Site History 1999
Quite a few changes this month, a mini overhaul. The ability to suggest the site to a friend was introduced. Starting to enter the major search engines. The British magazine .NET reviewed the site. This history was created retrospectively. There were now 450 puzzles on-line. Quote of the Week was removed, this section was redundant and wasted space. The site's fonts were standardised, the question marks were made Arial and the title text Comic Sans MS. The award was created to allow other sites to promote themselves as quick sites - awarded to us! Disclaimer added. Joined three more web rings; Brainteaser Webring; Puzzle Lovers Webring; The Award Ring. All BrainBashers Internet page designs and graphics were copyrighted more clearly and the puzzles marked accordingly. The site was becoming more popular with the American education authorities, as well as being on the recommended list of sites for the British education authorities.
The site's description and META tags were modified in an attempt to rank more highly in the search engines. The 'All' button was added. The 500th puzzle was added, a little landmark.
The site finally received the ultimate accolade - its own domain [www.brainbashers.com]. A permanent home forever more, the search engine work had to be done again though, never again! Question Of The Week was changed to be a true/false type of question.
A new section added, Puzzle Of The Month, allowing users to post their answers. A style was introduced to remove the underlined links on the left pane menu and onMouseOver was used to improve the look and feel of the site's links. The puzzles were used for the Calgary Youth Science Fair and Team Challenge '99. The HTML was reassessed and optimised for speed, removing unnecessary tables and unrequired graphics.
Added the email link on the left hand pane. Some of the site's pages were moved to another server as the current one was approaching the 1 gigabyte data transfer limit per month. There were now 350 unique referrers. Major bug introduced that prevented any Netscape users from accessing the site. The problem went unnoticed for 4 days! Changed titles and descriptions again to aid search engines.
Created the BrainBashers Web Ring. Created a child friendly version called BrainTicklers, all links were removed and only the puzzles were accessible. Started the quest to find a name for the forthcoming mascot.
Finally entered Yahoo after months of trying, also in the top 10 of 8 major search engines. There were now 525 unique referrers. Changed the look of the BrainBashers title bar. Removed the BrainBashers award, the site is really only about puzzles therefore the award was not required. Small changes to the available links in the left hand pane. Altered the links section to make the distinctions clearer and added a special featured links section for sites with whom BrainBashers has special arrangements.
Changed the site to a new host, Web-Choice, one that supports ASP and databases. The puzzles were rewritten to incorporate database access. This allowed easier website maintenance. However, for about three days the site was largely unavailable as the Internet updated itself. Some of the features of the site were removed, such as suggest and the mascot was abandoned due to lack of time. Search was added and the puzzle selection interface was created, the left hand links were adjusted accordingly. The CGI scripts were changed to use only BrainBashers scripts that interface with Windmail. The site was entirely contained with the BrainBashers domain for the first time ever. There were now 660 unique referrers, with users from over 120 different countries.
Changed the Question Of The Week's notification method, previously the system sent an email for each response. The system now writes the information to a database that is analysed each week. This will eventually be automated. Added the ability to choose the number of puzzles shown on the search page. Added the puzzles' reference number to the answer, to clarify which answer is being viewed. The newsletter option was added, this wrote the user's email to a DSN-less connection database. Added a link within the answer pane that allowed the user to view the answer for 60 seconds instead of the auto-refresh based upon the length of the answer.
The site was 2 years old this month. Reduced the puzzles to 5 new ones per week, all unique, all written by Kevin Stone. Puzzle Of The Month was removed due to lack of interest and finding a suitable puzzle each month. Re-launched the entire site with a new look and feel, exactly two years since the first incarnation. Thanks are extended to John Morton for the new design. Removed the newsletter due to lack of time. Changed the puzzle reference number to be a random code. There were now 865 unique referrers.
Introduced illustrated puzzles. Moved the domain to a more efficient provider, Asch Web Hosting. Found a very old version of Puzzles4U, the site BrainBashers evolved from. Achieved another landmark, 1000 unique users each day, making the site one of the busiest in the world. Introduced the Postcard feature. Achieved a personal goal by having some puzzles commissioned for a national UK newspaper, The Express, as a result of which a local newspaper, The Sentinel, ran a full page spread about the site. There were now 939 unique referrers.
Added the floating BB gizmo. Removed the postcard feature. Added the wonderful enhanced graphical feature in the top right hand corner.
Quite a busy month. Changed the floating gizmo to Santa for Christmas. Added the tracking system. Added the ability to email puzzles to a friend. Modified the original BrainBashers secret from a simple page to a secret puzzle and added another secret. Added a system to vote for puzzles. Introduced a 'Top 10' based upon the votes passed. Introduced a new 404 system. Introduced some simple error trapping to trap for data errors. Wrote the URL jump tracker to determine the exits points from the site. Created the favicon.ico for IE5. Added 'Think Of A Number'. Changed host back to Web-Choice due to extreme problems with Asch Web Hosting. Removed the 404 system as the new host did not support the feature. There were now 1200 unique referrers.