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Questions: Bruce, Why Does This Site Cost So Much to Operate?

questions

I put out the call to readers, asking them for questions they would like me to answer. If you have a question, please leave it here or email me. All questions will be answered in the order in which they are received.

Alex asked:

You mentioned on a recent post that your website costs 135 dollars a month to run. It is a little daunting to me as someone who is getting started on running a website.. What are the reasons for the high costs and what advice would you give those of us who want to start a website? Thank you.

Clubshadenfreude asked:

I’m curious too, since I have my blog on WordPress and it’s free. I do know that ad appear on it, but for the functionality that I need, it’s okay.

There are numerous free and low-cost blog hosting providers bloggers can use when getting started. If your traffic numbers remain low, such services are sufficient. However, when your site begins to grow, you will start to notice slower page load speeds. Sometimes, traffic spikes lead to your site not being accessible.

Seven years ago, I decided to go with a managed WordPress hosting provider. My reasons for doing so are as follows:

  • Fast page load speed
  • SSL certificate provided
  • CDN service provided
  • No advertisements
  • Automatic software and plugin update
  • Responsive tech support by phone
  • Ability to handle large traffic spikes from Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, news sites
  • No throttling of service when going over alloted monthly visitors
  • Staging sites (ability to design/update site offline)
  • Free site migration

Using the above criteria, I decided to go with Flywheel (now owned by WP Engine) as the managed hosting provider for this site. Years later, I am still a satisfied client.

I use premium services from Clicky (site stats), Grammarly (post editing), Yoast (SEO — search engine optimization). I also use several paid plugins to add functionality to this site.

Using the aforementioned services, this site is well suited for continued growth.

If there are functions you would like to see added to this site, please leave your suggestion in the comment section. I do plan to update the theme used for The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser. I am hesitant to change themes, but the current one is getting “old.” I will likely go to a paid premium theme.

My goal is to make this site easy to read. I personally don’t like being assaulted by numerous advertisements when I visit websites, so I made this site ad-free. I also hate post excerpts that require people to click on a link before accessing the article. When people come to the front page of this site, they are served five full content posts — no clicking required. Taking this approach means readers can read up to five articles while only clicking once on a post link. This reduces the number of daily page views, but speedy accessibility is more important than higher page view numbers.

The costs for this site are paid from donations received through Patreon and PayPal. Thank you for your continued support.

If you have any further questions, please ask them in the comment section below.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Thank you for answering this one. It didn’t occur to me to ask, and yet it’s something I’ve wondered about. That is, what kind of software support does a reasonably tech-savvy person need to truly run a popular blog. Not that I’m likely to ever write one; curiosity.

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Bruce Gerencser