The first step is always the hardest
The Amiga Future webpage went online for the first time on 1999-09-09 (actually, this date was a sheer coincidence).
So why was there the need for a dedicated Amiga Future webpage in the first place? After all the magazine was published by ICP and later FALKE - and both publishers already had webpages.
Neither of them had planned a page for the Amiga Future though, but we wanted to have direct contact with our readers and any future customers.
So, we had the idea to create an independent homepage for the magazine.
We started with a small page containing information related to the magazine, news, and a forum. Back then the complete page required less than 5 MB storage, no really, so it was quite a ridiculously small size compared to websites thesedays.
(Amiga Future Webpage 2000)
The number of visitors was equally small. It took quite some time before we reached more than 50 visitors per day.
There were no databases or scripts, the whole page was entirely HTML. Even the news items were manually injected into the HTML code.
The first major section we added was given the splendidly confusing name "Interactive". There we published lots of interviews and polls.
More or less at the same time the download area went online where users could get about a dozen saved-games and a few programs.
Of course all that has changed over time.
So what about now?
Currently the Amiga Future webpage's size is about 30 GB. The databases alone require about 300 MB.
Almost all the content is stored inside the databases and any new content doesn't have to be entered manually into the source-code anymore.
Only the cheat and walkthrough area is still pure HTML and is edited manually. But as soon as we can afford it we'll make that information database based as well. By the way: this section contains cheats, walkthroughs, tips and tricks for more than 3400 Amiga games.
Then there's the Amiga Future webpage's article-database with currently more than 3700 German and 700 English articles. It should qualify as being one of the largest Amiga article collections worldwide.
The download database contains more than 5000 free downloads for our users, far more than 500 of those being commercial full versions.
At the moment this download database is our smallest problem-child. We have a lot more software (full versions too) in stock, that we'd like to put online. But we need re-inforcements for that to happen as the whole area needs to be cleaned up and catalogued. So people with some spare time and a passion for this task please contact us!
The Amiga Future download statistics are quite interesting actually:
The packages with the highest number of downloads by far are Ports Of Call, DigiBooster 1.7, AmiKit 1.6.0 and the Amiga Tribute Video.
The highest traffic results of downloads of AmiKit 1.6.0, Foundation and the Desert Racing demo-versions.
One single user managed to download 6591 files over the years.
The Amiga Software Database (ASD) is the largest collection of information on Amiga applications. It contains more than 4000 records and is constantly growing.
There are more than 20,000 pictures stored in the Amiga Future gallery and the calendar reminds you about all those important dates and events regarding the Amiga.
Of course the webpage also provides an Amiga FAQ and a link-collection, the latter consisting of more than 600 links to Amiga specific topics and pages.
Then there's the news area, which is the section that was extended most over the last couple of years. By now you can choose between different view-styles, the news itself became more detailed and is available in German and English, of course. So now there are tools, dockies and apps to check out the Amiga Future News as of now, and it is even possible to integrate the news-feed into your own homepage. The news items are distributed via Twitter and Facebook. So although the Amiga Future News doesn't have to hide behind other news sites anymore there's still room for improvement.
By the way: Amiga Future update-news items are now published as "monthly news" on other news-pages only.
There's also a small area reserved for subscribers to the Amiga Future print magazine where it's possible to get a sneak-peek into the next issue's index and to download the companion-CD's covers.
Of course, there's also a small, but friendly, forum which also integrates the support-area for the various APC&TCP products allowing you to directly communicate with the respective programmers.
Amiga Future Webpage 2014
Certainly we'll try to expand and further improve the website.
At the moment technical changes, under the hood, that users wouldn't really notice have top priority. This is done to simplify and speed up working on the site. That's really necessary ase all these people who work on the site do it for free.
The news-section will be extended, the download area will be reworked and integration of the cheat-collection into a database is badly needed.
All a matter of money and manpower.
Naturally the Amiga Future website's access numbers differ quite a lot from those 15 years ago.
As an example check out those Webhits-numbers from July 2014:
Traffic: 95,533,406 KByte
How's the Amiga Future website financed?
The Amiga Future website is completely self-financed. In contrast to common belief it is not financed through the Amiga Future print magazine's sales. That couldn't be justified because it offers too much that has nothing to do with the print mag. In fact the website and the print mag are often in competition with one another.
No, it is solely financed through ads and donations though we try to keep the ads as unintrusive as possible.
Ads alone are not enough though, we heavily depend on donations to finance improvements and extensions.
But don't think we make any profit with those donations. In 2013 the Amiga Future website cost about 900 EUR while the donations in 2013 amounted to 170 EUR, most of that coming from Amiga Future editors. Some part of the remaining costs are covered by ads, the rest is paid for by APC&TCP.
A big "Thank you"
At this point I'd like to thank all those people who work on the Amiga Future's website. Most of them work behind the scenes and don't ever really get noticed - and unfortunately they also, and most often, don't get the acknowledgement they deserve.
The Amiga Future website's notice provides a list of all team-members with their respective areas of help and support.
And last but not least...
... we'd like to know your opinion, of course. What do you think of the Amiga Future website? What's missing? What should be improved? Or do you want to help? Whatever you say, please don't be too harsh with your criticism, as you shouldn't forget that we all invest our spare time for your benefit, and that the whole site, as far as you are concerned, is for free.
With this in mind, enjoy yourselves,