I apologize for the recent downtime... It’s been a HUGE pain in the ass getting going again. I've already put over $600 and a good 30+ hours of my free time into getting things to this point. That doesn’t include the full 3 days it took just to upload.
VPUniverse.com has been turned back on... after days of troubleshooting, updating, troubleshooting and more troubleshooting. As far as I can tell the site is running fine, but I can't really test everything. There is still a lot of work that I need to do on the site, but for the most part it should be working. If there is something that you think you should be seeing, not seeing, getting errors, etc... PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
The old server/host just couldn't handle the site. On top of that people attempting to scrape the site causing DDoS like traffic that caused the 503 errors. The site is much snappier, faster loading, no errors and seems to be running quite well now.
The site/server is also now professionally monitored; if you are attempting to scrape the site you will be caught.
Unfortunately, with these upgrades and changes comes new challenges. The new host is a little more expensive and is now paid in 6 month time periods. Software licensing renewal is also every 6 months if I want to keep the core site software maintained. There are also a couple mods, addons, and plugins that the site uses that are paid and need to be renewed as well. This all adds up and needed to run the site. I have some advertisements on the site, but most are ads for community members that don't pay the site for. Google Ads are the only paid ads on the site. These ads pays the site roughly $100 every 3 months and depends on how many impressions and clicks these ads generate. Anyone that's currently Supporting Member or VIP will not see these ads, so that cuts down on the impressions of the Google Ads. Needless to say; those adds don't bring in much revenue. I may need to add some other Ad agencies that may be a bit more intrusive...
I will be adding the option for users to support the site monthly via Patreon, but have not yet figured out what to offer for various tiers yet.
I will be adding back our "Tip Author". I have to find & pay someone that's familiar with programming Invision Community plugins/addon's that can make the necessary updates or develop a new one.