Claytargetsonline came online about 15 years ago. It went offline on January 14. 2017.
In 2016 about 100,000 people used the site. That’s if you only count people that didn’t “bounce” after seeing only one page. This means that they actually, really, used the site.
Of those 100,000 users, exactly 8 of them used the donate button to donate money to the site. To those kind people, I say thank you.
Unfortunately, the cost to maintain the site went up considerably when I moved it to WordPress. I failed to take into consideration that when WordPress updates or when certain plug-ins update, code may have to be rewritten sometimes or the site breaks like it did for a while last year. As I explained in the FAQ, the site had to change platforms for many reasons, not the least of which was the old platform’s susceptibility to malware. It was dangerous to users, unfortunately.
After an update last year, while I wasn’t paying attention and was traveling, the site broke and was useless for about 60 days. When I finally got my head out of my ass and figured out that it was failing, I had to pay a web guy to troubleshoot and fix it. During those 60 days I got more emails than I have received in the 15 years the site had been online. A lot more. On average I get about 6 to 10 emails a year that just say “Thanks”. In those 60 days I got several hundred emails that said: “WTF is wrong with the site”?
With google ads and amazon ads I could not generate enough revenue to break even. So when I went to WordPress, I added a page that said: “support this site”. Out of the 833,000 pageviews generated in 2016, 476 were of the “support this site” page. If each of those were a unique user, then that’s one-half of one percent of the users that even bothered to consider it. 8 people took the plunge.
Nothing is free, and this site wasn’t free either. It took time and it took money.
Will it be back? Only with a plan for profitability, and that’s unlikely. All the data is still there but all search functionality has been disabled. If you google for a certain club, you will likely find its entry still intact. Be warned that it could be out of date.
Comments, insults and diatribes can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are one of the eight people that contributed, thank you. If you feel cheated, email me with your name and I will use PayPal to refund your donation. Thanks again for your support.