I thought it worthwhile mentioning a few words about my old JamesWiseman.com site.
In 2001 I took a 5 month sabbatical from work and went travelling. The destinations were New Zealand, Autralia, Singapore and Fiji, and its fair to say that I had a ball! Most people did not have a digital camera, but I went armed with my trusty 2001 Digital IXUS 300.
With this, I was able to take literally thousands of pictures. The law of averages won through, and some turned out spectacularly. When I got back, I sifted through the pictures and picked out the best.
Meanwhile, the previous owner of the domain name, a fellow in America who went by the name of Jimmy Wiseman, had seemingly lost interest, or had accidentally let this domain expire. I had been watching this for some time, and was in there like a shark. I snapped it up for three years as soon as I could.
So my first attempt at the site was a series of static HTML pages (generated by a program I had written, mind you). It was a load of pictures for people to look at, so I added a bit of navigation, and some text, and suddenly Google indexed it. Hooray!
By this time I had moved jobs and was starting to write ASP. At which point it occurred to me that I could do the site a whole lot better if I did it in something similar. PHP was available on my website host, so off I went. PHP.NET was a wonderful place to go for all the information I needed.
Then it became hassle to add new pictures. It was a lengthy process, so I set about writing my own interface to do this. I could upload pictures, set text, update my database, add pages, all at the click of a button. Before long I had a very crude content management system.
Then a few people wanted to buy my pictures. I had them published in magazines, and everything! Google accepted my site a valid publisher, and money started rolling in from their Adsense program.
I hacked around, bolted things on, extended, changed and fixed. I had a look at the code recently, and my word, its messy! But, that site taught me so much about web development, SEO, image management, image editing, watermarking and photo stitching. Even though I would do it all very differently today, I am still quite proud of it.
The old site is still hosted here, but by default this blog is now the root page of the site.