To the guys running this site (if you're even reading/listening):
When I first got here I totally appreciated your original concept. But you are no longer being honest with your users. You got all of us here because the site was fairly easy to navigate and a pleasure to use. I can't speak for anyone else, but I used to LOVE coming here and honestly couldn't wait to see if a favorite mod or livery was updated and check out all the new stuff all these talented creators came up with next!
Now, I DREAD looking at my "Downloads" page and seeing updates that I'm gonna have to spend way more time than I used to download....and I can tell you that I've seen a TON of new mods I'd love to have but instead, just pass over them now because it's such a pain to download.
There are better solutions and you should ask your users for input/help instead of just making it harder and harder.
No, I'm not one of the guys running this site - I don't even know who they are, but here is my 2c worth.
I've been coming here since the site was in its early days, and have seen many changes since then - many of them small, some of them big - but the absolute BIGGEST change that I've seen is in the number of addons, and the number of users, who use the site.
The amount of traffic that is going in and out of this site must be quite staggering, given the resource base of the "owners", who, I assume, are ordinary simmers like you and I.
Do I have complaints, or rather, suggestions for improvements - yes, of course I do, and quite often if I present a good argument for a change, and if the "team" has the resources to make a change, they will make it.
My satisfaction level is still up there where it was when there was just a handful of addons posted.
Now, to your issues, or as I would prefer, the opportunities for improvement that you have pointed out.
First - the time it takes to update all the addons that you have downloaded
Interesting. I have downloaded in excess of 550 addons, and by checking back daily, I can't remember a single day when I've found that I have to update more that 8 or perhaps 9 addons that I've already downloaded. So, I take the easy way out, and open each addon to update in a separate tab BEFORE I start downloading any of them. That takes about a minute for all of them.
Next, I go to the first tab, and have a look at what is updated, what the update is going to do for me, and Ctrl-click on the View link. I move on to the next one, until I've started the download process for all the downloads that I am updating today.
I then go back to the first, answer any question related to the version that I want to download, or just wait until it starts to download (minimum - about 5 seconds; maximum about 18 seconds). Once the download has started, I move on to the next one, and repeat the process, until I get the last download kicked off. Once they are all downloaded, I go to the directory and handle them myself from then on.
Total time, worst case scenario - 9 addons @ 18 seconds each, plus a couple of minutes for the original download setup, and it's cost me about 5, perhaps as much as 10 minutes, for some of the best addons for the sim, that have cost me...absolutely nothing that I haven't actually donated to the developer.
If anything, I reckon that the site should offer a "first Class" membership for people such as yourself, and use the proceeds to improve the throughput of the site. That should suit you, and save some of your time in downloading addons, and it will also suit me, because it means that the site should stabilize, and if it gets too bad for the second class citizens, i can always consider going to the first class option. I think that given the wealth spread of our membership, being from the very young, through the earning population, and right up the very old, often of limited means, and perhaps tailor a membership scheme for each of these, and perhaps other, category of users.