12, 2014, 4:36 pm
I think LBH is the nice thing.
lets_be_honest March 12, 2014, 4:39 pm
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. I’m feeling the LOVE!
(and I lol’d at you honey)
honeybeenicki March 12, 2014, 4:34 pm
Haha no I don’t think so 😛 It was something about a space in my heart being filled soon. I think babies count 🙂
bethany March 12, 2014, 4:23 pm
My fortune was very appropriate as well.
I might help it come true tonight.
iwannatalktosampson March 12, 2014, 4:25 pm
Was your fortune that you’d get knocked up soon?
bethany March 12, 2014, 4:39 pm
My fortune had a little something to do with my best buddy… WINE. I think Wendy wrote our fortunes specifically for us 🙂
bethany March 12, 2014, 4:40 pm
AND– I am not even attempting to get knocked up until I drink all the wine this spring and summer!!
No Pants March 12, 2014, 4:46 pm
Whew. We need you at our next meetup!
lets_be_honest March 12, 2014, 5:04 pm
No pants is HOTTTT everyone!
No Pants March 12, 2014, 5:50 pm
Thanks for the new name, LBH and Bethany! I hate pants!
Is our meetup pic on FB?? Need to go check…
LlamaPajamas March 12, 2014, 10:30 pm
Pants are the worst.
Addie Pray March 12, 2014, 4:55 pm
DW SWAG, YES PLEASE
Also, readers, if you donate $100 to Wendy right now, I’ll send you an autographed picture of me making a sexy face, and I’ll like make sure my naked shoulder is showing or something. Do it. You know you want it.
bethany March 12, 2014, 4:57 pm
I think I’ll donate $99 instead.
JUST KIDDING. But really, I can’t afford a hundo right now. My dog eats a lot and his food is expensive!
lets_be_honest March 12, 2014, 4:58 pm
What’s more important? Your dog or DW?
Addie Pray March 12, 2014, 4:59 pm
D’oh! Ok, then how’s this: donate $100 or else I’ll send you a sexy selfie of my posing seductively in the bathroom.
bethany March 12, 2014, 5:00 pm
Only if it’s full frontal. Do you love Wendy enough to do that?
Addie Pray March 12, 2014, 5:01 pm
I do. I do.
Addie Pray March 12, 2014, 5:03 pm
For bethany’s eyes only:
Diablo March 12, 2014, 5:04 pm
AP, I didn’t donate quite a full C note. Can we negotiate? Could I get, say, an eye, an ear, and the upper two thirds of the exposed part of your shoulder? I have a vivid imagination.
Diablo March 12, 2014, 5:07 pm
Never mind, saw your bush above. Do you trim it yourself?
Addie Pray March 12, 2014, 5:09 pm
I do. But first I like to grow it out nice and long so I can trim it into the shape of barn animals.
Diablo March 12, 2014, 5:18 pm
Maybe BGM is right. Maybe we should raise the tone. Maybe there is a higher calling to which we can aspire, instead of grown adults making childish innuendos instead of doing our jobs….. Nah!!
lets_be_honest March 12, 2014, 5:19 pm
Or a disney character? like this https://www.google.com/search?q=disney+character+bushes&espv=210&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&imgil=y60fW61zLWtV7M%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcSteKXyAEMGMy_SSU2TPpaSe86n9fMwqYCs8bLQ1CyokMNwO1Ur1Q%253B500%253B347%253B1DCMT0MYBbEf1M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.friendskorner.com%25252Fforum%25252Ff34%25252Fdisney-character-bushes-55796%25252F&source=iu&usg=__wNuN1D26B4rMVUeZOH6Qini8YGA%3D&sa=X&ei=SM8gU_mIF5LfkQfOqYCYCA&ved=0CC0Q9QEwAg#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=y60fW61zLWtV7M%253A%3B1DCMT0MYBbEf1M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.friendskorner.com%252Fforum%252Fphotopost%252Fdata%252F500%252FDisney_Character_Bushes1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.friendskorner.com%252Fforum%252Ff34%252Fdisney-character-bushes-55796%252F%3B500%3B347
LlamaPajamas March 12, 2014, 10:31 pm
Did someone say barn animals?! AP, if you trim it into the shape of a llama I’ll make you the co-guest of honor (with the llama) at my wedding. I’ll even make you a cake without icing even though I think that’s a crime against humanity.
No Pants March 13, 2014, 10:38 am
I am SO SO excited for your wedding pics. Please oh please pose with the llama.
Sara March 12, 2014, 5:13 pm
Just googled “click bombing.” Scuzzy.
Addie Pray March 12, 2014, 8:29 pm
Out of curiosity, Wendy, how many people donated $100 this afternoon so I’d send them an autographed (naked) photo – like 2? 19? 37? 139?!!? Wow I would have never guessed!
Renee March 13, 2014, 12:20 am
Well done on the donation drive! That’s amazing.
That is a HUGE cost for a server! For my blog, I’m spending under $1k a year on VPS type of hosting, and it’s working well so far. (we get about 20-30k uniques a week). Perhaps there’s a way to reduce your server load (caching plugins etc) so you can have more visitors and less crashes!
Love your blog btw!
Dear Wendy March 13, 2014, 7:41 am
Who is you host? I do have caching plugins. Unfortunately, I get a lot of spam (brute force attacks) and the forums take up a huge amount of memory (I’ve been deleting old posts though and I spent a few hundred dollars last week to have memory added to my server and so far, no crashes in a week).
Jess March 13, 2014, 9:59 am
It’s great to see so many names I have never heard of on the thank you list. It just shows how many quiet readers are out there enjoying DW.
bethany March 13, 2014, 2:23 pm
LESS THAN $1,000 TO GO!!! Come on guys, lets get to $7,500!!!
Classic March 14, 2014, 12:52 pm
Yay! The fundraising thermometer went up today!
We are getting pretty close to the top now 🙂
Addie Pray March 14, 2014, 1:12 pm
Someone, quick, donate the remaining $736, it’s killing me not to see the thermometer all blue!