Donations, costs, traffic!
For most of 2010 traffic had been stable, we were slowly growing but nothing drastic… then it hit, late July Minecraft really started to gain momentum, first we had the TF2 blog about Minecraft, then the popular Youtubers talking about minecraft and from there it snowballed, Minecraft has now been featured in magazines, newspapers, blogs, TV shows, radio shows, podcasts and more, think back to Minecraft.net crashing for an idea of the sort of troubles we were going through, we’re expotentially more server heavy than minecraft.net!
Early last week started seeing increasing load to the servers, much more than our already high powered setup could handle, we discussed the possible solutions and we decided that the only choice was to upgrade our current servers and bring more online, unfortunately we didn’t have the capital to do so. The idea of donations was suggested by WedTM, we weren’t too optimistic but we decided to try it, our only alternative was to have 90% downtime and that just wouldn’t work.
To say we were blown away by the generosity is a huge understatement, you guys blew our minds. It’s an honour for us to operate a community of such generous people, we love you guys.
Now for some statistics…
In the past 30 days minecraftforum.net has had 2,286,011 visits, 16,238,746 page views and 825,505 unique visitors. Each visitor spends an average of 7 minutes and 36 seconds on the site and views 7.16 pages.
In the past 30 days minecraftwiki.net has had 2,986,539 visits, 15,350,723 page views and 900,921 unique visitors. Each visitor spends an average of 6 minutes and 40 seconds on the site and views 5.14 pages.
This sort of traffic isn’t easy to handle, at the beginning of the year we were running from a small 512MB Ram VPS and now we’re running from the following machines:
Web Server #1
- 2x Xeon-Nehalem 5520
- 12GB DDR3 Ram
Database Server #1
- 2x Xeon-Westmere 5670
- 12GB DDR3 Ram
Load Balancer #1
- Xeon-Lynnfield 3470
- 2GB DDR3 Ram
Shared between these servers we have 12TB of bandwidth on a 1GBPS line, we have also been using the Softlayer Cloud to bring online extra instances that can support spikes in traffic that we receive during Friday updates.
Now for a breakdown on the donations we’ve received over the past 7 days.
Total Donations: 226
Total Sent: $2,800.01
Total Received: $2,635.62 (after Paypal fees)
Average Donation: $12.38
Biggest Donation: $100.00
Smallest Donation: $0.06
Donations in £: 56
Donations in $: 170
Users with gold forum names: 197
How we’ve used donations
Softlayer Hosting costs: $1,527
Softlayer Account Balance: $409
Software costs: $200
Saved “emergency fund”: $327
Money gained from £/$ currency conversions and increase value of £ over $: $34
Starting in November we’ll be receiving the ad revenue from the websites, as such we’ll no longer need donations to remain online and any donations made will be used to support the community, as of today we’ll be removing the announcement regarding donations.