• 8 October 2016Homepage redesign v2, plus thoughts about Patreon

    I've got an email that raised a point I've been thinking about recently. There are downsides to making the site look more slick and "professional". One downside is that the site loses its "handmade" appeal. Another, more critical downside for me, is that it sends a different message: it looks commercial.

    Here is an updated homepage concept which I hope communicates better that a single person is behind it, and while it is not commercial in nature, your support is important. Let me know if you likethis one better!

    It has always been developed and maintained as a hobby. While I have no commercial goals, your support is actually important. Last year I am seeing a decline in donations. I know from experience that donations tend to correspond to periods I am more active with the website, but there is definitely a downwards trend and it is worrying. As you can imagine, keeping a site like this running, and still finding time to make some updates as I enter my 40's and my life priorities change.. is not something that comes for free.

    Thoughts about PayPal

    One problem I am aware of is that donations are silent. I could implement some PayPal API to give better feedback and show a list of supporters every month but I am concerned about being locked into an API and how much time it will take to add that to the site.

    Thoughts about Patreon

    Another solution I've been considering is Patreon which helps "recurring funding.for creators". I am indeed a creator. I create something valuable, of an educative nature, that benefits thousands of people around the world.

    In the past I thought it wasn't worth the trouble because I thought my site was too small to bother. But lately I'm thinking perhaps this is a good idea.

    One potential benefit would be that the support is public. If you support through a site like Patreon, it's no longer a silent donation Even as I write there are 9 people who chose to support me with the recurring donation option on the support page (Carolin, Keith, Conrad, John, Philipp, Kenneth, Eric, Wisam, Charles ... thank you!). Those donations are silent every month. On a site like Patreon they would be visible.

    Another concern I had was that I thought it would be too much pressure. This site will continue to be a hobby, more or less. I can't guarantee that I will work on x or Y, or that I will be active at any one period. I think that's the basic relationship Ive had with the site that allows it to still be there. But then I noticed there are lots of small projects on Patreon, and I thought... perhaps this doesn't matter. As long as I make it clear in the project description.

    I'm not quite sure what REWARDS I would use though. I have one in mind but I'd love to hear some ideas if you have and that may motivate me to implement Patreon sooner.