We greatly apologize for the inconvenience for the down time of late.
We know everyone is excited about the recent developments and want to talk about everything that's going on.
To give everyone a better picture of what happened and what could still happening, allow me to explain.
This forum costs a lot of money to run. Sometimes advertisement dollars and the few people who join up to become Club Members help cover monthly costs. But mostly this forum loses money on a month to month basis. It's generally not more than $20-$30 and hence I don't mind footing the bill to ensure that Guns fans have a small corner of the web we can call our own.
However, on occasion, whenever a big development occurs, the forum gets swamped with tens of thousands of new or returning visitors that requires far greater hosting services than what our current hosting plan affords us.
Some times, like the 2016 Troubadour shows and the following reunion tours, the increased traffic sustains itself long enough to cover the increased hosting costs. And just to let everyone know, hosting costs for a forum like this one can get expensive very quickly. During the Troubadour shows and for a few months afterward, it cost over $1000 USD a month to host this forum due to the massive influx of visitors. The forum was generating some profits back then and as promised when I purchased the forum back in early 2015, those profits were used to pay for prizes, from concert tickets, books and t-shirts, for members who entered into our contests.
The problem arises when news or activity develops and traffic peaks for a short period of time and then quickly drops off to our regular levels. What follows is that our hosting costs jump dramatically for the entire month despite the fact that the increase in the number of simultaneous users peaks for a very short period of time. Our hosting provider works on a two day rolling average, hence if our rolling average hits a certain threshold, our hosting costs jump dramatically. This has resulted in me paying $200-$350 a month out of pocket to keep the forum up and running a few times during the year. Not something I like doing but it doesn't happen too often so I accept it as the cost of keeping the forum going. I've read assumptions that I make money when the forum gets busy. Actually, just the opposite happens. Generally, I lose money when the forum gets busy as the increase in advertising dollars from the increased traffic falls short of the increased costs to host the forum.
On Thursday we saw a dramatic increase in traffic, with the number of simultaneous users triple our usual average. If it was any other month I likely would have swallowed the costs and hoped traffic would sustain itself to generate more advertising dollars. But due to personal matters that involve much of my budget tied up for for the next month or so, I can't afford to cover the financial losses for month. I wish the recent developments had occurred any month prior, but everything happened at the worst possible time for me financially.
So going forward you might find the forum inaccessible if I find we're likely to exceed our current hosting plan. I do apologize for the inconvenience but at this point I must prioritize the financial well-being of my family over uninterrupted service for the forum.
That said, if something major were to occur, such as a new song or new live show that would generate sustained higher traffic, then we would upgrade our hosting service plan and hope advertising revenues offset the increased costs.
This forum isn't going anywhere and we'll be here when something major happens. But as I manage a large financial development in my personal life I would appreciate some understanding, cooperation, and patience if the forum is temporarily out of service.
Thank you again for your continued support of this forum and I look forward to getting everything back on track as soon as possible!