What The Fuck Does It Cost To Run This?
The cost of running What The Fuck Just Happened Today isn't free. It's my full-time job and I'm determined to keep this ad-free for as long as possible.
Here's a rough estimate of the monthly costs:
Hosting: The site is hosted on Amazon S3 because it's highly scalable, reliable, fast, and generally an inexpensive data storage infrastructure option. Monthly Cost: ~$20
Site Search: This giant repository of news isn't very valuable if you can't find what you're looking for. I've implemented Algolia, the best instant search option out there. Monthly Cost: $59
Email Service: Oh boy, here's the most expensive part of running this site. I use MailChimp because the ease of use, templating, reporting, and pre-built forms are the best in the business. While there are cheaper options out there, the time-savings is huge. For now, at least…
MailChimp charges by the number of subscribers you have AND the number of monthly emails sent. WTFJHT sends over 2.3M emails/month, and growing.
The costs of sending email will continue to go up as more people subscribe. MailChimp is an awesome company and they've provided us with a 15% discount. Monthly Cost: At least $800
WTFJHT Community Center: The WTF Member Forum is a community that exists 24/7/365 to discuss the news, coordinate actions, share perspectives, and connect with likeminded people. It's a Discourse community hub, which is amazing, free, and open sourced. It needs to be hosted somewhere, however. The provider of choice is Digital Ocean. Monthly Cost: ~$20
Labor: Here's my conservative daily breakdown in time spent:
- 3-5 hours researching and collecting stories
- 1-2 hours curating the daily post
- 1-2 hours setting up the post, cutting images, publishing, testing, fixing typos
- 1 hour distributing to Twitter and Facebook
- 1 hour setting up and sending the newsletter
- 1-4 hour site maintenance, help desk/support, etc
And, since I'm both the writer/editor and web developer running this, let's pretend my salary is the average between the two professions in Seattle. Via Glassdoor: News Editor: $63,718. Senior Web Developer: $98,464. Monthly Cost: ($63,718 + $98,464) / 2 = $81,091/year. $6,757
TOTAL MONTHLY COST:
$20 (hosting) + $59 (site search) + $800 (email) $20 (community) + $6,757 (labor) = $7,636