Fashion Gone Rogue Goes Down; Asks For Help From Her Readers

If you tried to go on to Fashion Gone Rogue today, you may have noticed an error message blocking out the site, stating that the blog needs financial support to ensure the its future.

The reasons? According to the message, “80-90% of the website's content is submission-based and I look at each submission individually. Between site mainteance, server costs and the increasing rate of submissions, Fashion Gone Rogue has become too difficult to manage and financially support by myself.”

The site's founder and curator, Joanna Elizabeth, goes on to explain, “Having a website that is heavily image-based takes a lot of bandwidth and requests to the server. Over the years, I have upgraded numerous times, supplementing the costs with site advertising but with the demands of increased traffic, this has not been enough lately. Due to the nature of having a WordPress site, which already uses a significant amount of memory with its many queries, with a lot of hits, the server has to deal with high PHP spikes. This is even with having a cache in place. Because of this, Fashion Gone Rogue requires dedicated server hosting with the most resources available. For server hosting and site optimization, the cost is $1,000 per month for a total of $12,000 per year.”

After taking care of the server malfunctions, she will then use the rest of the contributions to go toward paying for contributors on the site, and says “As a token of my gratitude, a selection of Fashion Gone Rogue exclusives will be printed as a limited edition for contributions of $25 or more… By supporting Fashion Gone Rogue, you are supporting a showcasing of fashion works and the continued awareness and exposure of various artists, both established and up and coming.”

In an email to us, Joanna wrote, “Most of the advertising is through Google Adsense, which hasn't grown in relationship to the site's traffic. It's very inconsistent and the site's traffic has quickly outgrown the current server, which goes down frequently.”

If you look on the sidebar of the contribution site, the offers range from $10 (you get a postcard) to $5,000 (where you can “run a site skin and banner ads on Fashion Gone Rogue's homepage for a week”).

This isn't the first time the site has gone down, in 2010, Fashionista reported FGR going on hiatus after having a copyright tiff with a photography agency.

Since this article was written, FGR had already raised $3,840 out of their $25,000 goal.

What will happen if she doesn't reach her goal? Says Joanna,”I'll have to scale back the number of posts and unfortunately that means not as many submissions posted. I'm also looking into the option of making older posts private so that there is less strain on the server.”

What do you think about Fashion Gone Rogue asking for contributions and in return, offering ad space?

Would you ask for contributions from your if you were facing issues making ends meet?

If you think about it, most blogs offer their services for free, while many publications charge money. What do you think?

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8 Responses

  1. NIkki Mata

    Ok, this blog has been such a saving grace for me!

    Thank you!

    check out my site


  2. Shasie

    Turns from a blog to more of a publication….

    Shasie of Live Life in Style

  3. Campus Sartorialist

    I find it a little much to be asking your readers for money to pay for servers when she could move from wordpress and have no bandwith limitation. As far as I know blogger has no limits to posts, traffic or views/day.

  4. Seventh Sense

    She can go to Square Space, they don’t have a limit for $20 a month.. Free domain and everything!

  5. Dalton Osaike

    They should consider changing from wordpress to anyother blogging service like blogger. It’s not professional asking for help from readers and besides they have not been that Intimate with the readers. I suggest they should just make the change from wordpress to another service.

  6. Donna

    I don’t know much about WordPress, nor am I familiar with the FGR blog. I assume the blog is very image intensive, which would require a lot of bandwidth and storage space. And for those two reasons I can see the need for a dedicated server. When you have a site that gets a lot of search queries as well, that adds even more usage on the back end (data base server).
    I use Blogger, and so far haven’t encountered any problems with either. Yes, you have to use the word “blogspot” in your domain name, but that doesn’t bother me much at this point. I suppose if it were me I’d try reducing my image sizes as much as possible. If I’d done that, and the host server was still going down due to traffic, I’d try a different host. Then if the problem continued, I’d know that I’d done everything I could before asking for money. It will be interesting to see if the readers like the site enough to contribute. It might set a precedent for blogs in the future, as well. I think I’ll keep an eye on it, so thanks for writing about it!

  7. Kathleen Lisson

    I think it is an interesting move. I assume she is a savvy businesswoman, so she would just switch platforms if it meant really shutting down her blog. Raising the funds successfully would be a powerful testament to her power to mobilize her fan base, and readers will become more faithful if they feel like they ‘own’ a bit of the website via their donation.

  8. Heather

    My blog was frozen by my server last year for a similar reason. Thankfully a cache plugin helped to cut done on whatever it was I was using too much of and I got my blog up and running again without needing a dedicated server. Still, this sort of thing scares me. I wonder if it’s happened with other blogs too.