A Decade Online, Coaster101 Turns 10
Ten years ago today, I started a small website about roller coasters. I had been pondering the idea of having a website for some time, but didn’t know how to get started. Being only 13 years old at the time, I had limited knowledge and resources. I assumed it would be something I’d do when I was older. That was until I learned that you could start your own website “for free” thanks to Freewebs (now just Webs.com).
So on June 15, 2005, Coaster101 was born as Freewebs.com/Coaster101. A few weeks later, I registered the Coaster101.com domain name.
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. To say I was a “novice” webmaster would be generous. Within the first month online, I believe I broke every web guideline or standard that existed in 2005. From image leeching to grammatical errors galore, it was obvious that an amateur was behind the wheel.
But as time progressed, so did my skills and understanding of what it meant to run a website.
Even in the embarrassing early days, I knew I wanted to make Coaster101 a place that anyone who had the slightest interest in roller coasters and the amusement industry could come to learn or just explore. I wanted to welcome coaster lovers of any degree.
I lugged my camera to every park I visited, making sure the website was never lacking in new photos. I scoured the internet for coaster-related news to share. I interviewed any industry expert or leader who would take the time to talk with me (and I thank them for that).
Slowly but surely, the website grew.
But I can only take credit for starting Coaster101. I owe the website’s growth and success to a dedicated team of writers (past and present) who have volunteered countless hours to contribute fascinating, insightful and one-of-a-kind content to the website. Living in a “roller coaster desert,” I’m limited in the on-the-ground coverage I can offer. Without this team’s dedication, Coaster101 would have shriveled and disappeared into the internet black hole long ago.
I owe this special milestone to them. Nick, Larry, Kyle, Andrew, Eric, Neil, Mike and everyone else who has contributed even a photo to the website — I thank you.
Over the past decade, Coaster101 has grown from a sad sliver of the roller-coaster website universe to a site that I’m very proud of. Coaster101 is by no means the biggest, baddest or best. And we have no desire to be. We’re a team of roller coaster enthusiasts who enjoy sharing our passion with you, our reader.
Most importantly, I owe a thank you to our readers who support this operation. From veteran readers to first-time visitors, we are grateful for every set of eyes that lands on the website. Your support gives our work purpose. We’re also grateful for our support on our social media channels. Your likes, comments, shares and retweets help grow this website more than you could imagine.
We’ve been coasting around the globe for a decade. We can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store.
As always, we thank you for your support.
Coaster101 Through the Years
The look and feel of Coaster101 has changed drastically over the years. See the gallery below for a few snapshots of the website over the past decade:
Giveaways #4 – 5
Like, share, favorite and retweet the two posts below for a chance to win either of the prize packs. Enter by tomorrow, June 16, 2015 at 11:59 EST. We’ll announce the winners on Wednesday.
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— Coaster101.com (@Coaster101) June 15, 2015
Again, THANK YOU for your support of Coaster101. We look forward to many more years ahead.
– John Stevenson