Magnum Opus has been around for 10 years!  Let us take a look at what my website looked like through the years.

The Beginning: 1997

I signed up for a free web site account on Angelfire.com.  They gave me a whole 200kB of space to work with.  I taught myself some HTML and created my first web page ever.  My account has since been deleted, so I had to recreate as best I could my first web page.  The links do not work.

1998

I ran out of space on my Angelfire account, so I opened a new one and combined the disk space.  I still was programming HTML by hand at this point, but I was beginning to learn some graphics programs.

1999

My web site changed a lot during 1999 and 2000.  This example probably isn't the best it ever looked during that time.  I added new sections to my website.  I got a cool URL for my site (http://welcome.to/this.site), which was still being hosted on Angelfire.

2001

In 2001, my web site matured a lot.  I learned Flash and began using it on my site.  I had temporarily moved my site to my web space provided by Messiah College.  Then I learned how to set up a Windows web server and began hosting the site myself from my dorm room.  I bought the domain www.donnyspi.com in 2001.

2002

I incorporated more Flash into my site as well as server-side scripting languages.  Learning ASP and PHP enabled me to write my own guestbook scripts.  Poll of the Week debuted in 2002.  I ditched my Windows server in favor of Apache on Linux. I hosted my own site through May of 2002 on my Linux server from my dorm room at college.  Then I started renting space on a commercial server for $4.95 a month.

2003

I continued to have my site hosted on 4Dwebhosting.com.  I no longer recommend them as a webhost because their service is poor and they are down a lot.  In 2003 I did some more with Flash on my site. I learned more PHP as well. I was able to have PHP and Flash work together in that PHP could pass variables to my Flash movies. I used this to display in my Flash intro how many days were left until I got married.

2004-2006

Early in 2004 I got sick of Flash. I decided to redesign my site using CSS to assist me in separating out content from presentation. There are links at the top of this page that you can click on to change the look, or "theme", of this site. The cool thing is, when you change the theme, you are seeing essentially the same webpage, but with a different style applied to it. It's easy to update this site because when I make a change in one area of my site, it is in effect no matter which theme you choose to view my site with. My website can look n different ways for the price of one! This also allows my visitors to see the website in a style of their choosing. Some people like lots of images and design, others just want plain black & white words. Now you can have both!

Also in 2004 I moved my site to a box colocated at PA.net. I share the box with 5 other people. I love having full control over my config files, having SSH access, having excellent uptime, and a really fast connection.

In the beginning of 2006, I moved webhosts again. Eric, one of the guys on the PA.net colocated box, branched off and created his own webhosting company, Openthought, LLC. I moved all of my sites over to his new box located at PAOnline.

In August 2006, I eliminated the theme choices and came up with one look for my site. I also implemented AJAX technology for blog comment submission and contact form submission.