Josh, Caylin, and I attended our local LEGO Users Group meeting yesterday, and someone asked us why Brothers-Brick.com was so slow, and if there was anything he — as a programmer — could do to help. My answer was, “Buy more LEGO. No, seriously!” Readers ask us this question frequently enough that I thought it was important to share our answer with all of you out there on the Web. Read on to learn why.
Over 150,000 of you visit The Brothers Brick every month, loading pages on the site over one million times. Running a website that generates this much traffic costs several thousand dollars a year.
The Brothers Brick relies on you, our readers, to help cover these expenses by clicking through to one of our advertisers when you buy your LEGO. The site then gets a very small percentage back (3%-6%), which in turn we use to pay for servers, bandwidth, software, and other technical expenses. We’re aware that The Brothers Brick isn’t the fastest site on the web, but we just don’t have that extra level of revenue to enable us to upgrade our servers and reliably pay for the increased performance.
Nevertheless, after basic hosting expenses have been covered, we turn everything else back to the community, whether through prizes and giveaways for contests, helping to cover travel and accommodation for LEGO fans attending conventions, or the occasional gift of a Flickr Pro account to talented builders whose work might otherwise disappear when they hit their upload limit.
Realistically, we know that many of us will continue buying LEGO from brick-and-mortar stores — our local independent toy store, Toys R Us, the LEGO Store in the mall, or wherever. But it’s also important that everyone understand how much high-traffic LEGO fans sites like The Brothers Brick, FBTB, and Brickset rely on our readers to pay the bills. Helping to secure some level of financial stability is one way to make sure these community resources don’t go away.
So, if you want a faster TBB experience, if you want to make sure Brickset is always available as a reference, or if you want to ensure FBTB continues to have awesome contests, please consider buying at least some of your LEGO online by clicking through from the LEGO fan sites you visit.