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?