A frogster-themed website design.


My Biggest Ever Website

A Gaming Social Network

Going For It

By: Simon | Category: Portfolio (Historic)
Published Date: 6th January, 2024

Drawing on the success of my previous website, I decided to go even further. In 2008 I started making Frogster, a social gaming network that had search functionalities to finance the website.

Again, this was a pure PHP and Javascript website that I made from the ground up. This time, there was more emphasis on design. It looked fantastic in it’s day – and it would not look overly out of place today, 15 years later.

The Advent Of Social Media

Social media was just getting going, and it was obvious it was the way forward. I implemented my first non-Google API’s at this point. It was a leaderboard system from a company called Mochi Media that allowed players to compete against each other with online Flash games.

Making websites was also getting easier. Although WordPress was released in 2003, it was not until 2010 that WordPress version 3 was released, and this was the edition that started to turn it into a true content management system (CMS). In other words, WordPress was not WordPress at the time of making Frogster. This was another site that was made from a ‘blank sheet of paper’.

Developing Partnerships

I had hit the big time with my previous website, and for this one I managed to engineer advertising partnerships with both Google and Yahoo. I was given specific permission to display their search ads on the website by both companies, as a full search partner. This was a rare privilege. These types of contract were only reserved for large companies, but it was just still just me on my laptop making websites…..I was learning the true art of business online.

These ad partnerships came with new responsibilities. Giving value to advertisers is imperative if you want your business to succeed online. I had gathered enough information to know that people earning from ad clicks was always a bad move – just like it is today when advertising yourself. Top tip – never use search partners when using Google Ads!

The Birth Of Interconnected Websites

This was a time when connection was key. Websites were migrating from XML based connections to Javascript API’s. One of the main reasons for this allowed more control to be given to the creators of the originating code.

Online advertising drove the need for this kind of migration. It meant click fraud procedures could be controlled by the source, rather than rely on developers implementing code themselves. It was a game changer, and JS based coding is the norm these days with website connections.

When Flash Was King

The frogster homepage with a green background.

Hundreds Of Games

Real Time Leaderboards

Flexibility Was Arriving

By 2008, most people had a broadband internet connection. It was this technological advancement that allowed websites to become much more advanced. For the first time, design could be done as it was meant to be done – with creative flair coming to the forefront.

This advancement gave birth to websites such as Frogster, and these advancements have paved the way to for the internet as it is today.

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