February, 2004

Shakespeare Resource Center screen shot from February, 2004

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Back in 2001, the goal was to design a website with a longer shelf life that also incorporated better usage of style sheets in order to make future updates easier. Mission accomplished. The previous version went essentially untouched for over two years after taking around 120 man-hours to redesign and implement. And this incarnation took around 10 hours to design and 6 to implement.

The biggest change was adding the "News and Reviews" feed on the home page. I'm still tweaking the query out as time goes on, since Shakespeare gets brought up in all kinds of news stories that have nothing to do at all with the nature of this site, but it seems to be working well enough for the time being.

The site itself keeps surprising me. Out of nearly 7,000,000 Google results on the simple search of "Shakespeare," the Shakespeare Resource Center is now up to #9 on the rankings, making it onto the first results page. Again, as this has been overwhelmingly through word of mouth, I am as pleased as I am puzzled. I guess if you stick with something for this long, it's bound to pick up a few fans here and there. The figures below show how much the site has picked up in traffic:

  • 1997 - 2001: 505,641 visitors
  • 2002: 478,934 visitors
  • 2003: 702,071 visitors

Much as I'd like to say this was planned growth, let's face it; I never thought the site would still be alive this far down the road, much less thriving. By thriving, of course, I mean that the site is actually paying for its own hosting costs. Hey, if I wanted to get rich, I would've built a nudie site instead.

Speaking of which, I just did a comparison of searches on Google. Here are the results:

"Porn" 83,700,000
"Nude" 74,200,000
"Shakespeare" 6,110,000
"Shakespeare +porn" 102,000
"Shakespeare +nude" 74,900
"Shakespeare +porn +nude" 36,200

See? There's really no market in it, as the two don't really mix. Besides, this is a family website. So I guess I'll just settle for being wildly popular, which is ultimately more rewarding than being rich anyway. Well, not really, but it's all I've got going for me at the moment.

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