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A Short History of this Website

Despite owning this domain since early 2000, the website spent a couple of its early years with an ever-so-unconvincing 'under construction' message perched on the homepage. For those curious enough to wonder what I've been doing behind the scenes over the years, here is a short history of the website's evolution.

Development is listed in reverse-date order.

March 2009. At last - 1024x768! The site was beginning to quite dated with a 'thin' 800x600 design for older computers. The new width makes for much easier reading. The graphic design received some small updates, with the use of more subtle colours and the addition of the UK flag. Lastly, links to my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles were added to the navigation. Version 2.7.

March 2006. I added a new 'Links' section, mainly in response to the growing number of blogs out there. Version 2.6.

December 2005. I arrived in Mexico City in October 2005 to begin an 18-month voluntary work placement to design and develop a website with a Christian missionary organisation. In keeping with my long-term desire to add a blog to my website, I used my Christmas break in Mexico to update my website a bit more, and add a blog, courtesy of I also removed the picture of my (once-beloved, now sold) Mini Cooper from the masthead, and replaced it with a photo of the Mexican flag, which I photographed in the Zócolo, in Mexico City in the October. The addition of the blog has been very handy, as it provides me with an easy way to keep the website up-to-date, without too much code-work. Welcome to version 2.5.

December 2004. After completing an MSc (2003), and working as an in-house web developer for LRQA ever since, I redesigned this website to bring it into conformance with best coding practice. Apart from updating my portfolio, no additional content has been added, though because of the re-structuring of the code beneath, I am calling this version 2.0 of the website. Enjoy.

April 2002. On 25th April, after two long years of waiting and development, my website finally went live. On a note of acknowledgement, this was also the diamond wedding anniversary of my grandparents, Douglas and Hilda Thompson, married on this day in 1942. So like a great ship setting sail, I dedicated the launch of this website to them.

January 2002. Having returned to the midlands at Christmas, I produced my first freelance website, a 2 week project involving full marketing consultation and development. It is on the tail ends of this project, that work on the final release - version 1.0 - of this website began. I moved to more technically competent servers, and started to learn PHP - allowing me to develop what I wanted to achieve from the start - a scalable, well structured website.

A laptop computer with a picture of my old website on it.

April 2001. Working evenings & weekends, turning friends away, I laboured to produce a beta website exhibiting my gallery of work. However, I was unsatisfied with its technical implementation, and put the project on ice. This also lead into a period of development for an exciting new website for my university, so I was again unable to commit the time.

December 2000. Seeing a cut-down version of my original website-vision as the only practical way forward, I studio photographed my porfolio of design work, seeing that an exhibition of my work would be my first achievable and worthy step. This now forms the basis of much of my porfolio.

June 2000. I completed my degree. However, on virtue of my small February contribution to the web-world (and past graphic design experience), I secured a job as a graduate web developer at my university. This fantastic career break brought me the skills I needed to develop truly scalable websites, meeting user needs and design sensibilities. Now I just had no time to produce anything.

March - June 2000. Realising that a website needs more than a cute picture, I set about producing a full-featured site about myself, with bio, interests, gallery, chat rooms, e-commerce and so forth (as you do). Nevertheless, I soon came to realise that I had neither the know-how or the time to finish this. I had unleashed my greatest anathema to the world - a homepage full of dead links! It was quickly removed. Though, I have kept a back-up of the unfinished masterpiece, for memory's sake.

February 2000. I put up my first test site, I was over the moon by my achievements (though I'm not sure others were quite so impressed).

January 2000. Purchased domain name.

November 1999. In my final year at university (in a totally unrelated subject), I considered making a personal website 'for fun'. I had a background in graphic design, but absolutely no experience of web design.