I launched Divorceinfo.com in December of 1996 using something called the “Internet.” Honestly, I was there. I remember we said stuff like that then.
My original goal for the site was modest; I was at that time operating a small law practice focusing on divorce mediation and cooperative divorce; in connection with my law practice I was printing and giving away about 35 different “Information Sheets” about the various issues around divorce and separation in Alabama, and I was looking for a way to cut down on my printing costs. I put the Information Sheets up on the web site and almost immediately began hearing from people I didn’t know who had found the sheets on search engines like WebCrawler and Lycos – Google had launched in early 1996 but was virtually unknown during the early days of Divorceinfo.com.
I’m proud of what Divorceinfo.com became in those heady early days of the Internet, a site that found an eager audience by speaking with compassion and good humor about a subject still considered by many to be taboo and shameful.
During the first six to eight years, I worked feverishly and passionately to build Divorceinfo.com, dreaming daily about what I could add to the site to make it more useful, to make it more compelling. Then I began to move on. My attention shifted to other things. Amanda and I purchased and developed our farm.
Nineteen years is a long time, but it’s an eternity in the Internet world. If you’re a typical Divorceinfo.com reader, you are a full generation younger than my original users. Your tastes, preferences, and demands are different – and more exacting – than those of your parents a generation ago. You’re as likely to find me now using your smartphone or tablet as you are using a computer. Divorceinfo.com needs to change to continue to serve you, and that’s exactly what is happening.
For the past several weeks I have been working behind the scenes to migrate Divorceinfo.com from its ancient roots in Microsoft FrontPage to an updated platform. Among other things, the site is now responsive, meaning that it adapts to whatever device you use to view it. You probably don’t care about this, but it’s interesting enough to me that I’m going to tell you about it. When I first went live with the migration, Divorceinfo.com had about 512 pages, containing 3,267 links. 315 of those links were broken, meaning when you clicked on them you were told the page was no longer available. This is awful, but it’s not surprising. The Internet changes all the time. For the past five days I’ve been working on those broken links, eliminating about 50-55 each day on breaks from my farming chores. A few minutes before posting this, I proudly repaired the last broken link on the site, so that I’m able to say now that, for the first time in more than a decade, every link on the site works.
What comes next?
The changes aren’t yet complete. During the weeks and months ahead, you will see the site continue to evolve.
- You will see improvements in design
- You will see more images
- You will see more options as the site becomes more interactive
But the most important thing you will see will be more information, timely, accurate, focused on what you need as you encounter divorce. And who knows; maybe there will be a little good humor along the way too. Stick around. I bet we can help each other get through this.