Getting to my second million, was certainly easier than my first!
When DeROK.Net got its 1,000,000th hit back on August 19th, 2005, it was a very big deal for me. It represented a level of success that I'd never dreamed of reaching. So while the fact that another seven figures have been added to the counter since then isn't any earth-shattering news, it's still something to reflect on briefly. This won't be a super-long article like the first time, but a lot has happened to this site in the past 15 months, and I'd like to chronicle that. While this is definitely more for me, as a way to keep track of things, if you're a long-time fan of the site, you may appreciate this as well.
When I hit my first million, it took me 1,176 days to do so. I then set a lofty goal of hitting the 2 million mark by January 1st, 2007. So it's a big personal accomplishment to know that I reached the goal by November 30th, 2006, with 31 days to spare. This time it only took 468 days. What's even more amazing is that I made it my goal despite the fact that this site got absolutely trashed in the search engines when Google started updating its data centers this summer. Because of that, there was a period of two-and-a-half to three months where this site received next to no traffic. Were it not for the horrible summer, I may have been able to reach 2,000,000 within a year.
So that's my new goal: 3,000,000 visitors by November 30th, 2007. While it's certainly not out of the question it still would require some growth. I haven't recovered 100% from the Google updates, and I'm using a new counter system from here on out that will be extremely accurate. The way it was set up before only allowed for a good estimate, but may have been a little high or low.
The biggest change that's happened since August '05, and probably the biggest change in the history of DeROK.Net was the major facelift the site received on January 1st, 2006. The old style of typing everything on a page's background with just a navigation bar on the left was replaced by the spiffy new three column design you see now. It was a move that allowed the site to be more organized, while highlighting some of the site's better sections with the "feature" bar. And of course it looked much more professional.
Things pretty much remained on an even keel until the summer of 2006 when I decided to shed the image-based roll-over navigation in favor of a text-based navigation, which you now see on your left. Having the opportunity to go to a drop-down, or in this a case sliding-to-the-right navigation, allowed me to finally organize the site exactly the way I wanted and still keep everything easy and simple to access. The idea of DeROK.Net being a sports, movies, music, television, and video game super-site was finally a reality.
There were also some major renovations to be done, particularly in DeROK's Funniest Videos, which has now become DeROKTube. By embedding movies from YouTube, I was now able to have the large collection of quality videos that I had always wanted. That also gave me the idea to expand the concept of embedding further by creating DeROKCube, which now boasts some of the net's best flash games.
Of course the facelift is still ongoing. Several of the more popular pages on the site have been converted to the more eye-appealing "splash" page format. You can check out the home page to see what I'm talking about. The splash pages are much easier to navigate, looked much better, and really started to give the site a much more consistent look as they set the standards for design throughout the site. While the updates aren't complete yet, the finished product will be worlds away from the humble "Comic Sans MS, on a dark grey background" that was the staple of DeROK.Net for years. Things have certainly come a long way!
2006 also brought along the first addition to the DeROK.Network, MedSkool.Net, which launched in the spring. It would be followed by TWolvesBlog.com, which recently burst onto the NBA Blogging-map in late October. The success of TWolvesBlog.com persuaded me to also create DeROK.Net: The Blog which launched in November.
As you can see, DeROK.Net is continuing to grow and take its creativity to the next level. And I hope the loyal fans of the site and new visitors a like will keep coming back on our road to 3,000,000!