The History of Xanthe.org
I first created Xanthe.org in 1998. I wanted my own archive of fanfiction, and my own domain name, which I wanted to be as simple as possible for people to access. Back then, there wasn’t much of a choice of domain name extensions, but Xanthe.org was still available, so I opted for that. It turned out to be an excellent decision! I’d never designed a web page before – as it was 1998, not many people had! But I was willing to learn, and I purchased Front Page to make it easy. I used that for a number of years – it wasn’t the best programme around, but I could understand it, and it always worked for me. I’m not very ‘tecchie’ but somehow I’ve learned how to muddle through over the years.
In 2009, I became aware that my site was starting to look old-fashioned. However, I was doing so much writing that I didn’t have time to work on a revamp, and I wasn’t sure where to start. In 2011, when I was laid up with a broken ankle, I left a message asking for help on an E-fiction forum, and Jacci contacted me almost instantly. It turned out that she’d been a big fan of my stories for years, and couldn’t wait to get stuck in to redesigning Xanthe.org. I still can’t believe my luck in finding that forum at that time and that she saw my message! We became good friends as a result of working on the site together, and make a great team.
We opened Xanthe.org as an E-Fiction site in October 2011, with a lovely new look designed by Bluespirit, and some great new features including a forum where people could chat. Jacci then went on to create the Xanthe Walter website for my original fiction, and as a result we both realised we wanted to move Xanthe.org from being an E-fiction site over to WordPress. This was a massive job! But Jacci did it fantastically, as always, putting in a massive amount of hard work, and now we are all set for the future. Hopefully any new changes will be cosmetic! Those of you who have visited my site for many years might enjoy a trip down memory lane to browse through some of the site’s old looks, featured below.
The early look was basically a white page with red and blue links, and some graphics made for me by talented people like Sean Spencer and Sergeeva:
I did a revamp some time in 2000, changing from the garish red and blue look into something a bit more cohesive. CDavis helped provide many of the graphics:
In November 2002, I did a complete redesign and moved onto a cream and purple theme designed for me by Sergeeva that I kept for nearly ten years, until moving to the E-fic site in 2011:
In April 2004, I held my 500,000th hit celebration. This was a lot of fun and both myself and several friends and readers contributed stories for it. To be honest, the hit counter has been lost so many times over the past fifteen years in various snafus and revamps that I have no idea how many hits the site has had over the whole period, but it must be many millions by now.
Other site graphics from this time period:
In September 2011, a rework of Xanthe.org commenced moving from html coded pages to the efiction script that would allow reviews, better navigation etc etc on the site. The rotating headers showing various different slash pairings were designed by Bluespirit. The new look was launched on the 3rd October, 2011.
On June 28th, 2013, we got WordPressed! This was a huge amount of work, but it meant that the site was in a much better format going forward. We also added download options for podfics, translations and e-pub formats. The look was updated, but the most important feature of this development was the functionality. It took us a huge amount of time and work to get the site into this format, but we felt it was worth it as once done, the functionality would remain in place, so the only things that needed to change were to give the site an occasional facelift going forward. Which is what we did in September 2014 to the look you currently see today!