As WordPress gears up to celebrate its 20th anniversary, I’ve ventured down memory lane and taken a look back at some of my early WordPress websites. But this begins before the birth of WordPress. The earliest website I built – that I can recall was launched before WordPress was created. Back in the good old days of just HTML, when tables were still used for layout, I built a personal site – DonnaFontenot.com – and this is what it looked like in December of 2002. That was 21 years ago!
Now, I gotta say, that was a pretty snazzy-looking website for that far back in the day. I’ll be honest, though. I don’t know if I came up with that design all on my own, or if I saw one similar that I liked and riffed off of it. My memory doesn’t extend that far back, but either way, I think it looks pretty snazzy. Except for that little break in the continuity of the bright yellow borders at the bottom right…I would imagine I probably tore my hair out trying to fix that and just eventually gave up. It probably was just that the length of the right column was too long. If I’d just shortened the text a little, that break might have fixed itself.
Much of the web looked similar to this in 2002. It’s not as terrible as it was just a couple of years before, and at the time, we all thought this was fairly snazzy too, but it kinda makes me wince a little now. (This was not my site. I just grabbed a random site from 2002 from the Wayback Machine).
Proof of Date
I’ve also included a screen capture, below, from the Wayback Machine to show the date that it took the screenshot of my site – just for proof that this was what it looked like on December 5th, 2002.
The Early Iconic Profile Pic
That image of me in the upper left corner of my old DonnaFontenot.com website was one I used on SEO forums that I participated in at the time. I can’t find proof of the image on the Wayback Machine, but I am 100% positive I used it on the SEOChat forum back in the day, under my forum nickname of DazzlinDonna. (Ugh, yes, I know that’s a groan-worthy name, but there are “reasons” it was used. Don’t ask). Most people called me DD back then to shorten it, and probably so they wouldn’t have to be too embarrassed to type Dazzlin all the time.
This is one of the the only “bits of proof” I have that I even existed on the SEOChat forum. I was a member and a moderator there in the early and mid 2000’s. There is also this mention of me as well from a wonderful man that we knew as G-Man (Geoffrey Faivre-Malloy) who sadly passed away in 2010.
Bringing It Back Home to WordPress
It’s been too difficult for me to find the earliest known site I ever created with WordPress. So instead, I’ll show one of my most well-known sites from back in the day, SEO Scoop. This screenshot is from mid-2008. And, in fact, you can see that down the page, I celebrated the 4th anniversary of SEO Scoop in June of that year. So obviously, I must have started SEO Scoop in June of 2004. I know for sure that it didn’t start out as a WordPress site. That probably happened a year or more later. In any case, despite archive.org not pulling in all the images for the SEO Scoop home page on that day, it’s still a pretty good screenshot of how the site looked as a WordPress site back then. I still kinda dig it.
Here are some closeups of that long screenshot.
Notice the post I wrote on June 18, 2008, about some new WordPress tool (new at the time) called EasyWP Installer. It no longer exists, of course, but I was apparently quite happy about discovering it back then. WordPress often rocked my world over the years, and there’s a bit of proof of that.
And Look – An Ad for Another of My Sites – eBuzzCoach.com
I just noticed a little ad in the sidebar of my SEO Scoop site for eBuzzCoach.com. That was my eBusiness Coaching site. Heres a screenshot of what that looked like back in 2008.
That’s an interesting one because it was a mix of a static non-WordPress website with a WordPress blog tacked onto it. I don’t recall why I did it that way. Maybe I was nostalgic for writing a bit of HTML but wanted the convenience of a dynamic blog? Who knows…
That’s my historical trip back in website time. Although that first DonnaFontenot.com site was one I still think looked cool even though it wasn’t a WordPress site, I’m ever so grateful that WordPress came into my life. It’s been an amazing journey and a life-changing one that gave me a career I’ve loved for two decades.