File size limits
March 9, 2023
This is an unfortunate update to have to make, but to put it plainly, I'm going to start limiting large file downloads.
As I've talked about in some previous posts, the expenses for the site have been growing every month. These are the bills for the last six months:
- October 2022 - 17,765 JPY
- November 2022 - 24,234 JPY
- December 2022 - 21,890 JPY
- January 2022 - 21,846 JPY
- February 2022 - 24,150 JPY
- March 2022 - 23,013 JPY
The bills are for the previous month, so the March 2022 cost was for all of the server activity from February 2022, and so on. The services are priced in USD and then changed to JPY for billing, so the recent exchange rate fluctuations have increased the cost as well.
About half of every month's bill is bandwidth - data sent from ALTopedia's file storage system. The other half of the bill is pretty fixed - things like the web server and database, which are able to operate on a relatively inexpensive level without the price changing based on usage. But more users bring more demands on the bandwidth, so it's only grown every month.
The issue is that every time someone posts something like a 100 MB PowerPoint file, even if only 10 people download it to check it out, that's 1 gigabyte of bandwidth that I have to pay for. It's gotten very easy to upload and share these huge files, but there hasn't been enough revenue coming in from things like the Patreon to offset these costs.
Starting in May 2023, I'm going to limit every file download greater than 40 MB to subscribers only. This is going to make the files for some beloved activities inaccessible, but it's the only way that I can start to cut down on the expenses to run ALTopedia without significantly compromising the technical capabilities of the site. I'm giving some warning so the transition isn't too jarring, but now that the bills are regularly exceeding 20,000 yen per month, I've decided it's finally time to start imposing some limits. I may revise this size up or down depending on how effective it is in controlling the bandwidth bill.
I've updated the Support the site page with a clearer explanation of how you can subscribe and what you can do with a Subscriber account. Please consider subscribing if you have the funds!