The birth of an obsession

Is it just me or has business picked up after the whole Baghdad thing. Two weeks of no sales enquiries then bingo the phones start ringing. Anyway back to the continuing saga that is ezifriends.

Now to provide the whole back story, I was contacted last November/December by a business associate who had decided to code a personals site from scratch. The major rational behind this was to get the experience of building a large site from start to end. He asked if we would like to come on board. For some silly reason I said yes and instantly became co-owner of an un-built dating site.

Actually unbuilt isn’t correct. A large slab of the site had been coded but there were a few key features (email anonymising, credit card processing, etc) that were missing. Besides that, I had acquired the task stripping all the HTML out of the php pages and putting it into templates.

Then there was the issue of ‘what to call the site’. A quick google search revealed a domain name generator (who’s URL I have forgotten) that matched word combinations against existing domain names. Three hours (and several hundred word combinations) later ‘ezifriends’ popped up on the screen. It definitely had an appeal and we couldn’t find any better, so I filled in an online form and registered Suddenly we had a website.

A better design was needed and we convinced Vinee from to run us up something sharper (less daggy, more funky). I proceeded to chop up the design and build templates from it. By now we had missed our Valentine’s day launch date as there were still some big bugs to work out but things were moving on quite well.

Finally we emailed out for user testers. Our first login from a genuine outsider highlighted a few major faults and a mad rush to fix them ensured. Which each successive login the bugs became fewer and fewer until finally I had to concede that the damn thing worked.

With everything working, it seemed a good idea to try and do some promoting. Since we are in Australia, marketing to other Australians appeared to have some merit to it. We immediately hit a snag with our dot com domain name. The local search engines require that you to have a dot au name. A quick visit to the local business name registering building followed by another online form and we had the domain Now it was time to get down to some serious marketing…

John built his first website in 1995, With a reputation for being The Internet Guru, he has become the Internet go-to guy for his clients and friends by helping them make sense of the online world, solving their problems and making Internet easy. - John's Website

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