How much does it cost to host Unsplash?(

over 7 years ago from Luke Chesser, Co-founder Crew & Unsplash

  • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    18k is non-trivial and I'm guessing this post is because of the burn rate. Moving to AWS and reducing costs significantly seems like a salient choice. Not sure why that can't happen?

    I wonder if hosting a hire-a-real-photographer board seems like a great way to capture revenue (photogs pay to post) and build a bridge for photographers? This would also allow them to make money instead of making them annoyed at a "Free photo site." It'd probably get more photogs on the platform too which is going to continue to move pageviews up and revenue potential up.

    On the search results page - that there is no advertising (or even organic advertising through a influencer network) seems like a missed opportunity to at least cover the costs of Keen and Logentries.

    Defaulting grid view (not sure if that costs more?) and having some of those grid items contain a decent network ad is absolutely acceptable from a user standpoint (this whole thing is freeeeeeeeeee! please don't let it go away). At least doing this on the search page because you can segment query results data with different value ads/networks/placements.

    Down to be wrong about any/all of this but I like Unsplash and would love to see it actually be a sweet business too.

    1 point
    • Luke ChesserLuke Chesser, over 7 years ago

      Hey Aubrey,

      Appreciate the thoughts.

      I've got a post coming out soon which details why we use services like Heroku and Imgix to outsource a lot of our core services. TLDR: devops + a IaaS (like AWS) is more expensive and difficult to ship quickly based on our team and product (may not be true for all startups). Heroku, for example, gives us review apps, a deploy pipeline, simple scaling, easy configuration, security patches, backups, etc. all out of the box for every one of our projects and services. It's so simple that our frontends and designers make infrastructure changes.

      We don't advertise because none of the current opportunities are worth it vs the experience they provide for users. We very much have plans to monetize in the future and believe me, we think about it a lot, but we're committed to doing it in a way that preserves the experience of the site, what makes sense for our community and the amazing photographers, and gives us the best shot at building something truly unique in the long-run.

      We are funded by investors and we currently provide referrals to our parent company Crew. Unsplash is not going away :)

      17 points