Dudeworld is something I've been working on since 1999 and this is its third incarnation.

Back in the late '90's I was studying IT at nights and accidentally discovered a love for coding websites when I had to build a small web page as one of my assignments.

The first page of dudeworld was born!

Combining photography and technology was something that appealed to me in a big way and it wasn't long before I was studying web design outside of the curriculum and learning to code using nothing more than notepad.

The current site looks nothing like the first couple of versions. Originally it was definitely primitive, being built firstly on a free geocities server and then mirrored on a free brinkster server when regularly exceeding allotted bandwidth became a problem. Remember this was back in the days when almost everybody was on dialup and site design relied heavily on keeping pages skinny enough to load up under 10 seconds.

Dudeworld had started to become popular.

Fast forward to May 2006. My coding skills had come a long way since those early days and I was finally in a position to follow a long held dream and kick off a new, improved Dudeworld on a commercial high speed server.

I bought a business class webhosting package and started coding from scratch, occasionally calling in help and advice from some outstanding mates I'd met online.

By June 2006 Dudeworld was up and running but was still a very small site... there was much work to do.

June '06 was also a landmark month for Dudeworld for another reason, the Knucklehead Saloon Forum was born and visited with gusto by a handful of good mates. Several of them helped me greatly by penning some fine articles and stories for the site and others by chipping in with site assets and fantastic advice. I owe those guys a great debt of gratitude and although they wish to remain anonymous, here's a BIG THANKYOU to you lads !!

July 2006 and Google found Dudeworld... the hit meter started going crazy.

October 2006, most of the other search engines had found Dudeworld as well and the hit meter went bananas all over again. I'd been writing and coding like crazy for months, building the site up and loving every minute of it. I was determined to keep the site as clean and advertising free as I could, a mantra that still holds true today.

People from all over the world were hitting the site and some were coming from countries I had never even heard of.

In its first 12 months of operation Dudeworld had accrued 38 million hits, proving popular beyond my wildest dreams and it still continues to grow like crazy... how crazy ? Well its been a little under 2 yrs now and the hit meter says 88 million... awesome !!

Update: February '08. Sick of yet another server failure, the site offline for days at a time and plenty of hollow promises I knew I had to move the site. During its first two years Dudeworld was living on a server in Melbourne, Australia and the company hosting it were very unprofessional to say the least. They consistently failed to deliver the goods and then lied to their customers about it.

We investigated a plethora of Webhosting companies worldwide seeking out really fat bandwidth, massive amounts of storage and outstanding reliability. Dudeworld finally signed on with a huge, fast and secure American company and now proudly lives in Dallas, Texas. We're guaranteed 99.9% uptime which means finding Dudeworld missing in action is now a thing of the past. We're working feverishly to consolidate all of the Dudeworld data under one roof again (we had to run 2 high speed servers before to handle all the hits). All of this means a better experience for anyone using the site.

The Knucklehead Saloon Forum also came in for a major rebuild during the move. It has been completely ported to a php backend to give everyone a much higher degree of user friendliness. This will also provide a reliable and stable forum platform way into the future. I'm also proud to say we didn't lose one of those 30,000+ posts in the process of moving across the Pacific Ocean and database conversion. Everyone seems very happy with the slick new layout and better functionality. It was sad in a way to see our old heavily hot-rodded forum board go but we must move forward !

Dudeworld was built on a shoestring budget by a regular guy with regular bills. That meant finding smart, low dollar solutions to realise my dream ! For anyone who would like to give it a shot and build their own site, I've listed what I use below.

- A cool old IBM R30 Lappy - a cheap second hand Ebay special
- A free Linux operating system (Ubuntu)
- A fantastic graphics editor Gimp Its easily as good as Photoshop and FREE
- Gedit text editor (the linux equivalent of notepad in windows)
- A 5mp Fuji FinePix S5600 digital camera with a U.V. filter - kickass for the money
- A 5mp Nikon Coolpix L3 digital camera - small enough to take anywhere and doubles as my on-bike vid cam
- A Windows XP Desktop PC for Video Editing duties
- Notepad on the Windows XP Desktop
- - the best damn search engine on the net
- - a fantastic free online heading maker
- - teach yourself to code in HTML

I hope you enjoy your time here and I'd like to extend a huge thankyou to everyone who has visited Dudeworld and spread the good word. You guys rock !!!

Cheers, Richo.