My First Website

Recently I tasked myself to write my story, explaining how I became a WordPress developer. The story started with college, but in reminiscing, I actually found screenshots of the first website I ever created, years earlier.

Why Make a Website?

I grew up playing hockey in Anchorage, and in the hockey world, leaving home to play at a “prestigious” prep school was all the rage. It wasn’t easy, but I convinced my parents to let me apply to a boarding school in Lake Forest, Illinois.

I was 14 years old, in the eighth grade, and the year was 2001. In putting together my application package, one of the requirements was to create what they called an Athletics and Arts Supplement. So I designed this little gem of a website utilizing MS Paint for the heavy graphic work, and built it in Frontpage. The idea was that it showed I was a little, technology go-getter and highlighted my hockey talents.

First Iteration

Believe it or not, this epic beauty of a website had two iterations, before it was ready for submission. Of course, my first iteration featured a fancy, splash entrance page. — And before you ask, yes, I actually put the shoulder of my hockey jersey in the scanner.

First website screenshots

First website screenshots

Second Iteration

It may have taken the rest of the Internet nearly ten more years to figure out that having a splash page with an “Enter” button, as your site’s homepage, was horrible for usability. But somehow, I figured this out a couple days after the first iteration, of my first website, in middle school. Sorry, Internet; I know that’s a low blow.

So not only did my second version have more a usable and practical structure, it also included some epic graphical detail. You see, in 2001, you couldn’t just Google “background textures” and get a bunch of free web design resource websites. Or if you could, I obviously didn’t know about it.

In the screenshots below, notice the little squares with varying shades of grey in the background of the main content? And the grey lines over the left image? And all of the other timeless graphical nuances? Yup, that was all done in good ‘ol MS Paint.

First website screenshots

First website screenshots

First website screenshots

First website screenshots

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