I am delighted to announce that, as from 1st July 2019, the Cycling Edinburgh site is completely advert-free. This is thanks to the support of the many local cyclists who have regularly visited the site over the last 14 years. Thank you all.
When I started the site in 2005, the costs were modest, and I was happy to pay them out of my own pocket. But as the cost of hosting and domain registration rose, I decided to accept advertising to subsidise those costs. The advertising was mainly provided by Amazon and Google.
At first, the adverts were all low-key text-only ads, and were mainly for products and services of genuine interest to local cyclists. But as time went by, I was finding that the ads were becoming more intrusive, often with annoying animations or audio. Worse, many of them were for dubious get-rich-quick schemes and scams, not to mention some overt political advertising. I did my best to block these, but that was often unsuccessful.
Happily, the number of visitors to the site increased steadily over the years. This in turn led to higher revenues from the advertising. By the start of 2019, I had built up a healthy surplus - enough to pay the site's running costs for some years to come. It is because of this surplus that I have now been able to pull the plug on the advertising.