August 1999 » Generation STEPS Launches
On 1st August 1999, Generation STEPS launched onto the World Wide Web. The site was three Steps sites merged into one bringing all the best bits from the sites into one central location. Thanks to the team at Activate Media we gained our own domain-name and secured our presence on the Internet. The original design of the site was very dark, the site was mainly black, with white text and pink links. The site was in frame format with a top and bottom frame for the links which opened in the middle when clicked. The site started off with a huge level of vistors and in a space of only a few months our unique visitor count moved over the 100,000 mark.
Later on in 1999, Steps' Management decided to counter-act against the huge amount of Steps websites appearing on the internet and launched their own official website. A member of our team, Jack Wallington, left to work on the official site. Despite the official site, we continued to be strong and the visitors still came in their thousands upon thousands, so we launched version 2. Version 2 was more vibrant than the original site, using the colours pink, blue and white which was much easier on the eye. The new site was welcomed by the visitors and in just the few months between August and the end of 1999 the site had managed to gain almost 200,000 unique visitors. As Steps built up for the 1st US release in February 2000, the hits to the site came thick and fast, during the few months where Steps were active in the US. At this time we were gaining more than 100,000 unique visitors per month!
Version 3 was more of an interim update from Version 2. We changed some of the graphics and the odd colour here and there to give the site a much needed facelift but the majority of the site remained like version 2. Graphics became purple and less pink.
Version 4 saw a return to the black which was around in version 1. Although it was more subtle than the original version with the site having more white and colour than the original site. Version 4 saw us add a drop-down menu to the site for navigation and an increase in the overall content of the site.
Development for version 5 started soon after the release of version 4. Although many designs were created it was a few months before a final version 5 look was chosen. Version 5 was 'leaked' by someone to another site, despite tight development on the site. This leak meant that we had to launch the site way before it was ready to be launched. The site was php based and blue in colour. From our point of view the site worked well but was very heavily affected by the leaking and the site was never able to fulfill its full potential.
Version 6 development followed quickly after the rushed launch of version 5. It was created by Nick although this wasn't the first choice for version 6. Another Version 6 - developed by Mon - was worked on for many months. We decided to stop development on the original version 6 due to time constraints and we needed a new site which both looked good and could be created in a short period of time, so we held a comptetition to choose a winner.
To mark the anniversary of the STEPS split, we launched Version Seven. Bright, happy and cheerful, version seven saw a fresh start for Generation STEPS as the year 2004 dawned and the whole site was brought up to date with the latest information.
Our eighth incarnation saw a total overhaul of Generation STEPS. Every single page was reviewed, revised and reformatted, and new features were added to the site, including a media player, magazine browser and solo pages for each member. After the relaunch in early 2007, Generation STEPS contained more information than it had ever before.