Elvenmonk.net originally started as a prebuilt freewebs site, then under the name barefootedmonk and called Monk Inc., with hopes of reporting gaming news and becoming the next IGN, Kotaku, Joystiq, or Polygon and squashing a bet between a friend and I that I could indeed make a website.
This was back in the summer of 2003 and I had no idea how to create a website or even what HTML was. I was young and eager to make $2 and shove it into my friends face. Boy was I in for a angry time. See the pre-built freewebs couldn't even do half of what I had wanted, even at such a young age. So, I decided to make a new site under the name "elvenmonk" and I figured that since their simple site builder wasn't enough for me that I was more then enough ready to tackle on making a full blown website on my own and I could do it no problem. Litterally I thought I could design a full blown masterpeice of a website (at that time most websites were not advanced). Obviously I couldn't. At first the site was nothing but pictures I thought were funny at the time spammed. You'd load the page and BOOM! 50 images ranging from trees looking like dicks to photoshopped Taco Bell signs. Later I decided to actually add in, well, text and an update page amongst other things. At this point I made 30 freewebs pages to make a huge website and get around the limitation of Freewebs. Which at that time was 50 files only for a max of 10 MB and 50 MB of bandwith a month. With now a bunch of other sites to exploit I could expand. I tried reporting news, making AMVs, a pure 100% flash site, a Ragnarok Online help site, a game hint site, a flash animation site, etc. I tried a lot. Through all those I learned bits of things. For the people who have seen the site at that time, I'm sorry. I have no idea why I thought a baby blue background with a orange-ish pink tables everywhere with bright yellow size 16 Vinner Hand ITC was a good idea. Later I finally changed the font to Comic Sans (I like it and it's much easier on the eyes as opposed to Vinner Hand ITC). However, that time was useful. Due to Freewebs Advance HTML editor as I typed stuff, made tables through their HTML editor, and such I would examine the code and see what was different. After less then a year of doing that I became pretty good with HTML and decided it was time to learn PHP. I spent weeks trying to discover a free hoster (because at this time I was in the 7th grade), finally I found one. Little did I know that this would be the longest part of making my website, as I finally actually learned PHP despite years of me saying I'd do so. It took 10 years, but at least I learned it (and to be honest I'm just using my C knowledge honestly).
It is 9th grade and I decide to take a webmaster class to learn how to become a better web designer and programmer. Instead I wind up getting hired to do my school's website. Which thank god they finally decided, as of 2013, to remove that terrible website. It was here that I finally decided on a hoster. It was then Chargertek's free hosting. I actually only started using ChargerTek for my Counter-Strike 1.6 download server to help relieve some stress from my Counter-Strike 1.6 server and to have faster downloads. I started having issues with my current free hoster so I moved my website over. I made a quick layout to show off the switch. I loved it so much that I decided to for the first time pay for webhosting. I sent them a money order for 1 year of hosting and domain name info. That started the era of Elvenmonk.net. Deciding that I needed to have a decent looking website since I was now paying for hosting I quickly went and downloaded one while I made a layout I could live with. That is this current layout. Then it was in pure HTML except for the news management system. I set up my SMF forum and I was set. It felt like home and everything was good. That however wouldn't last. On year 3 They merged with IGC hosting which was run by a friend of the guy who ran ChargerTek. After that every night my website was reverted back, all forum posts were lost, my website was going down by the hour. It was completely god awful. I started to look around for webhosters with close to the same. One of the people from a forum I would visit reffered me to Siteground. It was there at Siteground did I start the "Elvenmonk.net - The next generation!" as I had big ideas and had finally finished converting my website to PHP.
The Siteground era was a long and annoying 4 years. It was expensive when I first switched over, but worth it. I had everything I wanted and thensome. I could do just about what I wanted, it was amazing! This is the SMF forum that we still have as the one from ChargerTek/IGC was broken and couldn't be transfered over to Siteground. Not much happened during the Siteground years due to me being in college and trying to become a better programmer and decent at fighting games. As the years went by Siteground started to removed features and ask that to get them back I had to pay extra $5-$15 a month. It got to the point to where website backup and serverside spam protection were removed. Being as pissed as I was I started to look for a new hoster.
Finally I landed on Hostgator, which is where I'm currently at. They offered more for less, and the exact same I had at Siteground for MUCH LESS. I had more control over my site aswell and now that I have more time on my hands I am back to work on my site. I am trying to completely convert everything to a more efficient website and finish off some long standing projects. I wonder where these next years will take me and the site. I've been with this site for over 10 years now, and I would like to see it grow into something. Only the time will tell.