Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

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#1 skyhawk133   User is offline

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Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Post icon  Posted 23 December 2021 - 11:15 AM

Hi Everyone, I started Dream.In.Code 21 years ago when I was in high school. Since then the site grew to be one of the premier programming help sites on the internet in the mid-2000's being the #1 site on google for dozens of "[Language] Help" and "Programming Help" searches with millions of visitors a month. We've had an incredible team of moderator and admins over the years that have kept the site clean, organized, and helped with thousands and thousands of questions.

Dream.In.Code was originally just me learning how to install a forum and it turned in to a thriving community. Over the years, other sites have grown and changes in search rankings have seen traffic decline which also means advertising revenue has declined. For the past few years Dream.In.Code has broken even or lost money. There have been a folks interested in purchasing the site, but nothing came to fruition and as we enter 2022, I'm at a deficit on the hosting bill. As my life and focus has evolved over the years, I've admittedly neglected the site infrastructure with the software being outdated and running on old versions of PHP, etc. This has opened the site to vulnerabilities which have been time consuming or nearly impossible to patch.

With the site losing money, I've come to a point where I need to make a difficult decision. Continue to lose money every month, or sunset the site. Our current hosting bill runs around $1,500/mo, with the reduction in traffic, I've been trying to reduce that to $600/mo or so but consolidating the site has proved difficult with the outdated software and special configurations of the server to run some of that older code.

I've lost about $5,000 over the last year keeping the site running, it still generates revenue, but only about 50-75% of the server bill, so getting the bill down to $600/mo or so would be break even or profitable, but it's going to require some work that's beyond my ability.

So with that said, I need to make a hard decision. Shut down the site, or if someone wants to take over the server, it would be possible to upgrade the software with some help of an Invision Board expert and the site could continue on under new ownership.

Either way, I huge thank you to all the members, moderators, contributors, admins, and everyone else that has helped millions and millions of aspiring programmers over the years. I'm proud of what Dream.In.Code became and sad to ponder the end of an era.

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Replies To: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 23 December 2021 - 11:20 AM

I understand!

Thank you for footing the bill, and creating a great community.

Best wishes for you in the future!
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#3 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 23 December 2021 - 11:33 AM

:( I don't like this thread. I wondered when this day would come, and it's gonna be sad since I don't use FB anymore I'm not gonna get to see everybody anymore.
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#4 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 23 December 2021 - 11:36 AM

Indeed. It's been a pleasure learning, discussing, and making friends with ya'all over the years.



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#5 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 23 December 2021 - 11:36 AM

So, Neo, does this mean you're going to take it over? Bring DIC into the new modern age?
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#6 gabehabe   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 23 December 2021 - 05:42 PM

Oh man, this is so sad.

Given that there's a whole bunch of smart folks here, is there no one that could help you reduce the costs?

I think I have the majority of people here on various socials since I've not been around for a while, but if anyone would like to keep in touch:
https://www.instagra...m/capnhammered/
https://facebook.com/captainhammered
https://twitter.com/capnhammered

Also just wanna take the opportunity to say that DIC was my main source of learning back in the day and I probably wouldn't be where I am today without it. Thank you for everything Chris ❤️
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#7 CTphpnwb   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 24 December 2021 - 04:34 PM

I've often wondered how this site made money, given that when logged in we don't see ads. I for one wouldn't mind an ad or two per page if it kept the lights on.
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#8 Dogstopper   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 25 December 2021 - 05:10 PM

Hey all! I definitely wouldn’t be as successful as I have been today without DIC. It was an honor to be a moderator and mentor at such an early point in my life. I appreciate the contributions that everyone has made over the years. Thanks for running the site for so long Chris - I understand the choice that you’re having to make.

Thank you all for making me who I am today <3
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#9 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 25 December 2021 - 06:15 PM

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You know, it didn't (or doesn't) have to be this way. I mean you have a group of very talented devs and many of them are web devs. I am not quite sure what would cost that much money a month given how cheap things like AWS S3 has become. But I am sure if you were to open the books with a select few, they could help drive down the costs, give you solutions and even work on the site as a hobby. I know I would pitch in where needed.

I had brought this up several times over the last few years and while I think there are options where a group of us take ownership of the site and help drive it to profitability, if this was brought up earlier I think we would be in much better shape than it is now.

Maybe think about it.
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#10 gabehabe   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 25 December 2021 - 10:25 PM

I mean... If Marty is on board them I am.

I'd fuckin' relish the opportunity to work with you my guy.

Disclaimer: am drunk.

Merry Christmas y'all xox
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#11 JoeKlemmer   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 26 December 2021 - 07:36 AM

I echo everyone else in sending my thank you for this site's existence over the years. Here's to much fortune for you in your next endeavour.
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#12 finetunewithhammer   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 26 December 2021 - 09:01 AM

Thank you for everything. I wish I had found this place much sooner.

If this has to end, I humbly suggest that DIC sends out a list of suggestions for similar sites to its members.

If someone finds a way to keep this site operational, I hope there will be at least a possibility to pay for membership.

I have never had a bad experience on this site. I especially cherish any disagreements or misunderstandings, since all communication relating to these have been civil and friendly. This achievement is in my opinion mostly due to excellent, consistent and professional moderators, which this site has.
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#13 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 26 December 2021 - 10:10 AM

View PostMartyr2, on 25 December 2021 - 08:15 PM, said:

You know, it didn't (or doesn't) have to be this way. I mean you have a group of very talented devs and many of them are web devs. I am not quite sure what would cost that much money a month given how cheap things like AWS S3 has become. But I am sure if you were to open the books with a select few, they could help drive down the costs, give you solutions and even work on the site as a hobby. I know I would pitch in where needed.


I've said the same in private conversations. It seems pretty clear that it would be feasible, and probably not massively difficult, to port the interesting data to some more convenient (and more current) platform. I don't think I have the spare time to contribute in a very meaningful way to this sort of effort, but I suspect that about three interested people could get this done in a reasonably short time.

The real question for me is, if I'm being honest, is whether this would be worth the level of observed participation. For the last several years, this site has mostly been a clubhouse for a crew that I think numbers in the very low dozens. (like, I can name the first dozen, but I'm not sure I could come up with the second)
Is that clubhouse worth the effort? Or would it make more sense to just set up a slack channel for the members of the club?

Or, alternatively, does anyone have the urge to rebuild the clubhouse into the Taj Mahal of help sites that it once was? :)
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#14 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 26 December 2021 - 12:33 PM

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Oh I certainly agree Jon, but that is only because I think the site was just in a maintenance mode. We have to admit that over the last 5-10 years not much work was put into the site and so of course people are not going to visit in the numbers they were. Some might say StackOverflow has taken some of the interest away, but I don't believe they are solely responsible since I am part of other boards that do just fine in the current climate (I am involved with Sitepoint.com and a paid blogger for them as well).

I also don't think it has to be like it once was. For one, before migrating anything, I would look at axing probably all posts prior to like 2010 and all accounts that have not logged in for at least 2 years. Then of course move towards an MVP where we just have the forums, no dev blogs, no cheat sheets, quick scrub of snippets and throw out anything that we wouldn't even think could compile on tools of the last decade etc. Then after all that, then look at migrating stuff.

No need to build it to what it once was, but build it with current capacity in mind and runway to grow. I mean we have to support roughly 3-4k concurrent users maybe room to expand to 10k. But if you put it on a cloud platform that can scale up and throw it behind something like Cloudfront, then maybe it would work nicely.

We already know that there are sites like StackOverflow, but one thing that has always made DIC better is that we give great straight to the point answers without all the arrogant BS crap you find over there from time to time.

Just a few thoughts. :)
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#15 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Dream.In.Code Shutting Down

Posted 26 December 2021 - 12:49 PM

Well, I certainly think it's a noble endeavor. Let me know if I can help. Again, not going to be able to contribute meaningful work to anything like this but if you want someone to rubber-duck your plans, I'd be happy to jump on a call.
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