By Victor Drover on 2015-11-25 00:00 in Finance Team

Each year we set our budget based on our projected income. As is shown in the 2015 budget[1], our total projected revenue was $695,575.

The bulk of the projected revenue comes from corporate sponsorship ($189,170), Google AdSense revenue ($132,000), and affiliate-related revenue associated with the official demo sites and the new Joomla.com service.

The demo sites and Joomla.com projected revenue is a combination of past and current hosting partners: Cloud Access ($120,000) and Siteground ($225,000).

In the Spring, it became apparent that the projections for AdSense revenue would be significantly different from historical trends. In fact, we are now receiving about $3000/month from AdSense compared to the past few years ($10,000+/month).

In addition, at Joomla.com and demo.joomla.org the expected sign-up rate (and thus total conversion rate to paid accounts) was consistently lower than what was expected. Based on this, SiteGround informed us that the original contract would not be sustainable, and requested to re-negotiate the guaranteed minimum commitments in their contract to a more traditional affiliate program. 

Ryan Ozimek — a member of Open Source Matters at the time, negotiated a new contract that is now more dependent on affiliate sign-ups and has a lower minimum monthly commitment. This shares more of the responsibility for the program to the project as a whole since encouraging Joomla.com and demo.joomla.org sign-ups will — in general terms — lead to more free accounts and thus more affiliate revenue.

Considering the changes outlined above, our new projected revenue for 2015 has dropped to $487,663. With this information, it was immediately apparent that our existing expenditures would far outpace revenue. Thus, the FiT decided a re-budget would be helpful to contain costs as the year wound down.

Working closely with the FiT liaisons from the Production Leadership Team and Community Leader Teams — Robert Deutz and Peter Bui, respectively — each team cut their budgets based on their share of the original 2015 budget.

Specifically, the following amounts were cut:

  • CLT - $94,572        
  • OSM - $65,253
  • PLT - $53,087

Full details on the new balanced 2015 budget can be found on Google Drive[2]. A summary of the budget cuts made by each team for each line item is also available[3].

To shore up the revenue for 2016, a cross-team working group has been assembled to re-design the Joomla.org homepage with better calls to action for Joomla.com and the Joomla demo. The Joomla Extensions Directory is also revisiting where and how frequently ads are displayed. There is also some work towards encouraging the Joomla community to disable their ad blockers for Joomla.org properties. 

To shore up the revenue for 2016, a cross-team working group has been assembled to work on implementation of a new global banner rotation system across all Joomla sites. A working group has also been formed to re-design the Joomla.org homepage with better calls to action for Joomla.com and the Joomla demo. The Joomla Extensions Directory is also revisiting where and how frequently ads are displayed. There is also some work towards encouraging the Joomla community to disable their ad blockers for Joomla.org properties.[4]

Once fully implemented, we anticipate affiliate revenue from Siteground to increase above the guaranteed minimums in the original contract, and a significant improvement in AdSense revenue. 

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[1] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HYDPhIhmdEwECUCEMfxvl_V_tQchCyW44UiSE3dEoN4/edit#gid=0
[2] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Mr6R39axZwHG4OO1an2Xf-dmyqU_7hGrqjZqzu4qz-E/edit?usp=sharing
[3] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11LYAgZOj7JNecYe-7Z0xjHXy1kp4vV3bVH8xWXkACaE/edit#
[4] Edited for accurancy.