Amazing service you are offering here, Wayne. Might as well get in early before you get too burnt out

Site: http://www.overgrow.com/edge

Opened: April 1999

Size: 9000 members, 200,000 posts

The Overgrow.com site began as a UBB community board. We made the move to vBulletin and began providing our own content (magazine, FAQ, etc) last year. Our membership has been on a rising curve ever since. Some of our competitors now average 15 to 50 people online while we have 200.

Overall we get about 100k hits per day and move well over 150 gigs per month. We are not using gzip and the user's Image Gallery is the most popular forum. Our bandwidth usage should be cut in half when we move to our own server this month and I can enable gzip and also start compressing the jpgs as they come in.

The board is still currently listed as vBulletin 1.1.3 though it is heavily modified and security patched. I am seriously contemplating a move to 2.0 after having worked on it elsewhere. I believe I have one of the most customized vBs around as well as one of the fastest. I don't believe that anyone is doing as much site-wide non-session-based query caching as I am. This is necessary as we are still on a shared host.. with 200 online at peak. Stock vB in this situation was incredibly slow with page generation up to 30 seconds before I implemented the query result caching routines.

We sell our own sponsorship on a forum-by-forum basis, up to $400 for the most popular forum per month. The site pays for itself now but any profit is going back into the hardware. We also recently ran an auction and donation campaign that raised almost $5000 and still climbing. If I actually had someone to sell ad space (besides myself) we might be making money. We use cafepress for t-shirt fufillment and have made $250+ each month so far since we offer $50 "donation level" t-shirts as well as normally priced items. Future plans include a 4-color calendar since we have so many great images.. also we are trying to work out affiliate deals with some of our sponsors and open our own shop.