I have a proposed solution to both the pending loss of web hosting for Furtopia, as well as an idea on how to not only restore the web hosting, but to propel Furtopia to the top of the list of furry websites.
Briefly; the reason that this site, and others like it, suffer from being shut down is simply because there isn't dedicated staff members who are paid to keep it running. Shepherd has a full time job, as do most furries. They therefore lack the capability of committing to operating the site full time. But people who have the time, lack the funds to operate and maintain the site - an expensive prospect no doubt.
The solution is quite simple: provide a service, and provide it for a reasonable fee. This allows the site to operate, free from disruption, and to provide quality services to all; but also keeps the clutter of advertising down.
My proposal is to purchase the domain and servers from Whiteshepherd, and create a non-profit organization to operate Furtopia. The model I have in mind utilizes the infrastructure of Furtopia, just about as-is. My estimate is that it would take up to a year to get the revenue stream up enough to make the site self-sustaining. But to make it compete with other sites, such as Furaffinity, I propose a change wherein a layer is added on top of the hosted sites. People can have their own pages and do with them what they wish; and if they wish to have content linked to the main page, they simply put the content into specified folders on their page. This allows users to completely customize their pages, while still having links to a main gallery for users to browse. This solves my biggest complaint about Furaffinity and other sites: that you cannot control the content on your own userpage (i.e. you are subject to trolls and the whims of admins - who we know now cannot be completely trusted with the site's security.) For those users who aren't savy in web design, a set of themed standard sites can be made available, much like the content generator used on Furtopia.
As for how much to charge, and who to charge; that's part of the development. I believe that people who simply want to browse artwork should be allowed free access, or perhaps pay a small fee, such as to access restricted and adult content; a fee on the order of $5-10 per year. To further increase revenue, value-added services would be added to the site, such as prime gallery space, an auction site, larger storage space, custom domain names, email services, etc. These services could be fairly priced. I'm sure artists such as Blotch and Dark Natasha and other high volume artists would see the value in paying, say, $150/year for a domain, space in the premium gallery, and unlimited auctions.
I think the do the site properly, there should be 1 full time position, and say, 1 or 2 part time positions. I figure a salary of $45,000/year to start (after the first year of course) would keep the position filled. And half of that each for part time positions, as needed, would ensure someone is always available to maintain, repair, and upgrade the site.
I can't stress enough that this is intended to be a non-profit venture. The ONLY reason to charge is to maintain the service, so that it can be there in 2, 5, even 10 or 20 years. It also isn't a new concept to furries, some of whom pay for paid accounts on sites such as Livejournal. And any revenue above and beyond what is needed to operate the site can be returned to the fandom either through reductions in prices, or my preference, a trust fund to help needy furries, offer scholarships or art supplies, travel funds, grants to help start conventions, and much more.
Sadly, I have absolutely no income. I can't purchase the infrastructure from Whiteshepherd, at least not at the present time (I assure you, if I get my disability money soon, I will buy the infrastructure myself.
I'm looking for people who can help. Currently, I see the need for a programmer, someone who can physically host and maintain the site, corporate officers (three minimum), an initial board of directors (3 minimum, in addition to the 3 officers), and people interested in permanent seats on the Board of Directors (annual or bi-annual seating...permanent refers to the fact that the initial BOD is comprised of people who elect the officers, and then the replacement BOD.)
If anyone wishes to help, please PM me. I don't know how much Whiteshepherd would want for the site and infrastructure, but I do know that I have no money whatsoever. I am NOT interested in making this be "Rex's Pet Project." I will write a business plan, help create the non-profit from my experience nearly starting my own a few years back, and offer ideas on how to get this project off the ground and running. What I bring to the table on this is an eye for what is good for the fandom, without consideration for personal gain or profit. I want nothing more than to provide a service to the fandom. I don't even seek the salaried position.