It is the last day of the year, a good time to look ahead at what is in store for Ghacks in the year 2017, and to look back at the last year.
I'd like to begin with the last year, but before I do, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for making this site what it is.
I was overwhelmed by the support I got when I wrote about this site potentially dying in 2015. I cannot thank each and everyone enough for their support.
I'd like to update you on that. First, things are better right now as Google seems to have made some tweaks that for once benefited this site. I also did make some choices in regards to advertisement here on this site that helped improve revenue generation.
While that is very positive, things may and probably will turn to the worse eventually again. My drive to make this site independent from search engine traffic continues because of that.
The ad-blocking situation has not gotten any better, as more than 46% of visitors of this site block ads currently. My take away from this is that I have to concentrate my efforts on other means of revenue, as this will probably only get worse with any passing year.
For now, you can support Ghacks with a PayPal or Bitcoin donation, or by becoming a supporter on Patreon. I'd like to explore other options, especially since I'm not that fond of how Patreon is handling things (and they get a cut as well). If you have any suggestions in this regard, let me know.
Ghacks in 2017
The financial outlook is quite good. Again, this may change any moment, but assuming that it does not, this site will do well in 2017 and won't just disappear from the Internet.
I have a couple of plans for 2017 which I would like to discuss with you. Also, I would like to hear your opinion on how things are, and what you would like for the site in the coming year.
Yes, that reads almost like a joke right now. We have been working for a long time on the theme, and if things don't get complicated, it will be rolled out in January 2017. It is a modern remake of the classic theme of this site, optimized for speed by cutting most third-party connections, images, and other code that is not required. So, no third-party fonts, emojis and stuff like that.
Once it is up, I have to monitor the site's metrics to make sure the theme change did not affect them. If that is not the case, it will be the new theme for the site from that point going forward.
17295 articles are currently published on Ghacks Technology News. I try my best to keep important ones up to date, but this is quite difficult as Ghacks is not backed by a multi-million or even billion Dollar company that has dozens of staffers for that.
I want to update articles, and will do so continuously throughout the year. You may have noticed the new "recent updates" section in the sidebar already. This will feature important updates only.
I'm looking for help with improving older articles on the site. You have two options for that. First, you can contact me about any article you came upon that you think needs an update. Ideally, you'd let me know why you think it needs an update (e.g. new version out with new functionality, broken links, software is commercial now, no longer needed..)
I put it on the list, and it will be updated eventually.
Second, you could update articles yourself, and mail me the updated version. This would be of tremendous help, especially if you are proficient when it comes to a topic. Many of you are probably more proficient than I'm, so getting your input on topics would be invaluable.
The main reason why HTTPS is not the default on Ghacks right now is because of advertisement. Or more precisely, because of a single advertiser who has yet to support HTTPS fully. A test revealed that advertising revenue from ads by that company dropped by 50% after switching to HTTPS.
For now, both HTTP and HTTPS are available. I removed the enforcement of HTTP recently. You should be able to browse the site via HTTPS by changing the protocol in the address bar, or by using a browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere.
I'm waiting for this advertiser to support HTTPS fully, and will make it the default afterwards. If the advertiser happens to wait too long with that, I'll enable HTTPS anyway as companies like Google and Mozilla will make life difficult for non-HTTP sites in 2017.
I'm always open for suggestions. If you have ideas for this site, let me know. I plan to write more Linux articles in 2017 for one.
I'm also always interested in your articles. If you like to write articles, and their quality is good, I would be more than happy to publish them here on this site. Obviously, they had to fit with the content but that is the only restriction.
I'm especially interested in someone taking over the Linux section. Jack wrote more than a thousand articles in the past, but they have not been updated for years. It would be great if those articles would be updated if necessary.
Anyway, if you have suggestions, I would love to hear them.
I wish you a great 2017.