Straight to the point
I’ll get straight to the point, then add a little history.
While Bay Islands Guide is completely free to download and use, there are costs involved in keeping the system running. If you can donate to help us cover development and running costs, please do. But remember, it is in no way mandatory.
A little history
Bay Islands Guide was born in April of 2014 as a paid app (costing $1.99), where it saw 7 uses in the first month. As word of mouth spread, the usage quickly grew. Within a year we had reached almost 3500 trips planned per month. Fast-forward to July 2017 when we made the app completely free to download and use, the usage started to spike. By September 2017 we were seeing almost 8,000 trips planned per month, and we reached a milestone of 150,000 trips planned in total.
As of December 2018, Bay Islands Guide is used to plan around 35,000 to 40,000 trips every month. As of this writing, it has been used 562,487 times to help islanders organise their travels on ferry. It is also used around 2500 times per month to find local businesses, and to check Go-Card balances of over 400 people. Bay Islands Guide is now officially BIG. Over the years I have refrained from adding advertising into the app, opting instead to start work on a local advertising system. The idea is, if I absolutely have to support the app by ads, they will only be ads for local businesses and events. Not the random ads you see through so many apps.
As the app has grown, so have the costs to keep the servers running, as well as development costs (time spent writing the code that makes it all work). When I wrote Bay Islands Guide, it was a novel little idea to see if I could successfully write mobile phone apps. It was my 2nd ever iPhone app, and 1st ever Android app.
Some of you may have noticed some down-time where the app has not been working properly, or working slowly. Some have made posts about it on Facebook. One of these hiccups was due to a network switch failing (which cost just shy of $2500 to replace) about a we
ek or so ago, and today a website hosting account on the same server (yes, we do web hosting) had a faulty script/plugin which caused the server to run all full capacity for hours on end and eventually shut down. This required a trip into the Brisbane CBD to rectify. Please understand, any and all downtime is usually at a fairly high cost to me, and the Bay Islands Guide app is not the only thing affected. Many island businesses rely on the same servers for email and website hosting.
We have some great plans and new features on the horizon, as well as the long overdue iPhone app upgrade. If you can help us out to cover costs, please donate. Your money will be going to help us to help all island residents. If you can’t, thats cool too.
UPDATE (March 5th 2019)
A big thank you to the following people who have donated money towards future development and running costs for Bay Islands Guide
The Leather Belt Shop
Joyce Elizabeth Proctor