Developers Log

Downtime Alleviation

If you’ve been experiencing problems with your start page – particularly network connection errors, page not found, or down time – please contact us to let us know. Nearly a year ago, we switched our web host from CKVance to Hostingplex to alleviate downtime. Recently, we may have been experiencing a bit of downtime with … Continue reading “Downtime Alleviation”

If you’ve been experiencing problems with your start page – particularly network connection errors, page not found, or down time – please contact us to let us know.

Nearly a year ago, we switched our web host from CKVance to Hostingplex to alleviate downtime. Recently, we may have been experiencing a bit of downtime with Hostingplex and are considering switching hosts once again. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know!

Happy Birthday, AwesomeStart!

One full year ago today, AwesomeStart.com v1.0 first appeared online. At that time we had only a handful of themes, and they were all done by the same artist. Just twelve months later, we now have 300 themes designed by 32 different artists. When that first theme went up, I really had no idea how … Continue reading “Happy Birthday, AwesomeStart!”

One full year ago today, AwesomeStart.com v1.0 first appeared online. At that time we had only a handful of themes, and they were all done by the same artist. Just twelve months later, we now have 300 themes designed by 32 different artists.

Dev 2006-08-29

When that first theme went up, I really had no idea how rapidly the site would grow. We’ve seen mentions on IGN, Digg, eBaum’s World, commandN, and various other popular sites. We now have over 100,000 users and have climbed well into the Alexa Top 50,000 websites. Since this time last year, AwesomeStart (now in version 3.0) has been completely rebuilt from the ground up – and additional technology is being added all the time. We really have come a long way.

This is just the beginning. Now that the bugs are finally being ironed out of the request system, we’re able to deliver the most requested themes faster than ever before. We’ve got several new start page categories underway, and are still working on added an advanced preferences page.

I really can’t thank all our users enough for getting the word out about this site. Through promotion we’ve expanded the site far beyond where I ever though it would go. Just imagine where we could be a year from now! Thanks again everybody 👍🏻

-Eric

Take a second and mention our birthday on your blog or myspace – it means the world to us!

Searches and OS X Independence

We’ve fixed a problem with search results. Themes made within the last month were not showing up in the results. This was a small issue with the way themes were databased, and has been fixed. Go poke around the search page and see if you can find something new. AwesomeStart programming and data design has … Continue reading “Searches and OS X Independence”

We’ve fixed a problem with search results. Themes made within the last month were not showing up in the results. This was a small issue with the way themes were databased, and has been fixed. Go poke around the search page and see if you can find something new.

AwesomeStart programming and data design has made it’s full move to Apple’s Tiger OS X operating system! We’ve been moving bits of the design and uploading process to the Mac in recent months, and are happy to report we’re now up 100%. Recent design and upload times have show a drastic increase in speed. What does this mean for you? More themes, of course!

Taking Care of 404s

Our one year anniversary is right around the corner. The domain originally went online on the 12th, and version 1.0 went up the 29th. The site has come a long way! We’ve been going through our logs, trying to weed out every last “Page Not Found” error. We have some strange entries in the log … Continue reading “Taking Care of 404s”

Our one year anniversary is right around the corner. The domain originally went online on the 12th, and version 1.0 went up the 29th. The site has come a long way!

We’ve been going through our logs, trying to weed out every last “Page Not Found” error. We have some strange entries in the log with a specific onClick statment in the band directory. Here’s an example of one that appears in the Mars Volta directory:

/marsvolta/\\\”onClick=\\\”style.behavior=’url(

None of our programmers seem to be able to find any reason for this code appearing on any of the pages. If you’re encountering any errors, as always, let us know!

The End of Broken Links

After toying around with several methods, we’ve finally implemented a major patch to the site. This code should fix nearly every broken link problem involving custom links. These problems occurred when users forgot to start a link with http://. As a result, their links to external sites did not function properly. We’ve come up with … Continue reading “The End of Broken Links”

After toying around with several methods, we’ve finally implemented a major patch to the site. This code should fix nearly every broken link problem involving custom links. These problems occurred when users forgot to start a link with http://. As a result, their links to external sites did not function properly. We’ve come up with a fix, and manually added it to each start page. The pages should load just as fast, and the major link issues should be taken care of.

Our request system seems to be holding up pretty well. Keep those requests coming! We want to know what themes you want to see on the site!

We’ve got a new template for start pages, and we’re slowly redoing old pages with the template. It makes further use of CSS to decrease load time, and also conforms to traditional html 4.01 standards. This change is minor, and should not affect our users in any way.

One final edit for the night: AwesomeStart’s error pages have been upgraded with the new 3.0 design. This is the last of them! Every page has now been updated. On to that advanced preferences menu.

v3.0 AwesomeStart Version 3.0 is Here!

The new version of the site is finally online. Besides a new design and various code validations, we’ve got a bunch of new features. The biggest addition is the new search technology. This allows you to use the search box in the upper right hand corner of each page to search for start page themes. … Continue reading “v3.0 AwesomeStart Version 3.0 is Here!”

The new version of the site is finally online. Besides a new design and various code validations, we’ve got a bunch of new features. The biggest addition is the new search technology. This allows you to use the search box in the upper right hand corner of each page to search for start page themes. We’re still perfecting the search, so if you search for a page you know we have and it doesn’t show up, please let us know.

We’ve made a database of every theme, and you can see this technology at work all across the site. First, the start page gallery now shows ALL THEMES by default. You can narrow down your browsing by Music, Movie and TV, Videogames, and Other. The revamped staff page also uses this database technology to display the number of themes and additional information about our designers.

Our main page now displays the top eight most used themes. Additionally, we’ve added a new request system that totals the number of times a theme has been requested. This will allow our designers to add the most desired themes to the site the fastest.

Our Developer’s Log has also been given an update. There is now a permalink to every entry (in the odd case that you might want to link to it for some reason!) You can also browse entries as far back as day 1. There are a few features, as we mentioned in the last devlog, that didn’t make this release. We’re still actively working on them. They should be up (along with a batch of new themes) very shortly. We’d love to hear your feedback.

v3.0 Launch Features Updated

New features for the upcoming 3.0 launch have already begun popping up on the site. Aside from the new navbar above all the core pages, we’ve also integrated the gallery database into the preferences page. AwesomeStart now has support for A9’s siteinfo.xml and a standard robots.txt file. These last two tweaks won’t mean much to … Continue reading “v3.0 Launch Features Updated”

New features for the upcoming 3.0 launch have already begun popping up on the site. Aside from the new navbar above all the core pages, we’ve also integrated the gallery database into the preferences page. AwesomeStart now has support for A9’s siteinfo.xml and a standard robots.txt file. These last two tweaks won’t mean much to our end users, but are important technologies we though we should support.

We’re gotten a lot accomplished in the last few weeks. The brand new request system is done, and we’re pretty proud of it. We’ve finished redesigning all the main pages, and we’re rewritten the design page to include more details. We’ll elaborate on all these new features once the site goes online. There are still several major sections being worked on. With the help of Greg Sidelnikov the new theme search should be complete at some point today or tomorrow. We’re also working on a new way to make start pages your homepage, and possibly an RSS feed.

We’ve gotten a lot of requests recently for additional custom links as well as an extended domain search (also covering functionality like “Search Pages from the UK”). We play to include these ideas in the site, and were really hoping the advanced preferences menu would make this 3.0 release. Given the amount of time the site has taken so far, we’re not sure if that’s going to happen. Our major concern is getting the site up so we can get back to putting out new themes. Anything that doesn’t make this release will most likely follow shortly. Stay tuned!

A 3.0 Progress Update

First of all, a big thanks to the video podcasters over at CommandN.tv for suggesting AwesomeStart on their show! We’re glad you like it! Version 3.0 of the site is coming along a lot faster than we thought. The new design has been finalized, and it’s just a matter of coding at this point. The … Continue reading “A 3.0 Progress Update”

First of all, a big thanks to the video podcasters over at CommandN.tv for suggesting AwesomeStart on their show! We’re glad you like it!

Version 3.0 of the site is coming along a lot faster than we thought. The new design has been finalized, and it’s just a matter of coding at this point. The core site is being rewritten from the ground up. Everything will conform to HTML 4.01 and CSS standards to ensure that it looks good in everyone’s browser. Your start page will remain unaffected, so don’t worry.

The next big obstacle is databasing all the themes. AwesomeStart has well over 200 themes, so this could be a lengthy process. Until the site is complete, new themes are going to go on hold; we’re focusing 100% of our efforts on getting 3.0 built and online. It looks like the new site may launch as early as next month!

AwesomeStart v3.0 Progress

We’re beginning to work on version 3.0 of the site. With our one year anniversary only three months away, we’ve decided to give the site one last major overhaul this year. With any luck, the launch of version 3.0 will take place on August 1st. We’re still in the draft phases, so this date may … Continue reading “AwesomeStart v3.0 Progress”

We’re beginning to work on version 3.0 of the site. With our one year anniversary only three months away, we’ve decided to give the site one last major overhaul this year. With any luck, the launch of version 3.0 will take place on August 1st. We’re still in the draft phases, so this date may change.

What’s in store for the new version? Where the 2.0 launch was more about start page technologies, this update will focus on changes to the core site. As mentioned previously, we are going to database our themes as well as the theme search. We’ll be giving the site a slicker “Web 2.0” look, and integrating RSS as well. The RSS feed will let people know when there’s a new developer’s log or when new themes have been added. If you have any other suggestions for the new version of the site, please contact us! Stay tuned for futher updates on our progress.

Major Autofocus Update

We’ve added some code to each start page so it will auto focus on the search box. While this is a small update, it affects nearly 80% of the pages on the server. Now, when your start page loads, the cursor will already be in the search box. You can even type the URL in … Continue reading “Major Autofocus Update”

We’ve added some code to each start page so it will auto focus on the search box. While this is a small update, it affects nearly 80% of the pages on the server. Now, when your start page loads, the cursor will already be in the search box. You can even type the URL in there instead of the browser, if you’d like. Just open your browser, type a search string, and hit enter! We believe this will make your browsing experience a little bit better. If you’re having any problems with your start page or there appears to be any errors, please contact us so we can fix it.