This website has been going, in one form or another, for the past 22 years. That’s really quite a long time, as websites go.
First there was The Elated Web Toolbox, built in 1997 with my jolly good friend and business partner Simon and packed with freebies for webmasters such as web templates, free images, and web design and Photoshop tips.
Eventually we added forums (and made our forum software, Teemz, free for anyone to download), a store, and more free goodies, and did a snazzy redesign:
In 2002 I moved from the UK to Australia, but that didn’t stop Simon and I working together on Elated, building websites for clients and continuing to pump out freebies and downloads. That same year we launched PageKits.com, our paid web templates site, and in 2006 elated.com got another, brighter facelift:
Eventually Simon and I went our separate ways — Simon got himself some contract work and eventually a steady job in London, while I branched off into freelance web development and a few other fun projects.
During this time I continued to update Elated, mostly with web design and development tutorials, and thus it evolved into a tutorials blog, with a snazzy new redesign (again done by Simon) and a transition to all-PHP code. I also had a big hit with my eBook on jQuery Mobile, which sold surprisingly well and gave me a nice taste of financial freedom for a while. Elated.com was also doing quite well with advertising at this time, thanks to fairly decent traffic levels (around half a million visits a month).
Unfortunately, in 2011 and 2012, Elated’s traffic took a tumble thanks to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, which killed off not just the ad revenue, but also my enthusiasm for working on the blog. So it has pretty much been dormant since then.
In the meantime, I started up Brightpips, a blog about kids, tech and learning, and a corresponding interactive book on space, which I’m still immensely proud of. Then my wife and I launched Tech-Savvy Tigers, a blog and web design and development business aimed at helping solopreneurs and online entrepreneurs. This worked fairly well for a couple of years but never really brought in decent money (I suspect this was partly because many solopreneurs don’t have much of a budget to spend on their websites!).
And what better website to use for my new biz than elated.com? Yes, the traffic is still relatively low thanks to Google’s previous algorithm updates (and probably the lack of site updates for a number of years), but it’s still way higher than any of the other websites I’ve run over the last few years. It also still has a decent social media following. Plus elated.com is a fantastic domain name! 🙂
So, over the last few weeks I’ve been having fun building this brand new, WordPress-based site for elated.com, as well as writing a custom WordPress plugin to import the hundreds of blog posts and thousands of forum comments from the old elated.com site (which was an entertaining way to spend a couple of weekends!).
From here on in, this site will be mainly about me and my web development services. I will no doubt post the occasional article on the blog about web dev, WordPress, and how my business is going (and hopefully growing), as well as the odd rant. You’ll also still find many of my previous tutorial blog posts here (over 200!) as well as my blog posts that were previously published over on Tech-Savvy Tigers. I hope you enjoy it.
Right, I hear some clients calling already. Better get to work! 🙂
Been a loooonng time. Nice to see your site running again. Subscribed.
Use to visit your old site often when I had my own business site online. My present site is just a free one to mess around with.
Matt Doyle says
Thanks for your comment Ron! I remember you posting on the Elated forums way back I think 🙂
Michael D. Breen says
Wow! Very impressive.
Matt Doyle says
Thanks Michael! Took a while to redo the site but I think it was worth it. 🙂
Well done! Nice website 🙂
Matt Doyle says
Thanks Mauco! 🙂
I first came here back in 2011-ish and I was very impressed with minimum blog versus the very large 400+ files of wordpress needed. I pursued more into PHP/MySQL with I often look back and cannot even phantom how I managed to make things from scratch and continue to do things, recently I am trying to convert my old source into a new source, and possibly will recruit Matt into helping me.
I’m glad you’re back. I look forward to more
Ann Brigida says
Matt, you and Simon were my lifeline to beautiful, functioning web work when I first decided to get into the business. I wish I could post a picture here–I STILL have my ‘elated’ folder of printouts of our amazing how-to’s. You were such an influential part of the way I looked at the web, and I’ll never be able to tell you how much I loved your stuff, ALL of it! The tutorials were amazingly well done; your art and sense of design were completely compelling (in a world that was using a lot of animated GIFs, lol…), and your generosity and kindness were beyond anything on the web. I have so much respect and gratitude for you and Simon. I’m so happy to see this blog and know that you’re back– the web continued to evolve as well, and it will be interesting to get your take on things and thank you sooooo much for posting some images from the wayback machine!! You influence me more than you’ll ever know!
Matt Doyle says
Thanks so much for your kind comment, Ann – it made my day! I will forward your message onto Simon also 🙂
Awww, thank you, Ann. It’s amazing and humbling to hear we had that kind of impact, especially so many years down the line!