…that is the question!
Let’s face it, web hosting costs money. And we want to cover that cost, as best as possible.
My WCG Online project already has advertising, as provided by the lovely Google Adsense (who else?). I’ve tried to keep it to a minimum, with one thin advert at the top, but it’s there, and it helps me keep the site free. There is also a Paypal button at the bottom, should anyone wish to donate to the project. A couple of quid here and there can make a big difference!
However, on my website, I didn’t want to have adverts. For a start, it’s my own personal site, it’s not a project that needs supporting in the same way. But I pinched an idea from one of my tech crushes, Troy Hunt. He first introduced sponsorship of his blog back in September last year, and then followed that up by completely removing all ad network code from his blog in January. Well, I’m not lucky enough to have the web presence of Troy, so sponsorship isn’t quite an option yet, but I have decided to go with a single line affiliate link instead (look right).
This works by randomly selecting one of a predefined list of affiliate links each time the page loads. Should someone click on one of these links, at least I will get some small token from the place that’s linked to.
I feel like it’s unobtrusive, and hopefully a good compromise.