Coaster101 Turns 6 Years Old

Six years ago today Coaster101 began as a small Freewebs website. Since then, we have experienced tremendous growth, and we owe a lot of that growth to our faithful readers. As always, we are grateful for and humbled by your continued support of the site. We look forward to another successful year.

Below you’ll find a short history of Coaster101 that was posted on our fourth birthday:

“It’s hard to believe that has been online since June 15th, 2005. Four years ago, I saw a link to a Freewebs website… at that moment I realized how simple it was to create a website – something I had been wanting to do for a while. I have to admit it was a pretty sad attempt at a website. Nothing too special, some hot linked images from other websites, a cheesy web poll, and I believe a bravenet-hosted discussion forum. The site didn’t have a grand debut. But on July 4th, 2005, I purchased the domain name – making the site official. But a domain name does not guarantee success. I got a couple of folks to brainstorm with me on ventures for the site to look into in the future… unfortunately they did not pan out. But these weren’t all bad times, we got the chance to interview the Gravity Group which was a huge step in the site’s success.

However, by the end of 2005 we had gained some awareness by becoming an important part of the Save Libertyland! campaign. Though saving the park was unsuccessful, the entire process taught me some good lessons about the web: what to add to a website, how to lure in new members, etc. I try of late 2005 and early 2006 as our “learning period”. I worked with the look of the site, the logo, and of course the features. I’ve always said from the day I began the site, I wanted it to be created around our members. I’ve always wanted to cater to them. During this period, I tried to bulk up our forum by engaging the members in discussions about… coasters.

The latter half of 2006 were some rough times for the site. Despite a growing member base and a new layout, we were slammed when a calendar deal fell through. But we weren’t down for long… in March of 2007 we landed a ticket-giveaway contest deal with Dollywood, bringing an insane level of new people to the site… over 300 actually. 2007 was a great year for the site, actually. I believe 2007 was a huge year for our forums. We had new members and a lot of great discussions, everything was going good. Our gallery was being updated frequently, we had new videos, and we even scored a couple interviews in the beginning of 2008.

July of 2008 brought the biggest change the site had seen. I made the tough decision to leave Freewebs for something that would give me more freedom. By mid-July Coaster101 “aero” had launched. The site was new from top to bottom. New forums, new gallery, new videos, little was leftover from the old website. With this new setup gave us more options. We’ve been able to use a more dynamic layout and add a ton of features we never had before. 2009 brought many great new things. We interviewed Tony of the Cedar Point On Point! blog, something we never saw happening four years ago!

If the site lasts four more years will I look back at this and laugh? Probably. But really all the thanks goes to our loyal members and staff, who have re-registered, re-uploaded photos to our galleries, and have truly kept the site alive. I am truly humbled.”

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