I’ve often heard from people that all we need is $10/month and a free WordPress installation to run the Tenth Amendment Center, and our costs of $5000 and up per month are unnecessary. I only wish that were true.

Most of those expenses are manpower and advertising – to have the people available to do the blogging, the outreach, the video production – and the like.  And if we were really doing the job right, it would be about $50,000/month.  But that’s another story for another time.

A significant part of this monthly expense for us is our website, and today we had some “unexpected” costs that I always prepare for. Unexpected because I never know when they’ll come up, but expected in that – there are always additional costs that pop up.

We received an email from our host, WPEngine, that a security exploit had been found in a plugin – so it was essential that we upgrade asap to the latest version, addressing this exploit, and preventing hackers from attacking the site.

Well, I did the upgrade myself, manually, but found that other plugins operating various functions on the site then also needed to be upgraded, and two of those cost us $142.50.  I also upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, 4.1.1 – to ensure the best security and fastest-running site possible.

But, in testing out the end result, I found that an important feature on our online store – where you can make donations online or buy merchandise and memberships – was no longer working. This happens with upgrades pretty regularly. One update causes a conflict in another piece of the puzzle, causing something to fail.  While the store still works and people can still place orders, the convenience of being able to remove a donation or a membership from the online shopping cart is no longer available.

I tried researching how to fix it, but haven’t been able to figure it out. Instead, I went to Codeable.io – and got an estimate for just over $100.  It’s in progress right now.

End result? About 3 hours of my time, plus nearly $250 spent today, just to keep the site strong, fast, and secure. And while this kind of expense doesn’t happen every day, it’s not uncommon at all.

This is one of the reasons a small monthly donation from you is more helpful than most would know. When we can spend less time having to worry about how to pay for additional expenses like this and spend more time working to educate people on nullification and get bills passed to reject the feds – we get a lot more done.

I thought you’d be interested in this – and hope to share a more “behind-the-scenes” insights like this in the future.

Michael Boldin

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