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Happy Birthday GFWD

Boy, time sure does fly when you’re having fun. Get Free Web Designs is now one year old. Happy Birthday to us! Let’s recap what’s taken place on the site the past year or so…

Early November 2008 I started a partnership with Aaron to build the site. We discussed what we should call the site, what do we want it to have or not have feature wise, example do we want a forum or designs only, etc.

At the same time, we discussed a road map for the site and began writing custom code from the ground up to make the site do what we wanted, but also be scalable for future plans and features.

Once Aaron and I had the road map in place, we setup a development server to begin our programming work, setup a basecamp to track everything we were both working on and also toyed around with a handful of “possible” names to call the site.

On November 27, 2008 I registered the domain name that would become the next Open Source Web Design site.

Approximately one year ago on December 8, 2008 we started private beta testing Get Free Web Designs with a few select designers.

The following day (Dec 9, 2008) after the start of our private beta testing, we launched our Top 10 Web Design Statistics page on the site. This was a very welcomed edition to the site from a lot of the designers.

December 18, 2008 the site reaches 106 free open source web design templates. Not bad for being in a private “invite only” beta.

Over the next few weeks or so Aaron and I did a lot of testing, coding, more testing and feature enhancements to the site and a few designers continued submitting designs to the site.

Early January 2009 we started working with Wolfram to make a custom web design for use on the site.

On February 1, 2009 we officially opened up the site to the public with 167 designs available to download. We wanted at least 100 and we passed that goal by almost double. We were very pleased.

February 12, 2009 the GFWD’s WordPress Widget was released. This widget allows you to display a feed of the most recent designs from Get Free Web Designs right on your blog or any WordPress powered site.

February 26, 2009 we launched our Free Design Resources page loaded with good tutorials on things like HTML, CSS and fancy graphic design work with Photoshop. The resources page has really grown the past year. Lots of good stuff on it.

Over the next few months a lot of things took place on Get Free Web Designs that I won’t recap here. I just want to highlight some of the more memorable things in this post. You can check out the GFWD blog for additional specifics.

August 22, 2009 we publicly announced that a community forum would be coming to the site. Of course the OSWD community was very pleased to hear this news, however the process of actually getting it launched had many delays as you will read on the blog.

September 26, 2009 after searching some old backups, I located the bakie smiley and it was added to Get Free Web Designs :bakie:

December 6, 2009, about 3 months after announcing we would have a forum on the site, we finally got it launched and opened a 24 hour “invite only” beta testing phase.

The following day on December 7, 2009 the forum was linked up on the site and made public to everyone.

So there you go, a pretty complete recap of what’s taken place since Aaron and I launched the site over a year ago.

As of today and this post, we have 577 free open source web designs available for download, a new community forum and a bright future ahead of us.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support over the years with the many different design sites around the web.

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