On October 19, 2001, I launched my very first webpage. It looked like this:

Tiny screeshot of my first webpage
Back in the day, this would be a decently sized screenshot.

Let’s see, I used frames and Times New Roman. I’m pretty sure I had a totally unnecessary inline frame somewhere in there too. And of course, I had a fancy visitor counter. 😜 There was absolutely no content besides a blurb about Cardcaptor Sakura which was my favorite anime at the time.

I remember showing my webpage to my best friend, and her reaction was the equivalent of today’s “cool story bro.” But you know what? It was cool. 13-year-old me was giddy about having a website. An entire new world had just opened up.

At 13

A few months later, I started blogging. That was what all the cool webmistresses did. Yeah, we used that word. My blog was pretty much what you’d expect from a teenager. Lots of smilies and exclamation points!!! (=^_^=) So much randomness because I was soooooooo weird and stuff!! xD *sweatdrops* ORLY YA RLY!!

(Okay, so I still have a propensity to abuse emojis well over a decade later, and I still get too peppy in my writing. Can I live??)

I mostly wrote about school, anime, and books. I was also obsessed with online quizzes (RIP Quizilla) and often ended my entry with one. My blog was very much a constant stream of consciousness. Writing for an audience wasn’t as big of a deal back then.

At 17

As I went through my teens, my writing improved. I began placing more effort into my words and posting pictures to make my entries more visually pleasing. I cared about how my blog looked overall as my intuition for aesthetic developed.

My coding also improved. I graduated from frames to table layouts, eventually moving on to proper CSS floats. Still improving, in fact. 🙂

Another screenshot of an old blog layout
I think this was in 2006.

I still wrote plenty about my life. Perhaps too much. I had no regard for my family and friends’ privacy and posted their pictures willy nilly. I regret that, and I’m much more careful when I mention them in public now. I was also big into photography and bookbinding and posted my works on those.

At 19

By the tail end of my first blogging stint, I had left the Philippines to study college in the US. I ended up not having as much time as well as losing my passion for blogging as I took on more and more activities in school. It’s funny to think of now, I had so much to write about, but neither had the time nor motivation for it.

I decided to stop blogging by then and place more focus in school amongst other reasons. I moved permanently to LiveJournal where I had a secondary blog, although that also cooled eventually.

At 24

I didn’t code very much while I was gone, and I switched to fanfic writing for my creative outlet (*cough*).
I periodically missed blogging. I had a number of false starts on Tumblr, LJ, Dreamwidth, and some other places. It was never quite the same.

Screenshot of my Dreamwidth blog
An old Dreamwidth layout, 2013.

Of course, I didn’t stop living despite not blogging about it. In my six years on hiatus, I remained active in various student organizations, assisted in neuroscience research, did a lot of clubbing, had a messy dating life, lost my dad to cancer, and eventually got married and settled down. It was very much a formative period of my life. I was a completely different person once I’ve come out of it all.

On an impulse one day, I decided to re-register my domain and installed a fresh WordPress blog. So much had changed while I was on my long sabbatical. Blogging for a living blew up, new webdev technologies had come out, and social media had become so much more important. I had a lot of catching up to do, but I’m glad I came back.

At Present

Some fifteen years later, blogging and coding are back to being regular parts of my life. I’ve made many friends and learned a lot along the way. My approach to blogging has changed since I started, as my priorities are different now. I now focus more on my interests and topics that I believe will benefit my readers. I still write about my life, but I take better care not to put a huge spotlight on it. With maturity and a career comes a desire for more privacy.

I still enjoy blogging all the same. I’m determined not to leave anymore. I may post less, maybe take a break here and there, but I’ll always come back. ❤

Seven plus two years, and going strong!

And now, a giveaway!

Speaking of years, my friend Jae of SCATTERBRAIN is holding a giveaway for her 4th blog anniversary! I’m new to all this, but I was more than happy to help her make it happen. 💻 The winner will receive $150 PayPal cash and 2-oz. Swirl and Sparkle Solid Brush Cleanser! How sweet does that sound? 🤑 Check out the guidelines below and enter for a chance to win!

Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is open internationally to anyone with a PayPal account who is over the age of 18.
  • Type in my blog (Little Town) when asked which blog you’re entering from.
  • You may enter until February 29 at 11:59pm (EST).
  • A winner will be contacted by Jae no later than the first week of March.

Sounds good? Check out the widget below to enter! And do check out all the lovely ladies that also helped make this giveaway possible. Good luck, everyone! 😘

150-paypal-cash-giveaway
  1. Ailee (Snapshots & My Thoughts)Anne (Love the Here and Now)Annie (MontgomeryFest)
  2. Becca (Becca Dorr)Corinth (Explore with Corinth)Emily (Em Busy Living)Jae (SCATTERBRAIN)
  3. Jan (sights)Kati Rose (Constantly Seeking Wonder)Kelly Louise (Six One Six)Shayne (Shayne Blogs)
  4. Raisa (Little Town)Valerie (Valerie Randomness)Swirl and Sparkle

Comments

  1. I wish I had kept screenshots of what my blog looked like when I started in 2006! I mostly blogged on Multiply, which eventually closed down. All I remember is that I always have a black background, white font, and purple as an accent in my designs. Hahaha! I don’t know how much longer I’ll be blogging, but I’m going to enjoy every part of it as long as I’m around. :)

    P.S. Thank you so much for making this happen, Rais! Appreciate it so much!
    Jae recently posted…SCATTERBRAIN Turns 4!My Profile

    1. I remember Multiply! I had one too for my real life friends (~separate~ from my online persona lololol). I really liked the photo albums there. I actually found the old header banners I had for it on my LJ. I’ll upload it here too one day. XD

      Last night, Mike and I were talking about kids (meeep), and omgosh would I still have the drive to blog by then? Kids are a lot of work. I think about it a lot hahaha.

      1. Hahaha! I used to make several photo albums for a lot of things in there! So relieved that I was able to save most of them before they shut down a couple of years ago. :(

        Roan and I talk about that, too; we just don’t do something about it (if you get what I mean hahaha TMI, sorry, I’m disgusting). I do get what you mean, though, about blogging + having kids… I respect and admire blogger moms, but I’m not sure if I’ll still be around in the blogosphere by the time I become one…
        Jae recently posted…SCATTERBRAIN Turns 4!My Profile

        1. Haha no worries, we’re all adults here. XD We’re not planning on trying until at least his residency, and even then, it’s gonna depend on where he lands it. If he finds one in Vegas, it’s perfect. If not, then we might have to wait a little more.

          I know blogger moms tend to get a lot of flak, but I really admire them too! Parenting is such a thankless job, and then you have people commenting on how you’re raising your kids based on a few moments you post online. It’s not easy. I will probably slow down on blogging and turn into an FB mom when the time comes hahaha. Let’s make an FB group na lang!

          1. Hahaha! We’re not falling into both of our families’ pressure of having a baby yet. It’s going to happen someday; just not yet! Hahaha! How cool is that if we take our friendship to another level—I mean momma-levels! Hahaha!

  2. Awesome journey of your website history :3 Like you said, I don’t share everything about my daily life, either, and as I get older, I value that bit of privacy as well. Of course, there’s also the fact that if I were to go that route, I’d be bitching about every little thing, and that’s certainly not what I want my blog to focus on! XD;

    I still have my old layouts, too. I’m not keen on sharing them *winces* What I was I thinking back then? LOLOL!
    Tara recently posted…Symphonic Selections: Final Fantasy X ~ A Fleeting DreamMy Profile

    1. Tbh I save the whining on my Tumblr behind a cut hahahaha. It’s all buried under a million reblogs. XD

      It’s okay! Screenshots are awesome for showing progress. I wish I still had them all. I could only find those tiny ones on my LJ scrapbook. :(

  3. I have also took screenshots of my previous blogs and layouts but I lost my copy because my HDD was corrupted huhuhu but I can still remember some of the layouts I made and I can’t forget my domain names too haha

    It was shocking how you started with frames! Haha Sa divs nako nagsimula eh, pero nalaman k tables pala gamit before nun haha

    I actually started blogging because I become interested with webdesigning. It feels like I have a website of my own haha an online journal. That’s what blogging was about before haha

    Amazing how the blogosphere has changed and evolved throughout the years.
    Mei recently posted…Pyromusical 2016: A Night of Lights and MusicMy Profile

    1. I went through so many computers that I have no hope of recovering all the other screenshots. :’) Probably for the better hahaha!

      Frames were super popular for fan shrines! I kept one alive just for posterity: http://clover.nu/yukino/ It’s super old! I kinda miss frames layouts now. XD You can do so much with just divs now though! The web really has evolved so much.

    1. I dug through my LJ gallery for my screenshots! The tiny ones were all I could find. :( I wish the Wayback Machine had better archives of my blog huhuhu.

      Looool I had so many anime shrines haha!

  4. What a great post, it’s so interesting to hear about other people’s Internet history! I started making websites as a teenager back in the late 90’s. Us “veterans” have come a long way, haven’t we? :)

    I still have many of my old screenshots saved, and it is pretty fun to look at them now. I used to be a dedicated pixel artist (still am, at least in spirit) and would create these really elaborate pixel layouts with landscapes and animations and whatnot.
    To be honest I kinda miss that. I miss the creative freedom that came with not having to care about things like user-friendliness, responsiveness and SEO. I definitely miss pixel art.

    And I abuse emojis too. At this point I realize I’ll never grow out of it and might as well accept it. :P
    Karin recently posted…Anniversary and world class guitarsMy Profile

    1. Pixels have been making a comeback on Tumblr! :D Even autoplaying music! Sometimes Tumblr feels like I’m going back in time hahaha.

      I do feel like we had a lot more creative freedom back then in terms of what we’re allowed to do. Of course, we can still make old school layouts now, but it wouldn’t work on very browser which would be a bummer. Do you remember all the site requirements people used to list out? At least 800 x 600 resolution, IE6+, 16-bit monitor. Hahahaha wild.

  5. I really liked reading about your web history :D Your first site looked a lot better than my first one! I also used Times New Roman, except I used Anime images as repeating backgrounds, and it was soooo terrible. My first blog was mainly about school too, and in the beginning, I didn’t even have a commenting system. I am actually pretty glad I lost those entries. They would really make me cringe!

    I remember making the same transition from frames to tables. I thought framed layouts were so cool back then, especially before PHP includes. (You mean I can change the navigation without changing every page??) I still have my old Livejournal, though I rarely post in it now.

    I’m glad you eventually came back to blogging! I definitely blog differently now than I used to, and so many things have changed. I don’t plan on leaving blogging either!
    Cat recently posted…Weekends of food and photosMy Profile

    1. I didn’t have a comment system on my first blog either! I was hosted on Diaryland. XD I could go on and on about my web history honestly, because I did so much.

      PHP includes changed my life hahaha! Did you ever do skinnable blogs? I had skins on mine at one point. I kinda miss that.

  6. “I mostly wrote about school, anime, and books.” *looks at own blog* Sums it up pretty well. :D So cool to see all your past blogs! Especially that browser on the first screenshot is… not even nostalgic since I was literally a toddler, but kinda feels like it is. Looking back at my first blog is just… cringeworthy too (12-year-old-me loved clouds and penguins…) (I still do, but they don’t have to take over my blog anymore!!)

    1. Haha I think it’s only a natural phase! School’s such a huge part of your life when you’re young. I miss the student life sometimes. *_*

      Aaah you make me feel old. :’D I’m curious what your first page looked like now! I’m still obsessed with cute things now, I just hide it better. XD

  7. When I was in high school, my “blog” on my first domain was harmful, in that it was things I “hated” about my dad and his side of the family—but that’s just something that happened as a result of me living with my mom. I’d nitpick at every single little thing that happened or didn’t happen, and I’d call him out on it. At the time, I was being raised to inflict harm, as if that was truly how people were supposed to be treated. :(

    I could never figure out iframes or table layouts. I’m pretty sure I used iframes when I used Neopets regularly, but I mostly remember going from HTML and CSS to self-teaching myself PHP as though my life depended on it—because HTML was such a pain. I dabbled lightly in Server Side Includes, but PHP allowed me to do so much more, so I opted for that instead.

    I tried to get into Livejournal, but Xanga stuck more.

    Sometimes I wish I had saved screenshots of my own websites, but…Idunno, maybe it’s for the best that I didn’t? I feel like several would just be…well, embarrassing.
    Liz recently posted…The time I almost drownedMy Profile

    1. Your approach to blogging in high school is understandable. It’s difficult when you don’t have a support system in real life, and online is the only way to release those feelings. How are things with you now? I hope it’s been better?

      I lived in the Philippines in high school, and Xanga wasn’t that popular with us. For us, it was Multiply, Friendster, and sometimes LJ. After moving to the States, my friends here get so nostalgic about Xanga and Myspace. It’s so interesting how different services thrive in different countries. Viber is huge back home, so I used that for chatting instead of FB too. :D

      1. I mean, I moved in with my dad in 2007 and graduated in 2009. ‘Tis been a while for me, as I’m almost 25.

        It wasn’t really because I had a bad support system, though. >.< It’s a little more complex and a lot darker than that.
        Liz recently posted…Lizard Finds vol. 6My Profile

  8. Oh wow… now I started back on fortunecity, I think it was. A Savage Garden fanfiction pageThis horrible thing with flashing gifs, autoplaying music, clashing colours. It was SO late 90s/early 00s.

    Then there were geocities sites before I moved on to freewebs… and started learning code etc etc before getting my first domain. That was back in 2002… ran til 2006. Fanfiction and fanlistings mostly before slowly becoming a bit of a network really.

    My livejournal is still my main blogging home and I’ve had that since February 2004.

    My latest site I’ve had since December 2015 because I suddenly had this wave of missing having one. Still sorting it all out but having fun with it again
    Cassie recently posted…You know you’re gonna live thru the rainMy Profile

    1. I remember Fortune City! Oh man, your webpage sounded awesome back then hahaha. I thought autoplaying music was the coolest thing when I was a kid. It’s been back on Tumblr recently a well as pixel layouts. It’s so funny to see these trends going full circle.

      I miss Geocities so much! It was such a great free host at the time. Their ads got more intrusive on their last years, but I remained faithful hahaha.

      I’m glad you came back! It’s so different now than how it was before. I try to embrace the change but also remember where I came from, so to speak.

  9. I recently went back through my old entries and cringe at the site of them. They were terrible. Of course, my 13 and 14 year old blog entries are lost somewhere with GreatestJournal. But the entries from 18 year old me were not that much better…sadly.

    It’s amazing, having this time capsule of our lives. Even if we share only stories about our favorite shows and books. :)

  10. You certainly came a long way and I’m happy you improved~! Congrats! ^^ I do, remember when my friends started getting into coding and layouts…it was fun watching it happen. They were so talented. Hahaha
    Michelle recently posted…Unhappy LifeMy Profile

  11. Oh man, I wish I had kept screenshots of what my old blogs looked like. I used to use the yahoo website builder at one point and used vectors of celebrities as my layout. I also had frames EVERYWHERE and thought I was the best blogger out there because I was so unique and had so many thoughts.. It’s funny how things are so different in the blogging world now!

  12. I loved reading this entry and your history of blogging. I can see a lot of similarities to my blogging history as well (I think I started my first blog on Diary Land haha).
    Kya recently posted…Kitchen RenovationMy Profile

  13. I love your screenshots! I never kept any of my old stuff, but I did go through the rabbit hole that is the web archive a few months ago and it was fun looking at the stuff i used to make.. and realise I had more talent back then :P

    I love seeing so many other people who have been doing this for as long as me :D I started back in about 98 with some angelfire and geocities sites and where you had to apply for sub domain hosting :D
    Sarah recently posted…Review: Kingston & Co., BelconnenMy Profile

  14. I have been blogging since I was in high school, albeit, on and off. Before getting into blogging, I started my web ‘career’ LOL at MySpace creating sparkly moving graphics. Haha. Then I remember, through my MySpace friends, I was introduced to blogging, and someone offered me a subdomain hosting (yes, webmistress! I remember that term!). And the rest was history. :)
    Clarisa recently posted…A Year of Living in SingaporeMy Profile

  15. Reading your post took me on a trip down memory lane! Our time lines are very similar, and while I never made a CCS fansite, I did have a Digimon fan site and I definitely remember using frames! I do wish I kept screenshots or the files from old site so I could reminisce. I do have some old templates and archive files from when I first started blogging (it was definitely the “cool thing” back in the days!) and the amount of exclamation points and smilies used were borderline embarrassing, haha
    It’s fun to look back and see how trends have evolved and how we ourselves have changed as a result :)
    Jenny recently posted…Simple hydration with Klairs Rich Moist Soothing SerumMy Profile

  16. Oh man, I remember those days when 150x300px screenshots were acceptable. I guess it’s normal for the time because we cannot afford to write that much capacity per file? It’s exciting to see the evolution of web designing/blogging/stuff teens do on the web XD. For some reason, your site seems familiar to my 2006-self. Maybe it’s the design that you have? XD.

    Privacy back then and now are much different. One wrong keyword, and Google’s bots will index the page for that keyword!

    Nice to see an evolution of your blogging experience. It’s always sad to see people leave, but exciting to see people coming back XD

  17. LOL wow, your website posts sounds a lot like mine. Gawd, the memories. I think I started out on the old angelfire web host. Haha I remember when all my pages looks different, not structured layout. orz I think I’m still a super random blogger though. Haha.
    It was cool reading out your start. Thanks for sharing. :)
    Ongaku recently posted…Website UpdatesMy Profile

  18. Awww that’s so nice to read about your progress as a blogger! And it’s amazing you kept your screenshots! I remember back when I blogged on Livejournal too, oh my gosh! I had pride in making my own “layouts” and wrote about my fandoms, HAHA. It wasn’t until college that I opened up my blog now and through the years I was never consistent in writing. I’ve removed all my posts except for ones from my senior year. I wish I had kept them to see how much I’ve changed as a person. :)
    Liv recently posted…Pokemon Turns 20!My Profile

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