Ads, OGS, and you

tl;dr - We’re going to try turning off ads. To keep them off, we need 2.5% of players to become new site supporters by the end of October.

Hello OGS!

Recently we put forth a proposal, in exchange for adding some more ads on the most lucrative parts of the site, we’d be able to improve the service around the world. You all are amazing, the results were more positive than we had hoped for. But then again the OGS community has always been exceedingly supportive as we try and figure out the best way to help the site and community flourish.

So we put forth the proposal, the general consensus was “Go for it”, and we did. Then we used our site, like we do every day, slept on it, and re-realized we really hate ads. They’ve been a “necessary evil”, but we got to thinking about it, and their necessity is shrinking. Currently, 75% of our revenue comes from site supporters, while only 25% comes from ad revenue. Mind you, that 25% is necessary, it is the difference between myself being able to work full time on OGS, and having to go get a different job, but if it can be made up a different way, then that would be terrific.

The new plan is as follows: We’re going to try and turn off ads site wide for everyone until the end of October. We will be able to keep them off if we can get 2.5% of our non-site supporters to become supporters in that time frame. Once we hit that target, we can bring up servers in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere for a 1% increase for each location.

There’s definitely a risk that we won’t be able to hit that 2.5% and that we’ll have to revert to utilizing ads starting in November, but until then, we hope everyone enjoys the site how it was meant to be and if you’re not a site supporter already, please consider being part of the 2.5%! Thanks!

– anoek

P.S. Yes I think we’re finally going to add support for one time donations and more payment options, although it will most likely be the end of October before this is active.

P.P.S. For those interested, you can now specify a custom amount on the supporter page.


After using the site for 3-4 years, I became a site supporter yesterday. I don’t know how far 10$ goes but I hope it helps.


I would like to propose thinking about more additional perks for site supporters (or, alternatively, less features for non-supporters). This might help in reaching the necessary number of paying players.

You might have a giant list of to-do features, but here are some of my random ideas:

  • Disable Zen mode or analysis mode for non-supporters
  • Blog articles or video lessons for members
  • Automatic game reviews for beginners (like, alternative “best moves” for each move by some bot? GnuGo’s --review option comes to my mind)

After the discussions these last days I just turned into a supporter does it count ?


This is a huge step in the right direction! Funds are limited but I will talk to my wife and see if we can either get her account subbed too or maybe up my sub amount. Kudos OGS team, kudos!


Hey, I would like to increase the amount I donate but it turns out this isn’t possible without first cancelling! It would be nice if this is fixed


Absolutely :slight_smile: And thanks for the support!


Hmmmm 75% of revenue comes from donors (like me) … that’s interesting. I Guess you know which side of the bread is buttered for you guys.


I hope you make your goals!

Wikipedia doesn’t run ads and once a year they ask for money which is quite lucrative for them (check it out). I think you should follow that model.

good luck


Became a site supporter today but I wish that you also sold merchandise. This would give me an excuse to give you much more money! :smiley:


I love you guys <3 This is a fantastic decision, and I’m happy to up my support amount further to help making this possible. In the end it is not only about the ads but also the business model behind them - advertising code relying on user-tracking and all sorts of nasty things like selling that data forward for further profits. I think it is a lovely path you’re taking with moving away from the ad-based revenue, and a lot more services should follow your example. Bravo!


I could go along with the spirit of your suggestion but if you turn off analysis mode for non-subs, that can impact ratings. Zen mode, extra content, etc. all good, though.


I like the idea of automated bot reviews for site supporters.
I don’t feel strongly about disabling features, but offering more features is always a good thing.


:open_mouth: :heart:

Wow, and that when I thought I couldn’t love you more than I already do …


I love this website!
I hate ads !
Fast decision for me: to be a site supporter !


I’d love to support the site, but as far as I am aware I still need a credit card, even when using a PayPal account. i might be missing something here, but requiring a credit card probably robs you of some supporters as well.


That should start to be addressed as we roll out one time support stuff, the need for recurring charges has limited us in what types of payment options work. I know this is a big problem for a lot of people.


disabling analysis mode could prove to be an issue, as players like to go over their games. If it were me, i’d go replay the game on kgs and have just analyze it there


It is small but I will up it :slight_smile:


Nice to hear :slight_smile: but for what its worth, I want it be a recurring payment with PayPal and I do support other projects on a monthly basis with just using my PayPal account, so it seems to be possible… somehow.