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Thunderbolt, 2 Years On

Thunderbolt is 2 years old today (20.11.02), and it’s come along way in that time. It all started in the Autumn of 2000, when I started to experiment with Microsoft FrontPage Express. I put together a site, and on 20th November 2000, Thunderbolt Version 1 went online.

The first, yellow, Thunderbolt was my first website and covered films, games, phones and websites. It had reviews on all of these subjects, but soon, the content was solely gaming related. The review submission form was one of the better parts of the site, as much of the design was inconsistent. Quite good for a first website, though.

Towards the end of 2000, Version 2 was uploaded, but was merely an updated version of the first one. It had a news section and a new front page, but not much had changed since the previous installment. It had a small section full of humorous pictures, which was one of the smaller improvements.

In the spring of 2001, I had a re-think about the design, and decided to overhaul the whole site. I had just started to use the full version of FrontPage, giving me more freedom and flexibility. The result was Version 3, which was far superior to the 2 previous, yellow Thunderbolts. It had a consistent design, better reviews, downloads, the news was updated regularly and it just looked and felt like a decent website. I also had two reviewers who were submitting content, which lightened my load considerably.

A few months ago, I again considered a change to the site. I had just acquired the Larrytech.net forums, as the owner was re-focusing his efforts towards Larrytech.biz, which is our current host. I decided to launch the new version and change host simultaneously. The humour and download sections were dropped, and the news would be updated more often. On 1st October 2002, Version 4, the current version, was launched. The new orange and white colour scheme was, in my opinion, better than the dull colour scheme of Version 3. A couple of weeks ago, I also added news and preview submission to the site.

Thunderbolt has evolved over the 2 years that its been online, and is still a non-profit website (the Amazon affiliation banner is to pay for the domain). The site gets more and more traffic every day, and continues to grow.

The future for Thunderbolt is uncertain, but expect it to stay around for at least another 2 years, as the domain has just been renewed. Version 4.5 is also being developed, but you won’t see that until after Christmas…

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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