Since 2002, Postcolonial Space has been, as stated on our Landing Page, a free resource for scholars and students of Postcolonialism. I can say without a doubt that the site will remain a free and open access website for as long as it exists on the web. This “freeness” certainly does not come free and a lot goes into maintaining and running the website. My purpose today is to share some details about actual, monetary and other, operational costs of the site and to suggest some non-monetary ways of supporting us in our mission.
Postcolonial Space: Financial Costs
First, to be clear, I pay all costs associated with the Postcolonial Space. I host Postcolonial Space with TMD hosting by using a VPS (Virtual Private Server) account. Hosting the site on a VPS allows us more server space and enables the Postcolonial Space to load quickly in comparison to a shared hosting service. I have also made the site secure: which means that the site now has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, which keeps all the information entered into the site secure. Now, all of these things add to the costs of running the Postcolonial Space. Provided below is a breakdown of costs:
VPS Server Fees: $480
Domain Renewal: $20
SSL Certificate: $50.00
Premium Plugins: $150 (These are the plugins we use to make certain resources, like the Glossary, available.
Postcolonial Space: Non-Financial Costs
Of course money is not the only thing that makes Postcolonial Space possible; a lot of work goes into keeping the site current and available. On average, I work from 15 to 20 hours a week in maintaining and updating the site. These hours increase when I am planning and delivering a FREE online Webinar or writing a new Guide about any aspect of Postcolonial Studies. So, a lot of uncompensated labor goes into maintaining the site and in creating the materials useful to a global audience of scholars and students of Postcolonialism.
Steps Towards Sustainability: How can you help?
As I had mentioned a few weeks ago, in order to make the site self sustaining, I have now Monetized the site. The site now contains contextual ads that appear at various places (even at the top of this article:) and affiliate links. Postcolonial Space generates revenue when someone clicks on a contextual ad and then clicks on something on the resulting page and I have posted this “Disclosure” in the top right sidebar of the site.
The affiliate links work differently: The affiliate links (Like amazon and links to different bookstores etc) generate funds for Postcolonial Space only when someone clicks on a link and actually makes a purchase. We have also disclosed this at several places on the website, so that people are aware that Postcolonial Space now serves its content with contextual and affiliate links.
Now, the conversion value of these ads and affiliate links depends upon the quality of our content, which I mostly produce, and the amount of traffic to the site (that means you:). In other words, the site will rank better in search engine rankings if more people visit it and read or use our articles and resources, and if they link to it through their own websites. Thus, the best way you can help in our mission of long-term sustainability is by visiting the site more often and by promoting the site through your networks.
To take a look at the companies that Postcolonial Space is affiliated with, please visit this PAGE.
So, without belaboring the point too much, I would request that the best way you can help the site is to help us increase its popularity amongst scholars, students, and general users. I hope I can count on your support in this venture to make the Postcolonial Space into an authority site on the subject of Postcolonialism.
Thank you, as always, for your support!