My very first Juventus fansite was "The Unofficial Juventus
site". The first version of the site came online sometime
in 1997. It was then hosted somewhere on Geocities.
Back then it was rather small and limited. Nor was it overwhelmingly
popular. However, some people still seem to remember it after
all this time. It was fun as long as it lasted but then I got
tired of updating the site, especially since hardly anyone came
to see it anyway.
Since the early days I have been doing many different sites.
However, I did not want another Juve site, since it would be
a drag to update every week. Thus I continued doing other sites
that required little or no manual updates.
about February 2000 I started experimenting with the new flash
technology from Macromedia
and I realized I felt like doing a Juve related project. The
site was born under the name "The Juventus FC fan site"
and was all in flash (right). Though it was a bigger success
than the very first site, it was not spectacular. Since it didn't
have to be updated, there was no news updated regularly, no
match info, fixtures etc.
The main features of the site back then was a quite pleasant
look, some dynamic pages, like the line-up falling into place
etc, as well as a large sections of wallpapers by the webmaster.
However, it was no big hit and it was time to move on.
next Juve site of mine had a flash intro, but the main content
was html. The new site was focused on graphical design and was
divided into two versions. The low end version (left) was fitted
exactly to the user's 800*600 pixel resolution monitor. The
graphics were limited and it was designed to load rather rapidly
for those who might have a slow internet connection or an old
high end version (right) of the site was designed to have a
more stylish look. It took a little longer to load and it was
fitted to the user's 1024*768 pixel resolution. The content
of the site was much of the same that was before. Some new section
were added, however, including articles, topsites, updated match
results and more. By this time the site had become more popular
and traffic was growing. It was now hosted at Soccerfans
500 and it attracted around 20-30 visitors per day.
order to expand, it was necessary to make it more content intensive.
A frequently updated news section was added, as well as many
other features. You will also discover that from this point
on, the site changed to a lighter look. I abanded large portions
of the formerly customary black color.
It was around this time that it was accepted into the Socceralliance
and moved to their server. It was first designed for the 800*600
resolution, but then it was changed to a 1024*768 pixel version.
The content was much the same and the look was familiar. By
this time the site had grown considerably, it had been online
for a few months and people started to recognize it. The traffic
at that time was about 60-70 visitors per day.
again the site was remodeled, this time to accomodate the many
features that were now available. By this time it contained
a good news section, including fan articles, info about matches,
including match reports and previews, a history section, multiple
user features, such as a free email account and countless other
elements. It had been a long journey since the first Juve site.
The strong points of the site were now a very popular prediction
game, a topsites for good Juve sites, a brand new juve forums
for intense discussions, a large wallpaper archive, image gallery
The site now attracted over 600 visitors a day and had grown
to be one of the largest Juventus fan sites on the net. It existed
in its current version for more than 6 months and had become
quite a hit among many Juve supporters.
Heading into the 21st century
history shows, the site was remodeled a number of times throughout
its existence. And while it was sometimes a result of wanting
to add a feature which the existing design wouldn't allow,
it was mostly down to me not being quite happy with how the
site looked, so I changed it several times. In its seventh
version I finally decided I was happy with how it looked and
that it would stay that way for a long time.
Dec 31 2000, we added a forum to the site but unfortunately
there are no screenshots from the forum. The forum was powered
and we ran it for about 6 months but along the way we faced
problems of instability and data loss. Posts were lost at times
when the forum crashed and it seemed the software wasn't quite
mature enough. However, this was still a very memorable period
since it was the first beginnings of our forum and we had
very few members. Along the way it evolved and grew and we
reached the milestone of 10,000 posts within 6 months.
remedy the problems of Ikonboard, in 2001 the forum was upgraded
to run on vBulletin,
a tried and tested software package used by many large forum
sites. The forum design also underwent a change from being
based on black/white/grey tones to adopt a blue/white format.
However, at the time there was no way to convert all our posts
from Ikonboard to vBulletin, so the very first posts and the
early history of the forum was lost in the upgrade.
Since then we have had considerable growth for both the forum
and the site as a whole. As of 2002 it has been the largest
Juventus fan site known to us, while the forum has attracted
lots of members since our modest beginnings. As I write this
now, our forum has 2000 registered members and we have surpassed
350,000 posts since the forum was opened. The site is now
4 years old and I hope to be able to keep it running forever.
Transfer of ownership (added November 2009)
After 5 years of running this site I had unfortunately burned out. Running a site, even a low maintenance one, takes a certain commitment. There is news to update, new content to conceive of, a forum to run, and above all ensure that the site is in good working order at all times. This had become a burden that was not sustainable in the long run. We also had intermittent problems with hosting given that the site (mainly through forum traffic) kept growing and it was more and more difficult to ensure that it performed well.
Clearly I did not wish the site to die, I had poured huge amounts of effort into it after all, not to mention there was a buzzing community of Juve fans who had all found each other in this common place and made it their home. I searched for ways in which it could survive without me, and finally the decision was made to offer the site up to a new owner. We had a somewhat formal bidding process and the site was sold, and thus my involvement ended.
Martin Nathell became the new owner and has run the site ever since. I could not be happier about the fact that after 9 years the site is still running, albeit mostly reduced to a forum now, but that has been the most valuable feature ever since it was introduced.
Yours truly sitefounder/former webmaster,
Last update: November 2009