When Web-O-Rama was first released in 1997, I didn't have a great deal of confidence in the program. I had only been programming for a few months and, in fact, Web-O-Rama wasn't particularly versatile. So I decided to offer it free and solicit suggestions for making it better.
After spending several hundred hours working on Web-O-Rama, ironing out bugs and adding features, I found that Web-O-Rama was starting to receive good reviews from the shareware and freeware sites to which I was submitting it. I also began to get flattering e-mail from people all over the world who were using Web-O-Rama, including messages from teachers who were using the program as a tool for teaching students to work with HTML, some from as far away as Norway and Taiwan. At that point, due to the number of hours I was spending on the program, and because of increasing hardware and software expenses, I began to ask for donations. I didn't limit the program in any way, but I tried to make it clear both on my Web site and in the program documentation that I would be unable to continue offering Web-O-Rama for free unless I started generating enough revenue through donations to cover operating expenses, at bare minimum.
Unfortunately, the donationware concept has been a disappointment. We have had over 175,000 visitors to The Computer Guys Web site. Although I can't track the number of downloads from The Computer Guys, as of March 2002, 34,101 people had downloaded Web-O-Rama from CNet and 16,761 people had downloaded Web-O-Rama from ZDNet. In spite of the obvious popularity of Web-O-Rama, I receive only one or two donations a month. I have spent at least 1000 hours working on Web-O-Rama over the past four years, and recently spent another 100 hours writing the Help file. Totaling up all the donations, I have made approximately $1 an hour. Although it was my decision to offer Web-O-Rama as donationware, I assumed it would be slighly more lucrative.
Web-O-Rama is still donationware, but I am considering other options, including limiting certain functions in future releases, or having the program "time out" in a fixed number days. Donations can still help prevent this from happening. Donations of any amount can be sent to me at
Kevin GunnPlease include an e-mail address! Overseas users should send international money orders.
P.O. Box 442155
Lawrence KS 66044-8933
You can contact me for any additional information you need.
Copyright © 1997-2002 Kevin Gunn
P.O. Box 442155 · Lawrence KS 66044-8933 · firstname.lastname@example.org