But Why Source Code Downloads Are Paid?
Okay here’s the deal with who we are and why our tutorials are free and always will be free, but source code downloads are paid.
Hi, I’m Mike Dalisay. The man behind The Code Of A Ninja. I need to tell you our story.
I started The Code Of A Ninja in September of 2010 on the theory that I can be hired by bigger companies if I blog my works and demonstrate my skills on the internet.
I can say that my theory turned out to be true. Companies in Estonia, San Francisco and Germany found my blog. They said I have the right skill set to work with them and their companies. They wanted me to fly to their country and work for them. Even Facebook, Inc. reached out to me. They gave me a chance for an interview and examination.
I did not accept the job offers from abroad. Some of my family and friends thinks that I am crazy. But I felt like I can do something great if I stay. I wanted to stay here in the Philippines and be with my family as well.
About Facebook, I had my interview and I took the exam. I researched, reviewed and studied everything that I can to pass. I wanted to work on Facebook, who doesn’t if they had a chance?
The result came. I failed. Maybe I’m not that good to work for an international company yet. Or maybe, I’ll have a similar story of Brian Acton. He applied for a job but got denied by Twitter and turned down by Facebook. He eventually co-founded WhatsApp that is now worth billions of dollars.
I don’t know, maybe I’m meant to work on The Code Of A Ninja and have my own company ~ and be the one to give jobs to people?
The truth about why I blog is: I love programming. I want more people to learn programming. I want people to feel the same happiness I have when I code. It’s that simple and might be cheesy for you, but I mean it.
I spent a lot of time learning how to make this website better. I’m using Google blogger for few years but migrated to WordPress in 2014.
There are a lot of things to do when you own a website like this.
This includes researching and making sure what you say is true, latest and correct, creating valuable and high-quality content, answering comments, emails and Facebook chat messages (it’s like customer support), search engine optimization, social media marketing, domains and web hosting, tweaking the site for better user experience, dealing with trolls, finding the motivation and focus on doing all these things and more.
All my efforts worked when I have several blog posts that a lot of people like. Here are some of them:
We got a lot of positive feedback as well, as seen in the “Testimonials” section of our “About” page.
In 2014, I realized that this is not a hobby anymore. It is a full-time job. So many people want to learn programming. They like my tutorial and they like the way I teach them. They need my products and services. I felt the need to serve them. It feels like I am doing a disservice to people and there will be something wrong in my life if I quit doing this.
So, what do I have to do to continue making these useful programming tutorials, source codes and its maintenance?
I tried to put Google ads. It makes some money. But it is only enough to make me eat for two weeks per month. I tried selling our source codes and custom code services. This is a better way. The site is sustainable this way.
In March 2015, I quit my job and started spending most of my time working on The Code Of A Ninja. Prior to that, I worked for an IT company for 4 years and 8 months. I worked as a Software Developer. I’m very happy with this decision because I am able to help more people learn to code. I’m passionate about it.
By the way, our tutorials are written because I believe that text is the best medium for this subject matter. Written tutorials can be updated quickly when there are changes in technology or change in coding standards or APIs.
For example. Several years ago, MySQL extension is used to build PHP and MySQL applications. Now, PDO extension is considered as the standard. PDO extension is actively developed while MySQL extension is deprecated.
Another example. The Facebook Graph API change frequently. Code that works for API version 2.5 might not work for API version 2.6. Imagine if you will compare features of API version 2.0 to 2.6, you will see a big difference. Older API versions will not be available for long as well.
In June 2015, my ex-girlfriend (now my wife) and I started a small business, we call it Codalify. It makes some money from web design and development. We agreed that she will manage the web development business while I spend most of my time in The Code Of A Ninja.
Making high quality programming tutorials for beginners with awesome customer support requires a huge amount of time, efforts and some money.
I love creating useful tutorials but due to consistent change and updates in technology, it needs to be maintained and updated frequently.
Google ads cannot cover 100% of the production costs specially when we focus on bringing the best quality possible for our products and services.
I personally do not like to put ads on this site. It affects our memory and I believe it distracts people from learning faster. We removed ads on many pages of this site already. I love this job and I want to keep doing it for you!
Here’s the list of things of where the money is going.
Bills. I’m a homeowner and this is my major source of income per-month. It pays for electricity, water, internet, mortgage, food and coffee. I need to continue to eat things and wear things and turn lights on as I write codes.
Here’s a picture of the small space we rent. This is where we live, at the same time this is our mini-office. I work with my wife and one very humble intern.
Domain & Web Hosting. We need a robust enough hosting plan to support the highest spikes in traffic we ever get so we don’t crash during those moments and ruin our happiness.
We are currently hosted on Media Temple VPS. Here’s a screenshot of our traffic for the past 24 hours as of this writing.
If you need a more affordable web hosting, I recommend Bluehost. I developed websites for several clients who uses Bluehost. They got great support whenever I needed it.
KeyCDN is a powerful and easy to use Content Delivery Network (CDN) we needed to speed up our website. It has security features as well such as blocking bad bots, hotlink and DDos protection. Our learners need a fast and secure website. KeyCDN is one of our solution.
Sellfy makes it easier to sell our source codes. They have very useful features such as product file hosting, secure transactions, anti-fraud protection, analytics, reporting tools, email marketing tools and more.
Sure, I can build my own system like this but it will take a lot of my time. I choose Sellfy to handle this part of our website so I can focus on working on the things that matter for our learners – like tutorial updates, new tutorials, support and more.
Amazon Email Services. We email posts out to the subscription list at least once a week. This fee grows as the email list grows. We use Sendy to do it. Sendy is a self hosted email newsletter application that lets you send trackable emails via Amazon Simple Email Service (SES).
This makes it possible for us to send authenticated bulk emails at an insanely low price without sacrificing deliverability. We wanted more people to learn programming and send them useful updates. That being said, Sendy is a very useful tool to run our website.
Ongoing Web Development. It’s a website, so there are always upsetting glitches coming out of nowhere and occasionally, we add a new site feature and optimizations.
Facebook Post “Boosts”. When we announce a new post on Facebook, this makes sure that the announcement gets onto 1/3 or 1/2 of our Facebook followers’ News Feeds.
We want to serve you better so we need people to handle related things and a bunch of other little jobs. These things end up adding up to a few hours every day, and without employees, I end up doing it all and have much less time to write codes and tutorials.
Web Developer. I will train this employee to help me make more high quality web programming tutorials. He will help me support our web programming learners as well.
Android Developer. I will train this employee to help me make more high quality android programming tutorials. He will help me support our Android programming learners as well.
Creative Assistant. Main duties of this employee is to make blog post banners and video demos. He will help us test our source codes outputs as well.
Administrative Assistant. She will help us for a bunch of other little jobs.
If you’re still here, it means you either have a desire to support The Code Of A Ninja or you’re on some dark procrastination spiral where you’re just reading this page site to avoid working by any means necessary.
For those who want to support The Code Of A Ninja, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! We exist only because of reader support (there are no ads on the site cause ads are gross), and your support goes a long way.
The Code Of A Ninja is free and will always be free. You’re allowed to leave this page and reject the concept of supporting the site. We still like you. If you’d like to help us keep doing what we do, there are five great ways:
A free way to help us in a massive way is to simply tell your friends about the site and share our articles on social media. Here are some articles that you can share:
Pledges (even real little ones!) make a big difference in my daily-weekly-monthly life. Pledges mean I can worry less about paying bills and worry more about making high quality programming tutorials.
If monthly pledges aren’t your thing, normal donation works great too.
Buy something if you find our tutorial and source code useful. You can buy the source codes from the following tutorials:
The best way for a blog to grow a long-lasting readership is with email subscription. Plus, it’s easier than having to remember to come back to the site again and again or guess exactly when we will post each new tutorial or update.
We know how overloaded everyone’s inbox is, so we treat our email list like gold, sending an email only when there’s a new post and almost never for any other reason (and of course, we’d never share your email with anyone).
If you have some comments, suggestions, violent reactions or want to tell me something, you can send me an email. My email address is email@example.com
We wish you more success in your programming journey and software development career!
Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting, and thanks for existing. We needed a fourth thanks!
Sincerely, Mike Dalisay Software Developer Founder and Author, codeofaninja.com
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