My first website was static text on the free webspace of my ISP, I-Way, and went online in January 1999. It’s hard to believe it was only just over a decade ago, things are so different now. Back then it was code your own HTML and smack in the middle of the browser wars.
After a few moves between ISPs and a brief excursion into dynamic DNS – especially in the early days of ADSL I settled on a move to Demon, an ISP that provided a static IP address, mainly to make it easier to get to my home servers (where Felicity was working on documentation for the same company so occasionally needed replication pushed).
ChapmanCentral is the name I chose when I first registered myself a domain name. Chapman was already taken (in various TLDs) by a paper maker and others and I had some ideas of making a site usable by members of the extended family (which of course I never did, though now it could be used for that if anyone but me cared).
The first version of my ChapmanCentral website went up some time around 2002, I believe, and I converted to a content management system I wrote in Lotus Domino in March of 2003. In those days the domain was chapmancentral.com (and org and net), but due to a combination of circumstances I lost access to the domain tags when I changed employers so continued using what had been registered as a secondary domain in 2004. By the time I was aware of the problem the domains had been stolen by domain squatters and I’ve never had the energy to fight for them back.
By 2006 my own site was the only place I was actively doing any Domino development so in July 2007 I started rebuilding the site using MediaWiki software – as a Wikipedia sysop this was the framework that was most familiar to me and I didn’t have a whole lot of time to learn a new system. These days I think I could probably have achieved the desired resultÂ in WordPress using page inheritance and so on. By September 2007 I had decided that migrating all the content was too big a task so I cut over with what I had, leaving the old site online on http port 8080 and setting up a redirect in my Apache configuration so that links to the /web/public.nsf database were rewritten to port 8080.
In September 2010 I finally moved hosting to a third party, DreamHost. The MediaWiki export and import features moved the content across but I had to kludge the images using a maintenance script. I wrote an agent to write content of Domino pages in MediaWiki XML format (impoerfectly, but it was not enough of a problem to spend more than a couple of hours on it), so finally finished content migrations.
Unfortunately without a Private Server (additional cost) I can’t continue to serve port 8080, which will leave some inbound links broken. C’est la vie.