For a short period today this site was down, the account suspended by our hosts at A Small Orange. The suspension wasn’t because I had done anything wrong, or because ASO (or anyone else) had nefarious intentions, but because The Wild Hunt is just getting too large to operate comfortably on the shared server hosting model most smaller sites run on. The ever-growing stream of traffic triggered an automatic shut-down so that we wouldn’t also bring several other sites down. I was lucky, because someone inside A Small Orange (Jen, who used to run Drak.net) called me personally, helped get the site back up, and suggested options to help keep it up.
Unfortunately, those options aren’t cheap. The Wild Hunt is now at a point where dedicated server space is needed to avoid future shut-downs. That means a very substantial chunk of change had to leave my reserves today, about triple what I normally pay per year to host this site. That cost may inflate if the account level I’m moving to isn’t sufficient. I have no qualms about doing this, I think what I do here is important, and from the conversations I have with individuals at festivals and conventions, so do many of you. However, it does raise questions about support and sustainability, and I’d like to briefly discuss them with you.
The Wild Hunt isn’t the first web site to run into these issues, several years ago The Witches’ Voice ran into very similar problems and luckily found the community ready to step up, producing waves of sponsors that keep things running to this day. What my experience today taught me is that The Wild Hunt is at the cusp of a wave of Pagan media that will soon get large enough to need support beyond what their personal incomes can provide. It is part of the reason why I started a yearly pledge drive, to build an infrastructure of support that can grow into a model other sites and services can someday emulate. Though this process is just beginning, I’m encouraged that so many of you are willing to fiscally support Pagan media services, and I’m given great hope that we can collectively build a new media foundation that endures.
The money donated to The Wild Hunt not only pays for this site, it also helps defray costs when I travel to events like PantheaCon (which will be generating several stories for this site), and makes my life dedicated to Pagan journalism somewhat sustainable. However, as costs rise, so will support if I’m going to keep The Wild Hunt open, ad-free, and independent. So If you missed out on donating during the Winter Pledge Drive, or would like to chip in towards my new hosting bill, now’s the time.
You can either make a one-time donation:
Or commit to making a small monthly donation:
In addition, if you are a part of a Pagan organization, and would like to become an underwriter of this site, joining groups like CUUPs, Solar Cross, The Brotherhood of the Phoenix, and others, please contact me for details.
As much as the events of this day have been surprising, the silver lining to it is that it was caused by a Pagan news site experiencing ongoing growth and success. That in of itself points to a bright future. I hope you’ll join me in helping to build one that’s sustainable.