About Pokemon Dream
Pokemon Dream is a website where Pokemon fans come to explore Pokemon. It is the place where visitors can learn about Pokemon, understand Pokemon, and embrace Pokemon. It started around December of 1999 by a fellow Pokemon fan known by the nickname "Mewtwo". Using Notepad and Microsoft Paint, Mewtwo designed the website and pledged to make one of the greatest. Today, it is one of the most popular Pokemon websites in the world. As time passes, Pokemon Dream will continue to grow and provide more information than ever!
History of Pokemon Dream
Pokemon Dream started when Pokemon websites were very popular. It was the end of 1999, and I (Mewtwo) just got a computer a few months ago. At first, I started a Pokemon club at Yahoo! Clubs, referred by a friend. Then I saw some great sites and decided to make one myself.
I learned HTML (the language used to make web sites like Pokemon Dream) from a well-written book (and eventually, several more books). Without much practice, I got my first site up, called The Pokemon Center on Geocities. I got the name from a great Pokemon site that I used to visit often. It used frames (a popular design back then) and didn't look that good. I joined a few topsites, submitted my site to a few search engines, and worked very hard on the website. A lot of other webmasters who visited my site told me that I needed to use tables (one of the HTML elements, like frames), not frames. That was the time everyone started to use tables. But I can't, I thought. I'll have to modify the menu bar every time I change something. I decided to ask someone what I should do and they told me that to not modify each page, use SSI. I had no idea what it was at that time, but I soon found out and got the hang of it. The bad thing is that Geocities doesn't support SSI, so I had to move.
I moved to Angelfire and put SSI on every single page (which took a long time). That was the time I went on a vacation for a month and a half (back in summer of 2000). When I got back, The Pokemon Center was getting only 10 visitors and less a day! This is horrible, I thought. So I started to invite tons of people to the site, made a new layout, and added even more stuff to the site. Then I thought about the name. The Pokemon Center is a name many Pokemon sites used, and didn't sound too good anymore.
So I changed the name to Pokemon Wave (a name I thought would be very original and cool), and moved to a new account on Angelfire. After less than a month, I found out that Angelfire really sucked. It was repairing its servers every single day, so my site wasn't accessible about 40% of the time. I had no choice and had to move again. But that's when I had trouble. I didn't know what free server I can choose from. First I decided to get hosted by other Pokemon websites, but I thought I'd regret it. They crash very often (even today), and my site would go down all the time if that happens. Finally, I moved to a new, free host called Hypermart.
I wasn't crazy about water Pokemon and the name Pokemon Wave was based on water Pokemon. At that time, I really liked The Pokemon Crater and the fire theme. Crate is the top of a volcano. I decided that I wanted a fire theme too, so I started to look through the dictionary for a volcano-related name. I found the word "dome", which not only is a half sphered structure, but is also related to a volcano. And so, I went with it. Remember, I did not get this name from the Pokemon Dome in the Game Boy Trading Card Game.
After the second name change, I made another new layout. I installed News Pro (an automatic news posting system), since Hypermart supported CGI and staff could update. I had a total of six staff members, but they just updated a few times and left. This really angered me (even today). One month passed and things were going great. Pokemon Dome got a little more visitors every day. Then bad news struck. I found out that Hypermart only hosts business sites, and a Pokemon site without any type of advertising is not business! They would delete my account if I keep it there; so, I had to move again.
This time I moved to Tripod, a good host, but without support for CGI. That meant I had to uninstall News Pro. Influenced by BulbaGarden.com, I organized the whole site into a few directories, and made a new layout with that. This took me around three weeks to complete. The new site opened and people came pouring in. I got newer, better affiliates, I put up more information, pictures, and stuff like that. I put up the largest Gold/Silver/Crystal Walkthrough of that time, resulting in even more visitors.
Pokemon Dome stayed as Pokemon Dome for a long time. One day, I thought of a new name that would reflect my own goals and ambitions. Pokemon Dream. That sounded great. So I changed the name and moved to a new account to change the URL of the site.
After changing the URL, Tripod (the host) had some bandwidth problems with me. Pokemon Dream was getting so many visitors that Tripod couldn't handle it any more (around 700 unique visitors per day). I struggled to find a good, free host as soon as possible. For many months, there was no news at all. One day, I discovered T35, a host that gave me everything I need, and so-called unlimited bandwidth. After moving the site there, I found out something else. I could get a free domain, with the extention .tk! I had always wanted a unique name for my website. So I made two domains, one for the site and one for the message board. I thought everything would work out. How wrong I was.
During the summer, I went on vacation again for a long time. It turned out that T35 had deleted Pokemon Dream without any notice. Pokemon Dream's visitors dropped from 900 unique visitors a day to nearly nothing. That's when I started on Netfirms. It was like starting all over again, except that I still had all my files. It went well for two months and then PD had some more bandwidth problems. I moved to T35 again, and with that server going down a couple of times a week, I decided to leave it once and for all.
Finally, at around the end of April 2003, Pokemon Dream got the domain of PokeDream.com. With a domain, Pokemon Dream became a "real" website. From there, things went rather smoothly.
Between 2003 and 2006, Pokemon Dream grew tremendously. I worked hard on walkthroughs of every Pokemon RPG that came out. I added more content daily, striving to make the site better and better. With a stable URL, Google indexed Pokemon Dream thoroughly. The combination of high quality content and Google's indexing of the site resulted in exponential growth in visitors (10,000 unique visitors per day on average). In December of 2006, two forum member donated money to purchase a vBulletin message board, an essential piece of every major site. At that time however, I had entered into my first year at UC Berkeley, which completely took my time away from Pokemon Dream. For a whole school year, Pokemon Dream had little to no updates -- not even news.
In Summer of 2007, Mewtwo finally had time to update the site, which was very outdated, boring, and static. Pokemon Dream was receiving about half the visitors it regularly receives. However, that soon changed after I wrote the Pokemon Diamond/Pearl Walkthrough, which eventually lead to record breaking visitor counts day after day. This, of course, was also partly due to summertime. I decided to use what I've learned and experienced in college over the past year to make Pokemon Dream better. Using my newly gained knowledge of programming and computer science, I learned PHP and MySQL, which opened new doors and allowed me to design pages that were previously impossible.
May Pokemon Dream live forever! Thanks for reading this and thanks for visiting Pokemon Dream.
A new layout version happens when the entire format changes. The following are all the layout's PD's gone through.
Layout Version 1 - The first layout that Pokemon Dream (known as Pokemon Center back then) ever had. No frames, no tables. It was just a page with a menu (not even news!) that had tons of broken links which I made in the Geocities PageBuilder.
Layout Version 2 - The frames layout. It was modified many times before it was up. This time, I had already learned HTML. That's when I joined topsites, and started to really get visitors.
Layout Version 3 - The first table layout I've made, using SSI. Ever since then, all the layouts were tables. I screwed up a little with this one, but got it up. The themes (or colors, you can say) that I remember are: Electric (I took it down in a day), Trainers (a green layout), and Water (after moving to a new Angelfire account).
Layout Version 4 - The first layout in the new server of Hypermart. It was a dark blue layout, with a picture of an armored Mewtwo. I thought this layout was very good at that time.
Layout Version 5 - The fire layout. Believe me, it really looked like the site was on fire! The only bad thing was that many people says it was too bright, and the menu was hard to read.
Layout Version 6 - First layout after moving to Tripod. A sort of water/plant theme with Bulbasaur and Vaporeon on the top picture. The menu was much shorter, making it one of the fastest loading layouts Pokemon Dream has had.
Layout Version 7 - The menu was once again extended to full length. This layout had a whole bunch of themes. The following are the ones that I still remember, and they are not in order: Dark Blue (a dark blue layout), Celebi & Lugia layout (I soon modified the top image using PSP 7), Celebi (a layout with Celebi and only Celebi), Fire (another fire layout, but it doesn't have that burning look of the previous fire layout).
Layout Version 8 - I took a lot of time making this new one, since I've never made anything like this before. This layout had some errors with the tables, so I had to change it.
Layout Version 9 - A very nice and clean layout related to Layout #8.
Layout Version 10 - A pair of layouts (one for main content and one for specific content) designed with few images for fast load times. This layout went through probably 6 or 7 different skin changes over a period of 3 years.
Layout Version 11 - The current layout. The first layout designed using mainly CSS.