This should really not need to be said.
Writing, publishing a magazine, blogging or providing a service is a two-way interaction. Whenever you go to a site, there are people squirrelling away behind the scenes to provide content, to make the site look pretty, to give feedback or all of those things. And although many places use volunteers, there is a point at which real money has to change hands to make things happen. Website designers need to be paid, server space needs to be hired, hosting fees need to be paid.
When you’re a private individual, you can get by with cheapskate plans, but as soon as people smell the word ‘business’, you have to fork out big time. Business is anything that makes money, including an author site, a magazine site or service for writers. Hosting plans are more expensive, design is more expensive, even bank accounts are more expensive. Everyone wants a piece of your business. And that’s before business has started to generate income.
So, the no-brainer is: someone has to pay to make it worth the ‘business’ owner’s while. In writing terms ‘make it worth their while’ means breaking even.
Another no-brainer is that if people enjoy whatever is on offer at a site, the best way to ensure the site’s existence in the future is to support them financially.
If you enjoy a magazine, donate a small amount every year or buy their products.
If you like an author site, for crying out loud, buy their books.
If you like a service, give them a small amount each year, as if it was a subscription.
I don’t particularly care who you support, as long as you support what you enjoy. Because if you don’t, and many other people don’t, they might well consider the venture not worth the effort.