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Dragonsinn Turns 25!

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I can’t remember the exact date that Dragonsinn was created. I just remember that it was in June 1999!

As part of the site’s year-long anniversary updates, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane to share 10 milestones of the site’s history.

Summary / Timeline

This graphic was really easy to put together, thanks to Canva.

A handful of Google Analytics screenshots are included further down.

dragonsinn_timeline

1. Launch (June 1999)

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1999-2002: 7-page website. Made in Singapore.

It was the summer holidays and I fiddled around with some text and graphics to launch the website in June 1999 (built via Web Studio).

Look at that Comic Sans font!

Fun Fact #1: I walked to the post office with my mum to get a set of dragon year stamps the following year.

Fun Fact #2: I heard from lots of US and UK based dragon enthusiasts during these early years.


RELATED: Celebrating 25 Years of Dragonsinn (monthly themes)


2. Revamp #1 (April 2003)

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First redesign: 2003-2005. (Singapore)

April 2003 was a revamp (redesigned on Dreamweaver), in an effort to improve the site’s original pages.

Fun Fact #3: I believe my lecturer (web design module) at Temasek Polytechnic saw this website on my iMac screen and asked if it was a live website. I said yes and he looked amused.


temporary_dragon_tattoo

June ’24 Giveaway: Temporary Tattoo πŸ‘‘


3. Light Revamp #2 (October 2006)

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Second redesign: 2006-2018. (Maine)

This was a re-organization of content as I tried to incorporate more SEO for a bigger web presence.

I didn’t update the website for several years as I had a lot going on during my mid to late twenties.

Fun Fact #4: The 2012 dragon year for me was memorable (I was on a panel at the Singapore Writers Festival, and learned a lot about myself from semi-related personal drama).

4. Mobile-Friendly Update (2018/2019)

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Mobile-friendly update: 2018-2020. I found this header image too large. (Florida)

The 2018/2019 version was a big overhaul in terms of mobile-friendly design and new content.

I made this update patiently over 2 years (on and off) as everything had to be manually transferred over.

Web Stats

I wrote a short case study about the website in 2018.

The site always had a global audience, and Google Analytics had some interesting facts about the ages etc. of visitors (I’ve since turned off this feature as I’m using anonymized user data in Google Analytics 4, for more privacy).

These are some screenshots from my 2024 GA4 dashboard.

5. Launched Newsletter (2020)

There was a stop/start quality to several newsletters I tried to launch.

It’s finally smoother now.

6. Piloted Ezine (2021/2022)

I tried out a monthly ezine format, thinking it would help me streamline the blogging process.

It turned out to be rather laborious.

I’ve returned to random, shorter blog posts as I prefer that cadence.

Fun Fact #5: I made some Dragonsinn name cards at this point, using a pre-made dragon design from Vistaprint.

7. Haiku in UK Textbook (2021)

I got a surprise email requesting permission to use a few of my dragon haiku in a textbook by Hodder Education, a Hachette UK Company.

Sample page with 3 of my small dragon poems

Fun Fact #6: I was initially planning on completing a dragon poetry book in 2024. This proved to be too ambitious, so maybe it’ll happen in a few years.

8. 22nd Anniversary Post (2021)

I was working for a personal development podcast at this time, and felt like doing a reflective post that ended up being 22 Life Lessons I’ve Learned Since 1999.

I might refer to it for some ideas for the blog posts I’ve been brainstorming for a while (see below).

9. 2024 (Adding Original Art + Expanding Content)

  • Refreshed blog design, added some of my dragon sketches to a shop addition, and focusing on more visual posts like dragon fashion or travel photos.
  • Streamlined the contribute page and added a visitor QnA form.
  • Thinking of working on some symbolism posts (currently brainstorming).
  • After some consolidations, the site is very, very close to 100 blog posts!

Fun Fact #7: I might do traditional art for a few months. I recently moved back to Maine, downsized, and don’t have my digital art stuff set up yet.

10. Conclusion

Dragonsinn ranks quite highly for “dragon enthusiast website”

I almost deleted the site several times especially around the mid-2010s, when I knew it’d be a massive and tedious undertaking to update the site to be mobile-friendly.

Some of my friends told me to keep it online since it’s been around for so long, and I still enjoyed hearing from random web visitors as and when, so I figured I might as well keep it going.

The content gets harder to organize as the blog gets bigger. I’m trying to be thoughtful with both curated and original content moving forward, so that it adds value to your life (instead of just aiming to rank highly in search engine results).

Thanks for being part of the journey! πŸ™ πŸ‰

By Jess

Jess Chua is an award-winning writer and sketch artist. She's been the keeper of Dragonsinn since 1999. She works as a content specialist and enjoys yoga, reading, and design. Join Dragon Mail for printable welcome gifts, giveaways, and a healthy dose of dragon inspiration!