In a departure from the normal posts on cloth diapers, my house, or my kids I’m going to put out a problem I’ve been struggling with here on the blog.  I would TRULY appreciate honest feedback and because you are the people I make this website for your voice matters most.

My blog- Dirty Diaper Laundry- is thriving.  It’s doing better than ever, traffic continues to increase even though Facebook has done their best to hide my updates from all of you who like my page.  Who needs ’em?  Since starting this website in 2009 I’ve been updating it regularly.  In fact, I’ve started and ended many other projects since 2009 but I’ve never neglected the blog- it is my home and my passion.

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In 2010 I started another passion project- something no one had ever attempted before!  Cloth Diaper Finder, a searchable cloth diaper database, was born in 2011 after nearly a year of designing, spreadsheeting, and working with a developer to make my vision come to life!  I had incredibly high hopes for this database- it solved the problem I saw most in our community!  How many times did I witness people wondering what diaper to pick?  “If only I could find a diaper that was a One Size, with natural fibers, made in the USA, that also didn’t require unstuffing.”  MY DATABASE LETS YOU FIND OUT IF THIS EXISTS AND THEN TELLS YOU THE BRAND AND WHERE TO FIND IT!

I LOVE the Cloth Diaper Finder.  And I HATE it.  I made a big mistake when I created this beast- I had the developer link it up to my blog through WordPress.  I wish I had known better… Since 2011 I have been battling this database- each update I make to my blog breaks it.  I have to call my developer and he charges me a boatload to fix it (and according to him this cannot be avoided… hmph) .  I can’t ever change my blog’s design unless I pay someone 5x as much to also change the database and make sure the new blog design doesn’t kill the Finder.  My entire website has started to look dated and I just can’t afford the fee quoted to me to fix the entire mess I created.  I do earn an income from this blog- I won’t pretend I don’t- but because the cost to redesign is so high (a huge chunk of my entire year’s income) it isn’t worth it for me at this time.

Traffic for the database is good…. not as good as I thought when I designed it, but it is still one of the top sources of traffic on the blog.  That makes me happy.  I want people to use this tool because it is amazing!  I use it!  When I can’t remember a diaper name I look it up by what I remember and BOOM, it appears.  But then I think of the heartache it causes me, the stress, the inability to fix the blog that DOES bring money to our household.  My load time on the blog is slow and I can’t fix it because of the database.  I can’t touch the blog without breaking the database.  My website is in a constant state of “oh shit” with the database linked to it- one minor change and the entire thing could potentially just implode.  If I were better at coding I’d definitely fix it myself but alas, my code knowledge is only good enough to change colors or add images!  Perhaps this is all coming to a crisis point because I can’t update my blog right now and I feel it is vulnerable to attacks- in fact, one already happened but my husband and I were able to fix it.

Here is where I finally ask YOU for advice.  What do I do about this hole I’ve dug?  What if I were to remove it from the blog and have it stand alone?  Would you still use it even if the look isn’t updated or there were no new features added?

If I were to actually pay someone to move it and change it, what features would you like to see added?  What about it currently do you not like?

And finally… this one is a BIG IF but I’m curious- how would you feel about an attempt to crowdsource funding for the move and updating of the database only?  I myself am not sure how I feel about the concept in general, but because the database costs me more than it earns (true story, I use all the ad revenue and listing fees it brings and take more from the blog to keep it running) using revenue from DDL isn’t feasible to fund the changes at this time.  The Finder is a great resource for those who use it but it is sucking me dry and causing me more stress than it is worth.  If the community at large finds it helpful enough that they themselves would like to help me make it run better then I wouldn’t rule it out.  If not- that is OK too.

I’m really looking for some direction.  I KNOW this thing is amazing but for some reason the word hasn’t spread enough to make it profitable.  Or even break even.  Some days I want to just press a big DELETE button and be done with it but the brands who HAVE supported it, the advertisers who DO run ads, the people who DO use it on a regular basis- those people matter more to me than my own blog’s demise.

Please leave a comment with your opinion.  I’m listening.


12 Responses

  1. I don’t have much advice because it’s so out of my area of expertise. I can say DDL was one of the first and most helpful sites I found when I decided to cloth diaper. You helped me decide which diapers to buy and I can’t tell you how much your videos helped me! I would gladly support you if you decided to do a crowd funding campaign. Thank you for all that you do, it’s amazing to have this available to us!

  2. I already have found the diapers I love so the CDF isn’t something I “need”. (I did just go and look at it though and it is a VERY COOL feature that I would love to just play with in my spare time.) Your blog and videos are great though so I wouldn’t want to see that go away. Also, my cloth diapers are an addiction but I don’t necessarily have extra money to spend on something I wouldn’t use (like the CDF). Sorry it causes you stress! 🙁

    1. Cloth diapers are addiciting? Never heard of such a thing! I appreciate the input, and totally get it 🙂 Crowdfunding is something I have a love/hate relationship with. I think that the number of uncalled for projects or projects that never followed through have given it a bad name. Which sucks when there are worthy projects. I’ve donated to many in the last few years, some worked out and some didn’t. That’s the gamble.

  3. I would make it a stand alone so it doesn’t break any more. Forget ‘updating’ the look. find something simple and clean, and stick with that.. that way, if your blog evolves, then no big deal. Keep the source the same, so you don’t have to continue updating it, and no need to fundraise. easy peasy.

  4. I think stand alone would be good, and no need to update the look. I do think it would be great to be mobile compatible!

  5. I think you should do the overhaul you want on the blog and do the diaper finder separately. I’m sure you would get many people to contribute via a funding campaign but they’re so overdone these days it would be a turn off for me.

    That being said, to me, your most valuable tool are your video reviews. I remember finding you when you had less than a couple hundred “fans” lol! And I seriously sat and watched those videos on every single diaper!

    Now as a WAHM, having a diaper reviewed by DDL is the ultimate goal hahahaha! Keep up the good work.

  6. Kim, never ever have something ruin your amazing blog! And your good mood 🙂 I would so so go to the database if needed and it was in a separate place. I was actually surpriced to find it here in the blog, to be honest. Your database is good, but your blog as better and a really great piece of work, from the heart. Sometimes you just have to kill your darlings, even it it means to just create it somewhere else later on.

  7. I have followed and loved your blog since 2009. I honestly haven’t used the CDF. It’s not something I use but I do use and recommend your blog and your video reviews. I think you should focus on the blog and find a way to make the database less of a time and money drain for you. Keep up the great work!!

  8. I love ddl. I love the database. I constantly wonder why more people don’t use it or know about it! I think doing a kickstarter or whatever would actually do double duty by getting the funds you need AND letting people know the database exists! But in general I’m not a fan of kickstarter/gofundme/etc. What if you could get a sponsor?! Someone or a company or a few someone’s or companies that would pay to have it done? That would be awesome! If not, I’m wondering if it would be worth it to start from scratch? Yea right, I know. But if you scrapped it and started over doing it with the knowledge you have now in a way that makes more sense, you could take your time and do it right and then re-debut it and get #allthepeople to use it. Because it really is AMAZING. As someone who admittedly knows zilch about web stuff or technology, that’s my two cents…or my thinking out loud. Good luck!

  9. Wow! I didnt know how stressful that was. Ive been watching your videos, and mostly reading since last year. I liked the CDF whenI first saw it, however it tends to overwhelmed me. When I first used it I felt strange, like opening a Pandora box, or a door to another universe, sooo many diapers out there!!
    However, it just doesnt quite do what I like the most: I like to see the diaper inside to understand better how it works, your videos achieve this better! And then I like to read what you or Lara think of it.
    I would tell you to put more comparisons on your blog, or also make compilations, I wanna know which are your top 5 pockets. Or read which diapers have the.softest feeling, which ones remain soft after many uses, when is the best time to buy certain brands, etc.
    Cloth diaper finder is cool, but just as a way to pop out names, I guess some of them are discontinued, and some prices are off ( I just checked the msrp for Flip, it needs $1 more) my point is: cloth diaper industry changes too fast! They should update that thing, not you. So, I would move it from your blog, make it a webpage of its own, and dunno, maybe be more picky about what goes in it. Put a date on when certain diaper was.added, because certain things just wont match by the time somebody will look it up, it may become more of a museum than a search engine. I just.feel it is good as a database, but I prefer to read by topic and have some opinions or history on what I am seeing.

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