On this page, a wholly self-indulgent look at the changing design of Des and Mick Online since the year 2000.
Des and Mick Online was launched on an unsuspecting world on Sunday 30th January 2000 at the snappy web address of http://www.users.nascr.net/~rgwill/. It was barely three months since I had become acquainted with the internet in the first place - what with having virtually zero knowledge of web design, the first incarnation of the site was extremely basic.
No record exists of how the site looked when it first launched. It was chiefly based around stories taken from The Chronicles of Des and Mick, but also contained a small section of television and radio-related material, TV & Radio Bits.
By the autumn of 2000, the website had a new homepage, giving access to its three major sections - TV & Radio Bits, Des and Mick Online, and a third section introduced in August 2000 - DMTV Online, giving details of Des and Mick's spoof television channel.
At this time, Des and Mick Online was far smaller than what it would become, with only around 15 stories available to read.
The designs of Des and Mick Online and TV & Radio Bits were continually evolving throughout 2000 and 2001. The images here show how the sites looked following a redesign in May 2001.
The websites received a major design upgrade in September 2001. A menu bar was added down the right hand side of each page, and TV & Radio Bits was relaunched with a major new look, a raft of new features, and its own domain name - http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/.
In order to create space for the expanding tv and radio site, in late 2001 Des and Mick Online moved to a new server and URL - briefly http://www.desandmick.f2s.com/, and then, from December, http://desandmick.portland.co.uk/. It still lacked a homepage of its own, however...
The Chronicles of Des and Mick at last gained its own homepage in mid-2002. Des and Mick Online was briefly dropped as the overall website name, with The Chronicles of Des and Mick and DMTV Online still regarded as separate websites. The black box in the bottom right of the homepage was the home to the webrings (remember those!) that the site was a member of. The Chronicles of Des and Mick was subtly revamped with a different shade of green for the menu bar. Meanwhile, TV & Radio Bits took on a fresh look in April 2002.
By 2003, there were still only 23 stories available to read on the website, out of the 200 stories that had been written by this time.
The homepage was redesigned in 2004, with the website name reverting to Des and Mick Online, which now encompassed the two sub-sections The Chronicles of Des and Mick and DMTV Online. They were given equal precedence on the homepage.
In May 2004, TV & Radio Bits and Des and Mick Online moved to a dedicated server, with the latter now appearing at the URL http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/desandmick/.
The Chronicles of Des and Mick part of the site changed from a green to a blue background in 2005. At this point, character thumbnail images were added down the left hand side of each page. By late 2005, the website had expanded to contain 64 stories.
TV & Radio Bits, meanwhile, was relaunched with a brand new look on Good Friday 2005.
In early 2006, Des and Mick Online gained an entirely new look. The greens and blues of the past had gone, to be replaced with a red-themed appearance. The menu down the left hand side was replaced by a navigation bar at the top of each page. Further refinements to the design were made in the autumn.
During 2006 and 2007, a major expansion took place which saw almost the entire back catalogue of stories from The Chronicles of Des and Mick added to the website, at that time numbering around 230 stories.
In early 2007, volumes 8 onwards became available in PDF form. Shortly afterwards, the main Des and Mick characters were each given their own page on the social network MySpace.
TV & Radio Bits moved to a wider design in March 2008, now optimised for a resolution of 1024x768.
Major changes took place to Des and Mick Online in November 2008, with the website moving to its own server at the URL http://www.desandmick.co.uk/.
A more organised approach to the structure of the website was brought in. Pages were created for every character that had ever appeared in a Des and Mick story, and stories were also sorted via category. The design was widened to suit a resolution of 1024x768, and the main font changed from Tahoma to Palatino Linotype.
Following the closure of TV & Radio Bits the previous month, some of its content reappeared in text-only form in a new Television section of the website.
In late 2010, MySpace revamped its website, rendering it largely unusable. As a result, as much of the Des and Mick content as possible was salvaged from there and re-presented at Des and Mick Online in a new Blogs section.
The website title moved from the right to the left hand side of the top banner in 2014.
In April 2017, Des and Mick Online received its first major update in over eight years. Despite its familiar appearance, the website design was entirely redone in a 'responsive' format, due to the rise in mobile devices accessing the internet.
Newly written stories were added to the website in the first time in over five years, and a new section for Bones and Whoson stories was also introduced.
The Television section was entirely revamped and expanded, reinstating more of the features that were formerly found at TV & Radio Bits, and a YouTube channel for the site was introduced.
At the end of April 2017, Des and Mick Online entered the world of social media with the launch of accompanying Facebook and Twitter pages.
In October, the first few lines of a randomly chosen 'featured' story was added at the bottom of the homepage.
The design of Des and Mick Online was refreshed in July 2018, with a clearer, bolder appearance. The light red background of the site, which had been in place for over 12 years, was ditched in favour of a white background, and the font size was increased, changing from Palatino Linotype to Georgia at the same time.
The Television section became the TV & Radio section, with the addition of a number of new features.
In August 2018, Des and Mick Online became a secure site at https://www.desandmick.co.uk/.