CookingBites needs your help please


Site Owner
Staff member
11 Oct 2012
Local time
3:39 AM
SE Australia
Some of you may have noticed that there is now a Donate button along the top ribbon. It's possible that it's hidden beneath the three lines to the right of the word Forums in the compact view on smaller mobile devices.

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I added it because a number of members have now asked for a way to help out with the site's expenses. Previously I had declined donations, paying everything myself. I only had the general platform support renewal and several domain name expenses to pay on an annual basis. But with the site upgrade due (September 2019) to take us to the newer version of the XenForo platform (the current version is no longer supported and if anything goes wrong we're on our own), I find myself looking at a potential bill for several hundreds of pounds to pay for either new add-ons or to purchase licenses for existing add-ons. These add-ons, some 18-20 of them, cover a number of extras to the basic platform for the site.

I have always been very careful with installing extras because of the expenses involved, support for them varies from unsupported (usually avoided completely) to completely supported and because every site has a different combination of add-ons that have the potential to clash with each other.

These add-ons are separate to the basic platform, developed by the public who have seen the need for a feature and have had the skills to do so. Some charge a small one off fee per add-on, some charge a one off fee covering all add-ons they have developed, a few don't charge at all but some charge a quarterly or annual license fee.

These add-ons cover everything from the countdown timer to featured threads, from providing daily statistics to stats showing which members are online at any moment in time. Some also provide a number of useful moderator functions such as detecting someone using more than one account, used in advertising or just preventing the forum from being filled with spam (unwanted forum posts advertising anything from fake passports and driving licenses to sex, just as an example). Without them, the board would not be what it is today. But it's time to catch up with the future and to get back up to date with the software platform in general. And that means hard work, development and money. It also means changing the developer for some of our key add-ons. This has occurred because the developer for the original add-on has retired and a new developer has picked up from where the other left off leaving us, the end users, having to purchase a new license if we want to continue with the feature.

Currently the site falls a long way short in earning enough money from advertising and skim links to pay for itself (skim links are where the word "waitrose" gets detected and changed to a link to Waitrose where if a someone was to purchase something as a result of clicking on our link to the store, we'd earn a tiny amount from that purchase. For those in the UK, it's exactly the same thing as earning Nectar points for online purchases when you go to the Nectar website and follow their link to a third party site).

Until now, I've been meeting the difference out of my own pocket. But with the impending upgrade, something that is 100% necessary and several years overdue, I find myself needing to pay between £300-£500 to cover the potential fees involved for this upgrade. I won't know exactly what is needed to be paid until we actually commit to the upgrade and do it. A find out on the day approach. This is due to how our site is hosted. Some licenses are server licenses and cover all sites running off that server but most are site licenses ( and only cover a single domain.

If every single license had to be purchased as though we were a new client, I'd need to find £550 just to cover the add-ons. That's the worst possible scenario taking various exchange rates into account. That's a lot. I'm hoping I won't have to pay out more than £300 to cover the upgrade.

So I have decided to accept financial help with the running costs involved in keeping CookingBites alive because I don't work anymore due to ill health and as many of you know I've spent long periods in hospital in the last couple of years (over 6 months).

So back to the Donate button. If you click on it, it will take you to a page showing all the current donation drives and a short summary. There's only the one right now. If you click on the title of the donation drive, you'll get a longer explanation, much the same as you've just read here. There's also some terms and conditions listed relating to donations, sadly necessary in this day and age, and the Donate button itself. The software will take you through to PayPal where you can either use your credit card without having a PayPal account or you can use your PayPal account itself. For established members, members I know and trust, I'm also prepared to offer a bank transfer as an option if you have either a UK or Australian bank amount. Donations by bank transfer will show in the grand total. The software allows you to donate in a variety of currencies. If your preferred currency isn't shown, please contact me and I'll add it. You can donate anonymously should you wish to do so.

Finally, if by miracle there's happens to be money left over from this donation drive, it will be used to either add new features to the site (better printing of recipes or an actual recipe template perhaps) or to cover the annual running costs of the site in the next financial year.

Finally, I know that not all of you will want to donate (it's not compulsory) and some of you won't be able to afford to, but every little helps. Just £10 from every active member would meet the minimum projected upgrade cost, so even something as small as skipping a coffee next time you're out and donating that amount will help me out.

Thank you.
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