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A few weeks ago, Edublogs passed a pretty big milestone, the 250,000 blog mark.

We were and are absolutely delighted that so many teachers and students have been able to use the service for so many different reasons and we want to continue improving, expanding and developing the site so that we can see in 500K, 750K and so on!

And to do that we’ve been working feverishly to set up, configure, manage, and deploy hardware and a system which will allow this to happen – so that you and your students sites will be quick, reliable, safe and ever improving over the years to come.

But in doing so, of course, we had to revisit our business plan because planning on hosting a million+ blogs is a pretty costly endeavor!

Now, a lot of you may know about Edublogs Campus – our institutional and district-wide blogging platform used by clients ranging from Cornell University to the Department of Education in Victoria, Australia. Well, that’s one means that we support free blogs on Edublogs and that’s carrying on just as normal.

The other method has been via Edublogs Supporter, which has allowed teachers to subscribe to receive extra features and more storage.

Well, today we’re improving that.

As of now, Supporters will not only get the same features that they had before, but also massive amounts more storage (we’re increasing 0.5GB to 5GB… a 10 fold increase!), along with exclusive access to tools like the Blog & User Creator, existing plugins (and new ones to come) and other great features.

Also, occasionally, we have displayed ads on sites to assist with covering hosting costs. This is someting we’re going to have to increase on free blogs, but of course Supporter blogs will not have any third party advertising on them.

And more importantly, what we’re also now allowing supporters to do is *turn off* advertising on up to 30 different sites (a whole class of students) – as well as your own blog being turned off automatically.

There are a couple of catches, first up we’re having to increase the price of supporter to $39.95 per year (that’s still less than $4 per month!).

Also, as I mentioned previously, extra functionality (plugins, blogs & user creator and a few others) will only be available for supporter blogs, and there will be a reduction in storage for free blogs too.

Is this ideal? Well, in a utopian world we’d like to give everyone, everything, entirely for free and without any ads! But that’d be a utopia… so, barring that, we hope to still provide great free blogs alongside an absolutely premium supporter service that is more than worth the price of a large coffee per month.

We welcome your feedback, thoughts and requests for new Supporter features in the comments.

Also, if you are experiencing any issues with your supporter subscription or previous credits that you may have lost, please email us at support (at) edublogs /dot/ org and we’ll fix you up (there are always hiccups in a big move).

You can find a bit of a better write up about what Supporter offers here.

About James

James Farmer lives in Melbourne, Australia and spends most of his days chained to a computer while being harassed by tiny pixies insisting that he try to improve edublogs.

38 Comments

  1. Pingback: Edublogs Was Great…And Now Is Even Better | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

  2. James,

    Pretty impressive stuff for less than $40 per year, if you ask me…

    Larry Ferlazzo

  3. James-

    I for one appreciate the Edublogs world and would like to express my gratitude for always being courteous and expedient with any problems that I have had in the past. I would be glad to become a supporter at the new rate and I think that the functions you have added SHOULD make all the naysayers happy, but I know it probably won’t. For such a small price, people should realize that this is still a great item for teachers and students alike around the world. How do I sign up to this new membership? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again!

    Cheers,
    Bill

  4. Hi Bill,

    In your admin area just click on the Supporter tab and choose the period that you’d like to be a supporter for.

    If you were already a supporter (or a subscriber to our ‘extra storage’ upgrade) then you are already a Supporter until the time that would have run out… no extra charge!

  5. So, does that mean that someone with a free account can no longer have a forum? I’ve been looking around, and I can’t seem to find any post that says that forums have been removed from the free accounts. However, I just noticed today that my forum stopped working and the option to edit it has been removed.

    • mrberkey
  6. Yes, I’m afraid so, forums and a number of other features are now supporter only. However, no forum post shave been wiped if you choose to upgrade they’ll all come back.

  7. For $40 whether they be Aussie or American, becoming an Edublogs supporter is so easy and so valuable. Over this year, only a couple of hiccups and about 30 blogs later, I feel all teachers could afford that small price to make their class of student blogs free of ads.

  8. Having just become a supporter after being a freebie for a year – How long should it take for me to get my supporters’ badge and extra space ?!!
    As a beginner in this game I’m very pleased with my choice and think it’s money well spent !

    • helend
  9. Hi Helen, Thanks for signing up :)

    Everything should appear within 5-30 minutes (unless you’re paying by echeck where it can take a few days for it to clear).

    Just let us know if it doesn’t activate or you have any issues and we’ll fix you up.

  10. James,
    I sincerely appreciate your assistance in my earlier posts and am very impressed with the speed at which the new supporter tab has been added to the admin area. I’ve just created a new paypal account and I’m simply waiting for my account to be verified so I can pay the fee to become a supporter. I think the price is justified for any educator that wants to keep ads off their blog…not to mention the extra features and the outstanding support and service that come with it. I’m looking forward to using edublogs more and more with my students in the future.
    Thanks!

  11. Hi James,

    I just received parent permission slips allowing me to create blogs for 30 students, and I just now realize that I must pay to do so. I don’t mind paying $40 a year, but I want to use my school budget to upgrade if I am adding student blogs. Questions:

    1) Will you accept school purchase orders?
    2) I’ve never used PayPal. Can I use a school purchase order through PayPal?
    3) What’s the fastest way to pay for this?

    I want to get this taken care of as quickly as possible. It’s very difficult to get computer access at my school as computers are limited and usually booked months in advance. I signed up for the computer lab this Thursday 12/11 to get blogs started. Now I am on hold, and I fear getting lab access at this late notice might be very problematic. Can we get this done by 12/11?

    Thanks,
    Cindy

    • cindym
  12. James,

    This is great. I signed up today. The only thing that I found challenging is that I have three blogs under my username, one for my whole class, then one for my reading class, and one for my math class. I had thought the supporter would cover all three blogs, since they are under my username, but when I went to the reading and math they weren’t showing support. Is there a way to link them? I have had to separate them so that they meet my needs to the best way, since I only want my readers to have access to the reading material and the math students, the math material. Any help would be appreciated, since that would mean I would need to be a support 3 times, ugh the cost is too great. Considering the main site gets 5 gb of space. Thanks for the great product.

  13. I have had two free edublogs for a long time. I use different usernames and e-mail addresses. I paid to be a supporter for one blog. How can I make that apply to both, or can I? I really need this question answered. I have not found any information relating to my specific question.

    • plc10
  14. Hi Guys,

    Cindy – unfortunately we can’t take payment via PO, only through paypal – however, I have known some schools be able to use a corporate credit card via paypal or refund a teacher out of petty cash.

    League218 – Thanks for the email too, essentially supporter allows you access to all the features on one of your blog sand to turn off adds (but not add features to) other blogs. We’l look into how you could purchase the full feature set for other blogs at a discounted rate on top of your subscription (say, get a pack of ’10’ supporter licenses) but I doubt we’d see that until next year.

    plc10 – same answer I’m afraid, although you could always pay twice – it’d be 2 coffees instead of one per month.

  15. Oooops I guess that finally explains what happened to my missing content ,,, plugins and space have been removed from existing free accounts. Can we expect to see more feature and content reduction during 2009 if the global economy worsens? I wish that these feature reductions would have been grandfathered in .. so that those of us with existing blogs would lose content and features. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess.

  16. Frank’s Blog – I agree – It would have been nice to have had some warning about taking features away. Grandfathering those in would have been nice.

    • Mr. H
  17. Still a great deal – here’s my 40 bucks! Keep going!

    • arwilson
  18. Hi, I lost my forums and I was directed to this discussion. I’ve got several blogs all under the same username and I was just wondering if I have to pay $40 for each blog or whether $40 will cover all the blogs under the one user name? Thanks, Karen.

    • librarybsc
  19. Hi Karen,

    You can turn off advertising on up to 30 blogs but unfortunately we can only make the supporter features available on a per blog basis.

  20. Hi James,
    I understand edublogs needs our help. I’ve been a freebie for too long already. The main reason I’m not a supporter yet is a silly one: as I never payed anything on line (lol), I don’t know how to do it.
    Now, I’ll tell you what I’ll do: early next week, I’ll be seeing the technician that takes care of my computer and I’ll pay him this service: he will pay by paypal in my name; as he has a store on line, he knows how to do it. Is that okay with you?
    I have a main blog and the others are students blogs: I understand I only have to pay for one blog. Is that correct?
    So far, I have never seen any adds on my class blogs or my student blogs and that is okay, because they are under 13.
    One more reason to pay and keep them as safe as possible!
    I wish you the best in your wonderful job.
    Ines (Portugal)

    • inpi
  21. Hi Ines,

    That should be just fine, thanks for supporting Edublogs too :)

    When you do the upgrade, make sure you are in the admin area for your main blog, you can then use the ‘Disable Ads’ function under the ‘Supporter’ tab to disable ads on your students blogs.

  22. Does this mean that becoming a supporter will do all of this for all of our blogs (educator blogs that we have under our usernames), or do we have to pick just one?

    • Theresa White
  23. Hi Theresa,

    It’s just an upgrade to the one blog – which you can then use to turn off ads on the other blogs.

    But you won’t get the features for multiple blogs I’m afraid.

    Would you be interested in a facility tat allowed you to get the features for extra blogs at a discount?

  24. Was RSS widget removed in this latest change? Curious why no notification was given or did I miss it?

    • Tony Searl
  25. I think it’s a bit rough charging $40 per blog if you want a forum – it’s fair enough to charge for the use of edublogs but to jump from being free to charging $1200 for 30 blogs with individual forums is a drastic increase. This is disappointing and doesn’t inspire one to stay with edublogs.

    • librarybsc
  26. Well, actually, for $900 per year you could have a complete school installation (100 blogs) with unlimited forums, storage, features and at your own domain: http://edublogs.org/campus/

    Plus you’d have your institution paying for it.

  27. I would be interested in a package to upgrade all of the blogs. Just to be sure, if we have more than 1 teacher blog on our account, ads will be turned off on all of the teacher blogs on your account but features will only be available on one of them?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Theresa White
  28. Is this why the subscribe option on my blog disappeared?

    • tammyflowers
  29. Is this the reason that my free account went from 100 MB to 20 and why I can’t add any more info to my site?

  30. My school does not pay for websites. So now I am faced with a decision to make. Do I keep my two blogs (I have one for each prep) and limit the resources for my students? Do I pay $80 per year out of my own pocket to keep both? Do I pay $40 and lump my two into one? Or do I start looking elsewhere? I had hoped $40 would have covered both my sites. Too bad there is not a feature to split the upload space between blogs.

    • epesek
  31. Hi Guys,

    I’ll do a batch response :)

    – Ads will be turned off on up to 30 blogs you select and automatically on the ‘Supporter’ blog

    – Email subscription is now a Supporter feature, if you sign up all of your subscriptions will be saved though

    – Yes, free upload space is now 20MB – you should still be able to post but if you have reached that limit, you’ll need to upgrade tp upload any more

    – Unfortunately Supporter is on a per blog basis at the moment.

    Cheers, James

  32. Pingback: Changes in your blog | Technology in our classroom

  33. Sorry, I’m new to this blogging thing, and I read the above, but still have a question.

    I just became a supporter to eliminate the ads. I only have one blog. Do I have to do anything to make sure that stays “ad free”, or is it automatically going to do so once I became a supporter?

    Thanks!

    • mboland
  34. Hi mboland,

    Thanks for signing up! It’s appreciated :)

    No need to worry, ads are automatically removed from all supporter blogs.

  35. HI James a few queries
    1) I am in England so how will this translate and I do not have a paypal account.
    2)My prsent blogs have something wrong with them and do not allow me to insert media of any type I have done all the things suggested by Sue to no avail and the tech guy seems to think deleting the blogs is the only way to sort this out.
    3) My school have some issues with any school blog with ads on so mmmmmI need to sort this
    Thanks
    Silvana

  36. I do agree with the rest of the users on this thread $40 is an acceptable financial loss, but $40 per exsisting blog for users who have been blogging for years with edublogs is outrageous. I am one the teachers who made edublogs what it is by spreading it to my district and at conferences touting the teacher friendliness of the site and the site’s creator. Ads and kids don’t mix. Schools and responsible teachers won’t be allowed to use it and in this financial crisis, most teachers can’t afford it. I am sorry to sound so negative, but like I said before $40 is acceptable. I can’t afford $120 a year for this resource and my school will not pay for it. I’m so sad that this came about so quickly with no warning. One day I could add content, the next day I was taking out my credit card, twice, for two of the blogs I have—dirty trick. Its like getting a kid hooked on drugs by giving him a free sample and then charging him 3x the amount (my three blogs) after he’s already addicted.

  37. Hi mrscunningham,

    Paypal allows you to pay even without an account I believe – and England shouldn’t be an issue. Please follow up any other questions for support in teh forums and we’ll do out best to help you out.

    Hi Athena,

    Thanks for signing up – we’re looking into a discount for multiple subscriptions for next year so hopefully it won’t be that much.

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