Site History
A Look Back at the History of thirdstage.ca

This site all started as a little project I came up with during the summer of 1999, between my first year and second year of college. I had decided I wanted to create a Boston website. I decided that I wanted to create this website from scratch in just 2 weeks, which isn't much time to build an entire site. To this day I still cannot figure out if I was really ambitious or if I was out of my mind! I spent many long nights, early mornings and any time in between to get it done -- and I did. On June 01, 1999, "Third Stage: A New World" was born. The site was hosted on the free service Webjump.

Not too much changed for a while; I worked to keep the news up to date, which at the time wasn't too hard, considering the lack of news in the Boston camp at the time. I made a few changes here and there, and some design changes (which I cringe at every time I think about them). The site soon moved to another free hosting service, Batcave. It stayed there for a while.

Then in April of 2001, after getting sick of the ads plastered on my site and the limitations that come with a free webhost, I decided to get my own webhost. I registered the domain thirdstage.ca and moved the site to my new home. At that time, I decided to rebrand the site from "Third Stage: A New World" to simply "thirdstage.ca". Having my own webhosting with Elosoft meant I no longer had to put up with any banner or pop-up ads and I didn't have restrictions as to what types of files I could host, or how big they are. In September of 2001, I assumed control of the Boston webring, which had been run by Jody Wager for about 5 years prior. On April 14, 2002, I uploaded a completely redesigned site, which had a much brighter appearance overall than the site had ever seen since its birth.

On October 30, 2002, right after boston.org closed their forums suddenly, I added a board to this site to try and fill the void and give visitors of boston.org a new home. It quickly demonstrated the limitations of my hosting on Elosoft. Since boston.org was a popular board, a lot of traffic that was going there was now coming here. People were getting errors with "too many connections", and this caused problems with the board -- it quickly fell apart at the seams. Thankfully, Kelly Wilbur -- another Boston fan, had a ton of webspace that he generously offered to host the board. The board had a new home at thirdstage.toobookoo.com, where it spent quite some time. I eventually passed down the board to another member of the forum and they took over administrative duties.

The biggest thing to happen to this site since it first launched came in 2003, when I decided that I could no longer give the site the attention it needed, and I said goodbye to this site.
 
Here was the last post in the news section I made on January 10, 2003:
 
This has nothing to do with Boston, but it is related to this site

You've probably noticed the notice on the main page, regarding this site. After over 3 years, I've decided to call it quits.

This isn't a decision I came to lightly. I've thought long and hard about this. The truth is that for a while, this site, which started as a hobby, has become an obligation. Besides the fact that running a website like this is time consuming, I just don't feel like I can give this website the amount of attention I used to. The shutdown schedule is posted on the main page (the final day will be June 1st).

It's time to move on and focus on the other things in my life.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and this site over the years. It's been great!

That concludes the final news update on thirdstage.ca.

Well, for over 2 years, it looked like this site would never come back. I had kept the domain and webhosting active, and had even added a new "site" to thirdstage.ca in 2004, which is a simple set of pages containing video clips relating to the TV series "Charmed".

In summer of 2005, having a lot of time off, I decided I wanted to resurrect this site. In September 2005, I reopened the site, at the time not knowing how much I'd be updating the site content. In 2006, I redesigned the site yet again.
 
In early 2007, after feeling unsatisfied with the webhosting service I was getting,  I found a new host and started the process of switching to them. On March 19, 2007, thirdstage.ca started hosting with a local company. Having the site moved to the new host gave me more flexibility and control over the site as my last host had a cap on number of connections, and they didn't even support PHP! I finally had the chance to make some big changes. In late March/early April, I started working on some of those changes...
 
June 01, 2007, eight years to the day since this site first launched, it relaunched with the biggest changes in this site's history. Not only was there a fresh design, but the entire structure of the site changed. I decided to install and run the Joomla content management system, which is the way more websites are being managed. This change has allowed more control over the site and design as the content is separated from the design elements, as well it allows more dynamic content and components to be implemented.
 
These past years have been quite a ride; I hope it continues for a long time to come! Thanks to everyone who has and continue to support this site -- from the emails of support to financial contributions, which help cover the costs of running this site, I truly appreciate it.
 
-Mike. 
 
 
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