A short history of Rocket Punch

It all began after I took a short web design course over a summer in 1998. I was also into abit of scale modeling then. So I did what came naturally; do up a website about scale modeling. And wow, more than 10 years already and I’m still doing both of them.

So take a trip with me down memory lane as I present here a short history of Rocket Punch.

When time began…
This was during the Internet’s infancy and many websites offered free webspaces without requiring ridiculous amounts ads (both popup and non-popup ads). In fact, GeoCities only required a small animated banner somewhere on the website. Such good times.

I called the first ever incarnation of my website Mecha Model Factory as I was doing primarily mecha kits. This was in 1999.

Behold evolution…
As GeoCities became more draconian with their ads, I moved the site to a starhub.net.sg domain (I had a dial-up account with the ISP) with one of those free short URL redirectors (http://modelfactory.cjb.net if I remember correctly). This was in 2000. I renamed the site The Model Factory as well since I’ve gone into other genres of scale modeling, namely combat aircraft.

Then 2001 came along and as I learned more about web design (like CSS, SSI etc), I integrated them into my site.

Then myrightfoot.com came along…
I then decided to get a domain name for my personal site. I settled on myrightfoot.com. Why myrightfoot.com you say? Well, it was catchy and My left foot was a movie, so I didn’t want to confuse people. I know, so considerate right?

The Model Factory (TMF) resided as a subdomain http://tmf.myrightfoot.com . It was at this time that a good friend of mine Lion (pronounced Leon) helped me design a mascot for my website which you see below. I drew the airbrush.

My foot disappeared and something mad happened…
My webhost went kaput and along with it my domain name which I couldn’t get back. So I decided to get a new domain maded.com. It’s pronounced Mad Ed’, which is a combination of my fullname.

Instead of a subdomain though, the hobby section resided as part of the main site.

It went through a few variations until…

MadEd also got lost and we come to Rocket Punch!
Yeap, due to an administrative cockup, I lost the maded.com domain also. Meh. I then tried to find another domain name that actually reflects what the site is all about.

At the end of the day, I decided on Rocket Punch, because 1) it’s catchy, 2) it’s easy to remember and 3) it’s a robot cliche. Best! Why a .biz domain though? Well, all the others were taken! So I took the only one that’s available, which is how we get rocketpunch.biz.

When I first began, I had an idea to use the main rocketpunch.biz domain as a freelance web design site so for the first 5 years of existence, my scale modeling site resided at the http://toys.rocketpunch.biz even though I still referred to it as Rocket Punch.

For 4 years it remained like the design you see below.

Finally in 2009, I received some feedback that the thumbnails I used were too small, especially now that 90% of screen resolutions out there are more than 1024×768 that I’ve always designed for.

My good buddy Chairul, graciously helped me design (FOC no less) the Rocket Punch logo that adorns the site. So what you see next is the finetuning of the site.

In March 2010, I decided to finally try to integrate some sort of Content Management System (CMS) into the site. For the last decade (goodness me, decade?), with the help of only CSS, SSI and Javascript, I manually handcoded everything. After 10 years, I finally have so much content that if I were to redesign the site again, I’d have a ton of content that needed to be ported over one by one.

In the end, I spent a weekend integrating WordPress with Rocket Punch. WordPress has evolved to something that is ALMOST what I’m looking for structure-wise. There’s still some things I needed that aren’t available but I’ve worked around them somewhat. As of 2016, it has gone through 2 designs.

So what does the future hold? Who knows to be honest. As Rocket Punch has evolved into a blog and updating is so much easier, I’ve started exploring other aspects of my hobbies. Things like G.I.Joe, Transformers, Star Wars and other things I like are now starting to popup here and there on the site.

This site now generates about 7GB worth of traffic a month (as of 2016) which isn’t a lot, but at least it means it’s getting out there to some folks.

One thing’s for sure, it’ll always remain as a site where it’s about one guy cocking about his hobbies. ONWARD HO I SAY!

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