Nostalgia Time: Freewebs

I spent a lot of time on Neopets coding my own petpages, shop layouts, user layouts, and creating graphics and banners. Eventually I wanted to make a website of my own. For that, I turned to Freewebs. (which became sometime in 2008) is/was a free website builder/host. You could code your own websites using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I had an outlet for my energy, and I loved it. In 2008 alone, I created eight (8!) different website layouts.

Version 1 (April 2008)


This was the first layout I ever created. It’s very simple: just a background image and a couple of tables positioned at various points on the page. The font is only 10px because I was thirteen when I created this and had much better eyesight than I do now.

There was a page for my artwork, an about page, a page about what I was writing and the webcomic I was working on (called WHITECAT), and a news page, used solely for updates to the website. That’s not actually very different from what I have on this website right now.

Version 2 (May 2008)

One month later, I was apparently tired of the really boring brown layout. I decided to code a new layout, and this time, I decided there needed to be a landing page.


“Enter” took you to the actual freewebs site, “dA” took you to my deviantART account, “SJ” took you to my Smackjeeves profile, and “email” literally popped up a field to send me an email. I was thirteen. I didn’t know it was a bad idea.


This layout’s slightly more interesting than the previous one, isn’t it? The font, however, is still unforgivably small.

Version 3 (Early June 2008)

One month later, I decided to use a fancy piece of art as a website background. But before we get to that, here’s what the landing page now looked like:


One button. That took you to this:


Now that I’m actually looking at it, this layout was originally based on one of my Neopets’ petpages.

I added a message box and a visitor map, but there wasn’t much of a chance in website content otherwise.

Version 4 (Late June 2008)

This version had a really boring enter page, so I won’t post an image for that. The main layout now looked like this:


Yep, it’s also really boring. I think the major difference is that I added a link to Project XLVI, the main story I was working on at the time. As well as a link to my deviantART gallery where I posted artwork, there was also a characters page with a bunch of information that I apparently did not save anywhere else on my computer.

For the longest time, I thought I’d actually lost that information.

Version 5 (July 2008)

This landing page is also really boring. Here’s the layout:


Evidently I decided that a sidebar with links was boring, so I made a topbar with images.

Version 5.2 (July 2008)

Evidently I didn’t like the top banner. I somehow then decided that what my website needed was FRAMES:


I also found a page where I was writing information about my Neopets. Apparently I didn’t lose all the information like I thought I had.

Version 6 (20 August 2008)

This was essentially the same as version 5.2, but with a different color scheme:


Version 7 (29 August 2008)

This time, the landing page had links to different parts of the website: the main site, and the Project XLVI pages.


This is what the layout for both the Main Site & the Project XLVI pages looked like:


The background art is actually of two characters from Project XLVI. It’s really not a bad layout. I think it’s pretty aesthetically pleasing.

Version 8 (October 2008)

Version 8 went back to being really boring:


There were three background colors: light blue for the main site, purple for the Project XLVI pages, and green for the Neopets pages. I ended up keeping this layout for quite a while.

Version 9 (May 2009)


This layout was actually pretty exciting. I’d learned a bunch of stuff, like Javascript, and I wanted to use it. The buttons changed from light to dark when you moused over them!

I also created a page showing the previous layouts of the website, did away with the landing page, and created a new subpage for another story I was working on.

Version 10 (May 2010) & Version 11 (November 2010)

Then, for some reason, I went back to something extremely boring.


Version 11 is literally the same layout, just with a different color.

Version 12 (June 2011)


This is the final layout I created. I went back to the shiny mouseover buttons. It doesn’t look all that different to this website, does it?

I kind of miss not being able to do this anymore, but I don’t have any reason to, either – not just because of platforms like WordPress, but because I’m blogging so much lately. Static websites don’t work very well for blogs.

Next week, I’ll have a post up about my further adventures with coding websites!

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