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Site history

Early beginnings

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.

Comeback

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.

Around 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.

Two versions

The 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 monitor.

The 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.

Content intensive

In 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.

Modern times

Once 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 and more.

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

As 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 by Ikonboard 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.

To 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,

Martin Matusiak


Last update: November 2009