|The History of dosgames.com|
It begins ...
This site was officially opened on January 7th 1999. Back then, there were only about 30 games. Also, I didn't have the www.dosgames.com URL ... the "official" URL was dos.gamespage.com which redirected to www.inforamp.net/~biglarr/dosgames/index.html. (Hosted on the free space we get with our old ISP. That page isn't there anymore.) The original design was quite ugly ... uglier even than the current one. ;) (Click in the yellow box above to see some early designs of the site.) The first design used frames (ick!) and there was a big frame across the bottom for the banner ad. For the first two weeks or so, the site wasn't exactly popular ..... I had trouble surpassing the 50 visitors per day mark, mostly because I wasn't seriously interested in promoting the site, it was just a little hobby/time-waster.
It grows (not meant in any obscene way)
On February 7th 1999, exactly one month after opening, the DOS Games Page surpassed the 100 games mark in its archive. Around this same time, due to the success of the page, I started to consider registering the dosgames.com domain name. At the time, $70 to register the name of a site that was generating about 5 bucks per month in revenue seemed like a lot of cash! :)
On February 11th 1999, the domain www.dosgames.com was officially registered with InterNIC. A few days later, the DOS Games Page moved from its former "domain", dos.gamespage.com to www.dosgames.com, where it currently resides. The site's first host was Digital Space, which I still recommend ... they provide generally good service for the cheapest price on the web ($2/month!). I only moved the site so I could get more storage space to store all the games locally.
On February 28th 1999, I began copying files from the slow and sometimes busy ftp.cdrom.com server (and other slow FTP servers) to other http servers to make downloading easier and faster for www.dosgames.com visitors ... I completed the transistion shortly after. I stored 10megs worth of files in the inforamp.net free space to make downloading go faster for all you lucky users.
After a short break ...
Between February and April, the site continued to grow and become popular. I'm glad that I registered the domain name! I think I was getting about 400 visitors a day at this point from various sources, but I'm not exactly sure.
On April 7th 1999, the first redesign of the site was completed. Actually, many areas remained much the same, but the frame was removed (replaced with tables, woo), the front page was redesigned, and there were some other minor changes/additions. The second redesign is still over a year away at this point. :)
On April 27th 1999, the DOS Games Email service was officially launched, after some "slight" delays. (I'm still not sure if it was my fault or BigMailBox's.) I kept records of these sort of things, so they MUST be important ..... yeah.
On May 4th 1999, the conversion of the game listings to the new format was completed. It was a long and boring task, but it was worth it, because the listings now look much better and are easier to navigate. Since that time I redesigned them a couple more times, but you can see all of the old styles from that link. Hopefully you'll agree that they newest style is the best. If not, send your complaints here.
On August 21st 1999, the "Online Store" opened where you could buy games that WERE commercial but licensed to Download Store. After a couple months (and after sending hundreds of clicks) I earned about two bucks in commissions, so I removed it. :P (Here I learned that commission based advertising doesn't work well on this site!)
Then DOS Games hit the big time ...
In December 1999, I decided to move to a new host so that all games could be stored locally. The move was initiated in early January 2000, and on Saturday January 22nd 2000 the dosgames.com domain name was moved over to CFM Web Host. All games were hosted locally on our server there. I unfortunately cannot recommend that host, for reasons I really don't wish to get into. If you want to join them, that's your choice, but I would recommend considering Tera-Byte or the current dedicated host of dosgames.com, ServerMatrix instead.
Sometime in March 2000 I posted the new design of dosgames.com ... well, the front page of it anyways. I planned to have the rest of the site converted in a couple days, but it ended up taking longer than that ... about a month or two longer. :) Hey, it's not my fault that I had University of Guelph exams and stuff eating up all my time. Well, it sort of is, but ..... I think the wait was worth it, though.
Late July 2000, I signed a contract with About.com. They became the ad broker for the site. I can't discuss the terms of the deal because of their strict NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) but I wisely retained full ownership and control of the site. (Approximately a year later About closed their advertising division and I went back with BurstMedia as my main ad provider. But I did get a About.com hat out of the deal ^_^)
Early August 2000, I received a call from my former host, telling me I had gone way over my alloted bandwidth for the previous few months. Of course he neglected to tell me of this until an additional full 3 months had passed with bandwidth usage at roughly the same levels ... BUT that's another story. :) So I quickly signed up with a new host (Tera-Byte) and after almost two weeks of trying desperately to get Network Solutions to transfer my domain name dosgames.com was back in action. Woo! :)
Late December 2000, started working on a new design for the site. Little did I know how much work it would take to convert all of the pages over to my new look for dosgames.com! Eventually in Jan 2001 the new design was finished, including the new About.com ad setup.
The site was officially dropped from the "Luna Network" (the About.com ad network) on Feb 28th 2001.
March 20 2001, I put up links to the DOS Games Store, which is where you can buy shirts, mugs, mousepads, etc. with dosgames.com on them. So far there have been a grand total of 5 buyers! (Including me and my dad ... hehe.)
At this point (November 2001) the site currently receives around 4,000 unique visitors each day, and serves up about 45,000 pageviews each day!
In late December of 2001, I started working on a new design for the site ... again. Perhaps this will be a yearly event! Or not. But anyways, the new design was completed and uploaded December 21 2001! Hope you like it! :)
During early January 2003 (woah, over a year since I last updated this page) a significant event occured. The site was moved off of a shared hosting account (where the server was shared with dozens of other websites) to its own RAQ4 server hosted by 4WebSpace, which it shares only with a handful of other small sites that I run. This means improved speed, more bandwidth (so I can host some rare games myself), and generally a better experience for you! :)
July 2003: On our new server (mentioned above) we now host over 30 games, which are AFAIK not available for free download anywhere else on the web. Also hosted on my server is dosgamesonline.com, another cool site dedicated to DOS games.
June 17th 2005: After a hard drive crash, the data on the web server was temporarily lost. My previous host was able to get most of it back, and after a short period of inoperability the site came back online.
January 2005: Well, another year, another new server! :) After two years of great service from my previous host, another server move was required, and the new server is a Super Server 2.4 from Server Matrix.
March 16 2005: Over 400 games are now available on DOSGames.com! Many of these are (AFAIK) not available anywhere else on the web.
Is that it? Is it all over?
Um, I hope not. :) The game archive is now over 400 games, and there are still hundreds more out there that aren't on the site yet. ..... Um, I guess that's it, the only part left is the "About Me" part ...
Wow, didn't see that coming. :) Hmmm, what to say? Probably better to visit my vanity domain at emmzee.com instead ... you can jump right to he About Me page if you want.
Anyways that's all, go back to downloading games!
Old Guestbook thing is below ... at one time it was cool (back in, say, 1999) but now it's here more of a historical relic than for its usefulness. It used to be on the front page but since now its more of a target for s-p-a-m than anything else, its now here. :)