Our History( 0 Votes )
- Created on Thursday, 12 April 2012 07:15
- Last Updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 12:28
- Written by Administrator
Here's a quick step through time showing how the website has progressed over the years including some quite dramatic stages!
During 2005 I spent a lot of time on various forums like Wireplay.co.uk and eventually forums.xbox.com helping people get connected to Xbox live. I found that a lot of people's problems were similar and built up some good experience to help others.
But it wasn't the best way to communicate in my opinion, I found I was cutting and pasting a lof of the same text for people when responding, there must be a better way!
I was chatting with a friend at the time about it and as he was a web designer he offered to put together a little website for me (at not cost) so I could host it on my own free webspace based on my content and so Xboxlivetheguide.co.uk was born! A great looking site for the time and allowed me to simply refer the majority of people to articles on the site so they can help themselves and cut down on repeat questions
I quickly outgrew the original site. I found myself wanting to add more and more content and the template provided just didn't grow to the amount of information I wanted to put in, plus it was a case of literally using Frontpage to add my content. The same web designer offered to create a new version of the website and host it on his own server and create a CMS to allow me to easily enter data, any advertising proceeds would cover his work/hosting. The new site was amazing, exactly what I wanted and would serve me for a good few years to come.
2009 - When it all went wrong
After 3yrs of supplying what I hope was a valuable resource to the Xbox community and with its domain name known far and wide things took a turn for the worse, well two turns actually. During 2009 Microsoft got in touch via their lawyers to thank me for the service I have been providing but things would have to respectfully change. The main issues they had were the domain name and some of the graphics on the site. They were very nice about the whole thing, their comments were fair and I totally understood why it was a problem, it was certainly a shock but the conversations were very amicable and obviously I would comply with their request.
But... this would have a devasting effect. I had to change the well known domain name to something else, no problem? Big problem. As I wasn't in control of the web site server itself I couldn't set-up any fancy re-directs myself to the new domain name unofficialguidetolive.co.uk. The end result was that apart from me putting my new domain name on the welcome page of the site for 6 weeks the website went from well known to unknown and my Google Ranking was destroyed.
During the same month as when Microsoft got in touch, unknown to me the other events where going on behind the scenes. I then come to find out that the website I've put so much effort into for over 3yrs has now been sold out to another company from under my feet. My web designer friend was selling up and leaving the country and my website which he created for me as a friend was sold as part of the deal. No communication nothing, I only found out from the new owners.
This was obviously a massive blow and at this stage I was this close (fingers really close together) to just throwing in the towel. Thankfully the company that bought the web designer out were very understanding and after hearing me out we came to an agreement and the site remained, but I wasn't happy I'd lost control of what was mine, the shell was designed by my friend for me and everything about the site was mine but it didn't feel like it anymore.
2010 - From the ashes
So 2010 was make or break, I'd had enough and got my fingers well and truly burnt by trusting friends and website designers, I got a few quotes from other designers for a similar site but I would still be in a similar position. It was time to go it alone, I bought a server of my own and built my own site from scratch. It looked better, I was in total control and it had tons more functionality, everything I wanted. The only downside of course is the price which is why I need you to give what little you can to keep the site going by donating, it doesn't have to be much, all I want is to cover the hosting costs I'm not and never have looked to turn this into some money spinning business, if I had I'm not doing very well as I must have spent over £1k of my own money on it so far never mind man hours!
2012 - A New Look
2012 sees a new remodelled look to the site with new functionality, Google rankings are and have been for some time back to what there were previously and visitors higher than ever. There are still a lot of things I'd like to do to the site to make it better, but like everything in life they cost money and before I can even think of investing more money in the site it needs to pay its own way and cover its own hosting costs, which I'm hoping you will help out with.