I remember the first live website I ever built. It was the summer of 2001, and I was finally allowed to surf the Internet to my heart's content - before that bandwidth was too precious to be squandered on aimless browsing. One of the first things I did with my newfound freedom was open a Homestead.com account and start tinkering with web pages. I had some experience with MS FrontPage, but this was different and exciting: build the entire thing online! Get a free subdomain! Visit your site from any computer connected to the Internet! "Yes," I thought, "I'll make a website for that club I founded at school."
Shortly after I started, my host decided to limit the number of free pages one could create to a measly three - but that didn't deter me at all. I sketched out multiple layouts on paper until I'd found the perfect design, then put it all together in the drag-and-drop editor. The website was named 'Home 4 Animals', and the three sections were 'living room' (home/welcome page), 'hallway' (notices and announcements) and 'study' (membership list and club history). The tiled 'wallpaper' (background) was a pink and yellow wheat design painstakingly drawn using the airbrush tool in MS Paint. The site would have been almost decent, if it weren't for the hosts of flapping, hopping 3D animal GIFs from AnimationFactory.com that slowed the load time down to a crawl!
Eleven years on, Homestead.com and AnimationFactory.com are still alive and largely unchanged, but I'm sort of glad my abomination of a first effort no longer exists. If the interwebs have taught me anything, it's that it's perfectly OK to mess things up as long as you learn from it and move on. So move on I did.
Companion piece alert!
- Mingyu's Project Box (project)