The idea for a NES site stemmed from the idea for a personal site. I, the administrator, wanted to make a small personal site on a free server, displaying information about myself, as well as several sections devoted to some of my favorite hobies. One of these sections, my prize section, would be a NES section.
At the time, I didn't visit around to NES sites much, save for the now-gone nesfan.com. I had a head full of ideas, so many ideas that I hardly gave myself a chance to develop the other parts of my personal site. Eventually, I became so excited about the NES section that I scrapped the entire personal site idea and decided to build for myself a NES-only website.
My web design and graphic skills were very minimal, so I threw together a less-than-decent template as best as I could. The layout was sloppy, the menu was hard to navigate; the one saving feature was the semi-popular border of NES title screens that surrounded each page. I went ahead with the site anyway and prepared a few sections before the site's debut, spending much less time than I should have to prepare.
On the Saturday night of February 10, 2001, RoyalRanger's NES Site made it's debut, hosted on Geocities' servers. Because I had become well-known under the nickname "RoyalRanger" on other sites, one being GameFAQs, this helped me to develop the site name after having trouble thinking of anything more original. The site featured a small gallery, some guides, some reviews, a small, practically inactive EZboard, and a few other knick-knacks. The site's first user counter was installed a week later, and I was shocked to find that I was getting over 100 hits in the second week alone (which, at the time, was considered very good for a new NES site).
After the site expanded for a while, a few key events happened in the Spring of 2001. First of all, nesfan.com had officially closed down, which caused a lot of the nesfan board regulars to migrate over to my forums. Secondly, I redeigned my home page a bit to make it look flashier. An archive of the site's home page at that time can be viewed here.
In the early summer of that same year, the site went on a short hiatus for a few months in order to plan a new, easier-to-use layout. After a while of inactivity, it almost seemed as if I had abandoned my site completely. But after a few server problems occured, I placed the new site up, with many of the previous sections missing. After a while, though, those missing sections were "filled-in." If you would like to view the re-designed site, click here.
In the meantime, the message board was having some problems. I had to move it to different servers at least four times within a matter of mere months. The becoming-popular chatroom was also experiencing problems of the sort. Because of all the board activity, we lost some members and I lost a lot of time and effort.
December of 2001 rolled around when I realized how boring my site looked. I realized that if I ever expected it to become a great site of any kind, I would need to re-vamp the layout. I spent a few weeks of the month, researching various web techniques, including SSI (Server-Side Includes) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). I then went to work to develop a new layout, fashoning it slightly after GameFAQs' layout. Redeisigning every page, save for the contest page, the brand new site was introduced a few days before Christmas. This is the site you see now. This is RoyalRanger's NES Site.
RoyalRanger's NES Site's very first logo: