10 Years - The Changing Face of ScriptSpot
One thing that has changed dramatically from the early days of ScriptSpot is the interface. The original site was basically a glorified Excel file displayed in a web browser - there was no ranking, no searching, no comments and no way to add content. When ScriptSpot started I had no idea it would grow into the community it has thus the interface has changed with the needs of the site. With more and more content we needed a better way to filter out what we didn't want, a better way to search, a way to communicate and a way to participate.
Here's a look back at the different faces of ScriptSpot starting with the oldest screenshot I could find (2001) but this is also what it looked like on it's debut in 2000.
The very first version of ScriptSpot. This started out as an Excel file that I was using to keep track of the scripts I was interested in. Then I thought it'd be cool if I could access the Excel file online which turned out to be the wrong way to go about solving the problem. So I moved the data to Microsoft Access (a database program part of Office), threw together some poorly written ASP webpages and ScriptSpot was born. The most memorable problem back in those days is I had no way of updating the data online. I'd download the entire Access database from the server via FTP (back then it was at least a couple MB, maybe as much as 10MB) which would take a good 10+ minutes. Then I'd edit the Access data on my computer and re-upload the Access file to the server. LOL.
Test interface never released but the basis of the next version. New logo too.
New UI released and kept relatively unchanged until late '03)
New Logo. UI Refreshed.
UI Refreshed. RSS feeds added. Started rewrite & adaptation of ScriptSpot to entirely new, open source system. Hired a developer to help with the transition.
Entirely new site launched - all data was migrated into the open source content management system - drupal 4. Migrating to drupal was a monumental task but enabled future growth. The first year was especially rough - the UI left a lot to be desired and functionality sometimes wasn't as intuitive as it should have been. The new site was launched with a series of "RE-launch" contests & prizes.
Site upgraded to Drupal 6. In the process we moved away from the custom black UI to a more standards compliant light UI that you're seeing today. The move to Drupal 6 fixed many small problems, and made the site more usable than before. One enhancement that will have the most lasting effect is moving the search technology to another server that provides a much better search experience and performance. This change is what enables new search filters, the "related discussion" block and the "more like this" block.