Post for post sake

(Ridley) I’m determined to keep blogging. Even if it means half the blogs are meaningless, make no sense what so ever and only Latimer reads them! Poor Latimer whose up to her eyes in work. Me though, I’ve been off for a few days, so I’ve been working away on our website, trying to get it up and running. It’s not published yet and I fecked up with the domain name. I bought it, applied the name to one web hosting site (didn’t try it out first), I ended up hating the site and now I’ve to wait 60 days to be able to use my domain anywhere else.

After a load of hopping round to different providers, I decided to use free web host provider weebly.com. It’s definitely not exactly what I was after, but I just needed to choose, it took me ages to decide as it was.

The reason? I was searching for a website host provider with a good website builder. Back in the day, when I was much younger, I created a website with geocities. I have to say for a free web hoster and web builder, they were fantastic. So many websites online at the time were build with them. There were numerous geocities web rings, connecting websites together. It was like you were allowed to add an unlimited number of pages. There were drag and drop options and you could also add in some html, whether you wanted purely basic or complicated, it supported both.

I’ve yet to find one as good actually.

Even with searching on google, weebly was really the only one properly mentioned. Most other websites are either too restrictive, they’re really fancy in appearance, but you have no options but the template they’re giving you and maybe you can add in a text box or two. You can’t really change the banner or move the column over just by dragging or do anything really. It’s so frustrating!

And then the ones where you’ve total freedom, are beyond complicated for a html novice. Geocities was that perfect middle ground.

On that website, I had guestbook applications and even my own personal chat room. It took hours, but I loved making that site.

Like most sites at the time, it was a Harry Potter fansite. I was quite proud of it actually, I was only around 13/14 years old. I worked on it during the summers of 1999/2000. I even taught myself a little html so I had ‘Welcome to my Harry Potter website’ scrolling across the top of the main page. (Then I subsequently used what I learned to create a great shop-with music- on neopets.com, I joined when they first started up also that summer! I was on it for a little while, then forgot my password, I’d given a fake birth date, didn’t remember any of my pets names and then got told last year my account was going to be deleted. Oh the frustrating helplessness. Imagine the appreciation value on my shop items and I’m convinced I had loads of neopoints left….I suppose it’s just as well I got locked out of it….though my poor virtual pets…)

Anyway, for my website I even managed to have a free web diversion, so that I didn’t have to use the geocities website address along with my username, it became a ‘proper’ site. I could type in http://www.harrypotter.n3 and then be diverted to my site.

At the time we had corel print house on our Gateway computer, so I got about making things; a home page banner (that took ages to load when you opened the page), little owl page dividers, a background (magnolia coloured page with a purple wavy strip and yellow stars for a border) and wands as icons for the different menu options.  All HP related.

I also designed Harry Potter note paper (I had four different styles), coloured bookmarks. There were paper dolls of Harry, Ron and Hermonie all with extra clothes, that I drew myself. It was all there for anyone to print out and play with.

I tried registering for all the ranking websites. All the really good Harry Potter sites were on them. Most of those ranking sites were also geocities ones or angelfire!

Despite this, I didn’t have many visitors, just one that I know of, though my little counter on the main page went up to 23. Possibly counting my own trips to it mind. I don’t think I worried much about visits though, I made it because I wanted to, it was fun and it was mine. I kept thinking, if I stumbled upon an unknown HP website what else would I love to find?

It was like a little Harry Potter treasure trove.

The one person I know saw it, sent me an email (I had a little owl clip art at the bottom for ‘Owl mail’) All she said was she loved Harry Potter too and she liked my page.

I was never so chuffed in all my life.

It was up for a few years, then Yahoo took over Geocities and they were eventually shut down. My site and all the other bookmarked sites I’d loved were deleted. All that work and I never got to really share it with other Harry Potter fans, who I know would have loved it.

It’s the same with what Latimer and I are doing now. We’ve books we’ve written for us, for our own fun and enjoyment but that we know others will love.

I’m not going to let them be another geocities website, this time people will discover this treasure trove.

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