As several people have noted publicly and privately, I have added a few more advertisements to the site on various pages.
Some of the feedback has been vicious, as if people have never before seen advertisements, and I have somehow stabbed them through the heart by showing an advertisement.
The fact is that Lottery Post has grown to become the largest lottery-related Web site on Earth, not counting a handful of the official government lottery sites in the USA.
I understand that most people visiting Lottery Post do not understand the technical and business concepts of running a large Web site, so I'll try to explain.
Just like when you get Internet access at your home, Web sites have to pay for their connections to the Internet.
For small "hobby" or other low-traffic Web sites, this is normally done through a web hosting company, to which the person running the site pays a reasonable monthly payment. The Web site is set up on either a shared server (on which there may be hundreds of small Web sites hosted), or if the person pays a little more, they can run their Web site on a dedicated server.
For large Web sites with thousands of daily visitors that model runs out of steam, because with so many visitors coming to the site at every moment, the server bogs down and delivers Web pages at an unacceptably slow speed.
You may have noticed that exact problem when you visited your official lottery Web site right after a big Mega Millions or Powerball drawing. Because the government lotteries typically do not invest in a robust dedicated hardware platform for their Web sites, when the big drawings come around the sites show their weaknesses.
So the answer to the problem of traffic volume for large Web sites is to invest in your own dedicated server hardware, in addition to dedicated Internet "bandwidth" that can accommodate huge volumes of traffic.
Bandwidth is a measure of the volume of data that can flow back and forth to a server. When you have so much traffic that you need to dedicate bandwidth, that means the company providing the bandwidth keeps tabs on exactly how much data has flowed back and forth between your server and the Internet, and you have to pay for what you use.
As I'm sure you can guess, Lottery Post has grown so large that it falls into that camp. If I attempted to run Lottery Post on the same kind of server arrangement as any of the other lottery-related sites out there, people would literally not be able to see the site. You would click your bookmark to come to Lottery Post, and you would just see a blank white page, followed a minute later by a "Page cannot be displayed" error.
So I pay a lot to keep this site online. I am not going to sit here and reveal all of my financial details, but I will say that you would be very surprised at the amount of money that it takes to keep this site online.
As the number of people who come to the site increases, that increases the amount of bandwidth consumed, which costs more money.
In addition to costing more money, it takes a lot of my time to keep things working. There are so many issues to deal with and so many technical hurdles to overcome that I no longer have as much time to spend putting food on the table.
If everyone purchased a premium membership, that certainly would help — but not everyone will do that, no matter what. Some people feel that everything on the Internet should be 100% free, and they are vehemently opposed to paying for anything they can browse to. Even some people who have been here for nearly a decade and have gained tremendous personal benefit and enjoyment over those years will not help financially support the site.
That is the reality of the situation.
Some people have suggested that I cut off access after a person does not upgrade after a certain amount of time. I have always resisted that kind of thing, because I think it comes with a lot of negative consequences, but who knows.
Other possibilities include raising rates on the premium memberships, or increasing the number of advertisements.
By increasing the number of advertisements, I think I have taken the path of least resistance, but as I mentioned, there have been comments thrown around (some of which I actually had to delete) that act as if the devil himself has corrupted the site.
Strangely, some of the people making these remarks are premium members — who have the ability to turn the ads off! That's right, if you become a paying member, you can turn off all the ads. I am trying to figure out how I am not being reasonable, but hey, maybe I'm overlooking something.
So that's the story with the additional advertisements you may see on various pages. I am not riding a gravy train on members' backs, I am simply looking for creative ways to keep the site online, while trying to keep everyone's experience here the best it can be.
Frankly, the number of ads shown on Lottery Post is minuscule compared to all the other lottery sites out there. Try going to ANY of the other lottery sites, and try to find a page that is not jammed with ads. (No, it's not an invitation to post links here, but you can send me anything you wish in a PM.)
Meanwhile, I have always tried to keep the ads at Lottery Post of a high-quality nature and generally on the periphery of the pages. You would not know this because I don't speak about it, but I spend many hours designing pages so that they flow nicely, even with the ads. It is a very daunting task, even more so for one person trying to do everything.
If you have feedback about the ads, please leave it here. There has been some discussion in some of the other forum threads, so it would be good to direct the feedback all to this one thread, so everyone sees your comments.
Also, if you have negative feedback, feel free to leave that too. If after reading my comments above you still think I have sold out to corporate interests, or I am try to become a millionaire by placing a few more ads, I would much rather hear it than have you feel that your opinion doesn't count or is being silenced.