I gave a small donation, all I can afford right now
But I will say if you are spending $100 a month for a site
Then that is WAY too much!! run as fast as you can from the ISP
You are using a free message board, I actually like SMF. Definately good.
I've used boards like Vbulletin that can cost a penny and the SMF is just as good.
I have a graphic site thundercrush.com and it cost me $100 for 2 years.
Has unlimited mysql databases and I guarantee you won't use the bandwith here.
It's now around $120 for 2 years. It's probably time for me to renew too. bummer!
Been there, done that!
When this website was born (several years ago), I too was using shared ($5/month) hosting plans with virtualy unlimited bandwidth and MySQL databases. But, as the site grew, so did its appetite for resources. After switching web hosting providers numerous times, it was determined that it wasn't the number of databases offered, but the number of concurrent connections to the database that was killing the site. And I mean that literally. With all of the users accessing the database, plus all of the spiders and bots crawling the forum, the database would crash. It wasn't until I moved to my current web hosting provider that things began working smoothly again.
So, those inexpensive shared hosting plans are great for average websites, but as soon as you start taxing the server, well, that's when things start to get ugly. And I'm not spending $100/month on just the hosting package, that figure also includes other expenses associated with running this site.
So, while I appreciate everyone suggesting that I can save a lot of money by switching to a different host, I've already been there and done that!
And regarding forum software, I think I'm going to stick with SMF. Version 1.1 looks very promising!