BMW Heaven - The Knowledge Base 2.0

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The history of BMW Heaven: 1999 - 2005

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The history of BMW Heaven: 1999 - 2005
bmhvn v2.0 and anti-mercedes
bmhvn v2.1 & v3.0
bmhvn v4.0 and thanks to...
All Pages
How it all started
BMW Heaven (bmhvn) has been on the internet for over 6 years now, providing you with all the BMW info possible. A little history about BMW Heaven, because the new shouldn't only replace the old, but should also honour the old. For those who have been with bmhvn in the last 6 years, thank you. And for those just having a first look into this website, a very big welcome.As you might have realised, bmhvn has gotten into version 4.0, which means that there have been 3 previous versions. Also the name of the website has changed from BMW-Freaks to BMW Heaven.

history
Please click the "read more"-button to read the rest of the fascinating history of bmhvn!



bmhvn v1.0 / bmw-freaks
It all started in september 1999, when my hobby became something I wanted to carry out in the biggest growing communication network in the world. Putting up a simple site, which attracted about about 20 visitors a day, and didn't have a lot of information, but it did have a lot of "under construction"-pages, whcih even I found very annoying. The site looks a little playful, as I just started experimenting with html. A 3-frame setup, which displayed a chicken (LOL) in the left frame, with the standard links to all the different pages. The car-page showed links to the cars that were built until 1999, such as the e46 3-series, the X5 and the Z3.

bmw-freaks / www.bmw-freaks.com (hosted at port5) / v1.0

v10
bmhvn v2.0 / bmw heaven - raging power
After having to move to another server, bmhvn got into a new start on the 21st of march 2001. The website, first hosted at port5, had to move due to money problems at port5. The newest thing was Freedom2Surf (f2s), which gave a 20mb hosting for free, with a nice website url. Getting tired of bmw-freaks, I changed the name to BMW Heaven, and also registered www.bmwheaven.com with some free domain name registering service. The newly uploaded website looked cleaner, less playful, and had loads of information. The newest news was always on the site, and sometimes there wer even concepts never shown on the internet on bmhvn. You could now even look into the history of BMW, getting info on the DIXI, 326, 328 and other historical models.

bmw heaven - raging power / www.bmwheaven.com (hosted at f2s) / v2.0
v20



anti-mercedes v0.1 / anti mercedes - can it get worse?
In the same style as bmhvn v2.0, I decided to build something more controversial next to my BMW site. The love for BMW, created a sort of hate for Mercedes, and I just had to use the internet to spread the word ;). I made an anti-mercedes website in one day, and registered www.anti-mercedes.com. The reactions to the site were pretty diverse, some people almost wanting to kill me, other wanting to praise me into heaven! I decided after some time that it wasn't worth making fun of another brand, just because I don't like it, so after a year or so I quit the website, and leaving Mercedes alone.

anti-mercedes - can it get worse? / www.anti-mercedes.com (hosted at f2s) / v0.1
anti-merc
bmhvn v2.1 / bmw heaven - raging power
Having trouble again with the free webserver, I had to move server again. Trying desperately to get a new free webhost, I put a message on the site that bmhvn was in need of new free space. After waiting a long while someone contacted me, someone known as Jeff Seabrook, the owner of www.bmwsport.net. He told me I could get free webspace at his server, so my website could be continued! I still cannot thank him enough, as he has done a lot for me. The only problem is that I might have been a little crude to him, and because of the large distance between us, things have been going worse lately, and I'm deeply sorry for that. But the site did well at the time, moved to bmwsport.net on the 12th of january 2002, and got the domain name bmwheaven.bmwsport.net (which still exists now). The site looked better, made some changes to the navigation of the site, so people could find their stuff easier. More and more people started to come around, and unique visitors per day reached a top of 200! Also a personal page was added, in which members could show off their own cars, which did fairly nice, showing almost 30 cars from all over the world.

bmw heaven - raging power / www.bmwheaven.com (hosted at bmwsport.net) / v2.1
v21



bmhvn v3.0 / bmw heaven - the bmw knowledge base
Getting tired of always manually changing the html of my site, I had a look into some Content Management Systems (CMS), which are based on php-code with a back-end mysql database. My eye fell on phpNuke CMS, which I began investigating in june/july 2003. Together with a friend of mine, Joren, we made a totally new website, with a complete redesign, and totally new content. The design was a little controversial, showing a green devil with a BMW-logo in his hand, and a totally dark website. I think this made some people to not like bmhvn anymore, and going to other sites. I personally liked the site, and the information displayed was so wide, that it was hard to find your way through the whole site. Also at this time I got a lot of support from Terry, helping me keeping my site up-to-date all the time, and just being a good friend at the moment (although the distance between us isn't very small). The website featured a forum and a big gallery and was "officially" online from the 21st of october 2003.
The problem with the newest version of bmhvn is that I wasn't able to keep it up-to-date, because I was going backpacking for almost a year. It was too bad, the site got a little neglected, and then the worst thing happened. The phpNuke CMS wasn't as secure as I hoped, and it got hacked constantly by annoying people who didn't have a better purpose in life then hacking bmhvn every 2 days. After trying to get it restored a couple of times in internet café's on the other side of the earth, I gave up, and closed the site permanently, a tragic end...

bmw heaven - the bmw knowledge base / www.bmwheaven.com (hosted at bmwsport.net) / v3.0
v30
bmhvn v4.0 / bmw heaven - the bmw knowledge base
After not having a BMW website for a long time, I decided it was time for a come-back. I began working on the newest version of bmhvn in october 2004, after returning from the greatest trip of my life. I decided that I wanted a CMS again, but one that was a lot safer then phpNuke, and with an easier administration section. After a few tips from Jeff (Seabrook) I looked into Mambo CMS (also known as MOS), and came to the decision that I wanted it for my new site. I began building from scratch, which was a lot of work, but it was really worth it. I integrated CMS, forum and gallery in one site, and sadly had to leave the bmwsport.network forum (because I wanted to give my visitors one fully integrated website, and not 2 seperate parts). It took me from october 2004 until july 2005 to build a whole new site, while also moving out of my parents' place and beginning a new study in Utrecht. Joren helped me again with the design. Both Jeff and Terry were a great mental support, so that bmhvn v4.0 would finally see the light! On august 8th 2005 it was finally going through, after moving to a new server (at ipowerweb) the newest bmhvn went online, and it's going pretty fine until now. Having a specification database which contains specs for almost 500 BMW's, a forum, a huge gallery (almost 3000 pictures/movies) and information about a lot of BMW's models of the last 30 years. News is added to the site as soon as possible, and information popups give registered users a lot of information, without it being annoying. Problem is that bmwsport.net didn't survive the server move, and Jeff just hasn't got enough time to get it back on track (which I deeply regret).

bmw heaven - the bmw knowledge base / www.bmwheaven.com (hosted at bmwsport.net) / v4.0
v40



Thanks go out to...
everybody who has put their time into helping me with this site
everybody who has visited this site over the last 6 years
and especially Jeff Seabrook, Terry Lee and Joren Scharn for always listening to my annoying things, and just being on the world!

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I surely enjoyed writing it.
Please use the "discuss"-button below to comment on this article in the forum, I would love to hear your stories about this website, how long you have been with bmhvn, and maybe what you can do for it in the future!

Your favourite webmaster, Ilir Dibrani, reporting from Utrecht, The Netherlands (October 19th, 2005).

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 November 2005 18:05  
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