NI Ferry Site News

A big change to the Site (and a change our Privacy Policy)

2018 was the year in which NI Ferry Site really started to take off, with more views in 2018 than in the three previous years combined.  In December alone there were 18,338 sessions resulting in 35,220 page views from over 12,000 unique users – around half the total for the entirety of 2017!  The site was viewed over 197,000 times in 2018 – more than the site achieved since it started in February 2014 until the end of 2017!  

Unfortunately, this also led to the ending of our relationship with our web-host for most of 2018 as they could no longer tolerate the resources NIFS was using on their shared servers due to the increasing popularity of the site.  After a temporary move to another web host which throttled the site due to its resource usage, the site moved to its own Virtual Private Server on the 20th January.  With this move came a further substantial increase in costs but it was the most cost-effective way to guarantee site availability at all times – as I type 20 people are currently browsing the site which would have been enough for our previous hosts to slow down the site and even stop further people from accessing it.  

NI Ferry Site has been entirely funded out of my own pocket from its creation until now.  Around 6 months ago I realised that I was not going to be able to continue doing this without some sort of way for the site to earn money itself or scaling back the content on the site – this would have involved removing the news sections and also stopping features like “Look Inside” which I feel are what make the site more than just another technical data site.  The move to more expensive hosting was the final “nail in the coffin” with the site now costing £100’s per year to keep running.

As of this morning, NI Ferry Site is displaying ads from Google Adsense.  This has been a bitter pill for me to swallow as I am not a fan of online ads myself due to the impact they have on user experience, however, over the next week or so I hope to tweak the settings to make the ads a bit less intrusive and as relevant as possible.  Adverts for gambling, cosmetic surgery, and get rich quick schemes (and others) have already been removed and WON’T be allowed on the site.  The majority of ads will be shown on the news pages as these are the pages with the greatest “cost” to the site.  All money generated from the advertising and any other revenue earning opportunities will be put back into the site itself.  Adsense is a pay per click service and so the site only receives money when a user actually clicks on an ad.  If a better revenue earning opportunity becomes available I will drop Google Adsense, but for now, it is keeping the site alive.  The Privacy Policy of the site has been updated since last night to reflect the addition of advertising and can be viewed here as always.  In line with the EU GDPR principle of consent, tailored advertising is not currently being used on the site and won’t be unless consent can be obtained in advance.

I hope everyone understands why I have had to take this decision – I haven’t done so lightly.

Steven

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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