I've made a series of small changes to the website over the weekend and one big one: the removal of advertising.
Regarding the advertising: I took a multi-pronged approach to getting our site finances stable, bringing in a donor system, a gear shop, and advertising at about the same time. What I did not expect was the volume of support we would get from donors and the number of t-shirt sales we would make. Advertising, while it is technically more stable than donations, simply doesn't appear to be necessary.
The server itself is getting an overhaul we've been waiting on for months. This will be in the form of a managed Core2Quad dedicated server with 1500gb of bandwidth and a 100Mbps port, costing us a down payment of $300 and approximately $280 each month afterwards. This is on top of several other licenses we pay monthly and annually (constituting a much smaller sum). This will come soon, and will allow heavy expansion of our services, even at peak hours, and will accomodate the increased visitorship we expect with Wrath of the Lich King.
With that said, I'll reiterate our need for continued donations. This site only exists as long as visitors like you are making donations to the site. As a registered member, you can do this directly through the Paid Subscriptions menu in your control panel or by clicking Donate at any time.
None of this is to suggest we'll never use advertising again. If we get an incredible offer for a product that's valuable to our visitors, or if we're ever within two months of being unable to pay our server costs, I'll place advertising back. Separate of this, we may promote other products such as our shirt shop. And, of course, I'm still planning on promoting Evensfell shamelessly once we're ready to have players jump in and test (this is our browser game project).
I've been fixing up a lot of loose ends that have been hurting over the several template upgrades we've done in the last year. The notifications menu is going back up. The log-in screens will -- once I figure out the issue -- get a background to them so they don't look so strange.
I've also been playing around with a greyer template which is easier on the eyes. Nevermind the link colors, check out our Off Topic forums in the next few days to see the template in progress (it will be active any time I'm working on it). This is for another project, but the initial test showed enough promise that I am considering implementing it on the site with a WotLK background.
Finally, the sessions are much shorter than they have been in the past. More specifically, you'll be automatically logged out of our website sooner than you have been in the past. I'll up the session length again by the end of the week.