This page lists some stats about the ZDSPB domain, and accounts some of its history.
At its peak (around 2007) the site was receiving between 4,000 and 5,500 hits each day. The number has dropped a bit after I stopped doing repair work, but remains relatively equal.
The most hits ever received in one day was 6,754 and occured in February 2007. I am impressed and grateful for this considerable level of readership. I'm even more intrigued by the fact that the website's number of hits has stayed roughly the same since early 2007; the hits seem to have plateaued and are no longer increasing. The reasoning for this is cause for much speculation; some people have proposed that the target audience has simply been reached. Others have put forth that the site has obtained a critical ratio between the number of viewers finding the site for the first time, and viewers who are just now viewing the site for the last time, causing a balanced-out effect on the visitation level.
The most common website providing a link to this domain is pbnation.com. Other sites include wikipeida.org (paintball marker pages), assorted magazine websites, and other various online forums. The rest of the referrals are through e-mail, or saved internet pages on harddrive.
The most common search queries are: Paintball tech articles, Smart Parts tech, Ion tech, Shocker tech, paintball animations.
· The amount of data transfer is over 50 gigabytes each month or 166,000 megabytes every day.
· The website itself uses slightly more than 4 gigabytes of server memory. However, most of this memory consists of bitmap images, high-resolution videos, etc. The actual text pages holding the HTML code are only around 6 megabytes in total; individual pages are only an average of 10 KB, multiply that by about 500 or so individual pages across the entire zdspb.com domain.
I was interested in website design as a hobby throughout high school, so I used that skill combined with my then-new-found interest for paintball into a small website devoted to it. At the time, one of the best sources for a free website was Angelfire.com so I chose to use for several years. The original website from 2001 looked like this.
Angelfire and I didn't get along. They liked to screw with the bandwidth limits for their free sites, which sometimes forced me pay a fee for hosting because they had just shrunk the allotted webspace right out from under me, and I was then over their limit (for instance, they'd reduce the limit from 10-MB to 3-MB). But then they would increase it back up the next month, and do it again. That, combined with the rash of popups and banner ads, urged me to switch servers when I realized how much better it would be.
When that finally happened in 2004, I switched over to Yahoo webhosting, which I continued to use for many years. The original splashpage layout from 2004 looked like this (some of those links still work). Back in 2004, Yahoo was a strong contender for webhosting, but their service degraded over time (while keeping the same high cost from 2004) so I eventually switched providers in 2012. Well, I begun laying out a large site update in that time; I actually performed the switch in late 2013. At this time I also updated the site's main logos to reflect a more generic paintball appeal, rather than broadcasting defunct logos from companies that are out of business. The underlying code was also rewritten for each page, to make the site easier to adjust and better styled for mobile devices.
Currently, I'm in complete control of the content (besides for the traffic-tracking bots) so there's no spyware or virii to be found here. To verify, check McAfee's virus/malware scan.
Website Design & Maintenance:
If you're interested to hear how this website was created, here are some of the programs I used in doing so.
· FTP & file transfer: FileZilla is the best. Menaging multiple domains at once is a snap.
· Website programming: HTML is typically hand-written using Notepad++ and saved directly onto the site via FTP or the webhost's file manager.
· Graphics design/editing: Currently I use Paint.net for most image editing. In the past I relied heavily on Photoshop CS3 (and ImageReady for the older versions) but I realized these programs were too bloated for the images I was creating, so the free alternative is much better. Before all that, I was fond of MS Paint for simple editing, used for many of my marker animations.
· Animation editing (.gif files): Animation Shop 3 (formally owned by Jasc Software).
· Video editing: Most is done using Uled Video Studio. Video conversion is made using Movavi Video Suite or Quickmediaconverter.
· Data entry: I use Micosoft Excel fairly frequently when gathering data. Vernier Software's Graphical Analysis is used for graph production.
· E-mail client: I previously used Eudora, however currently use Thunderbird.
· Camera: Most of the pictures visible on the site were taken using a Cannon Powershot A550 (7.1 megapixel) until around 2009 when I bought a Powershot A1100is. I don't much care about cameras enough to invest in anything better.
I run several computer systems including one in the office and another in the workshop, but my most powerful computer is my engineering workstation. I know a thing or two about computers and enjoy building them by hand...Intel Core i7 950, ASUS Rampage III motherboard, 12-GB 1600-MHz RAM, four 1.5-TB harddrives in a RAID 10 array, Ultra Chill-TEC black edition cooler, Ultra X3 modular power supply, ATI FirePro v5800 graphics, and a CoolerMaster HAF 922 case. At the moment I'm running Windows 7 x64 which was a recent change for me since I had to upgrade some of my older 32-bit programs for compatability. I use a pair of 22" high definition LCD displays plus another for a nearby laptop if needed. In total the system took a lot of time to research and build, but it's a very well-equipped machine.
My last workstation (where most of the magic happened between 2008-2010) used an Intel Intel Quad Q9450 processor (1333-MB frontside bus @ 2.66-GHz per core) on an Asus P5K-PRO motherboard, Ultra Chill-TEC cooler, 8-GB of 800-MHz RAM, an ATi FireGL v7100 graphics card, and a dual-boot between Vista x64 and XP x32.