I am E, founder and CEO of The E Club Family, and this is my personal blog on The E Club! For information pertaining to The E Club Family as a whole as well as more Mario, Star Trek, and science information, check out The E Club World.
You are here at a very special time in The E Club’s history; the site you are now on is the result of seven years of devotion to bringing the best Mario, Star Trek, and science information to the web in addition to incredible technological advancements. But before I get to that, here’s how we got to today.
The E Club was originally founded on June 8, 2009 with a now-defunct website creator called Moogo; though it looked far different than it does today, that version of The E Club and today’s version share the same purpose: being my personal site about Mario, Star Trek, and science. Over the next year or so, I continued to expand The E Club’s content, even creating two additional sites – The E Club Lite and The E Club World – in the process to host even more content. The E Club Lite was also created with Moogo (it is on Weebly right now), and The E Club World has always been on Blogger (though its design has evolved since its creation).
But in September 2010, the unthinkable occurred: Moogo was going to shut down all of its free sites, The E Club and The E Club Lite among them, a month later (in order to give priority to their expensive premium packages). So I set out to move the content of the two affected sites; I moved The E Club to WebStarts on September 17 and The E Club Lite to Weebly not long after. (Today, I often refer to The E Club hosted on WebStarts as The E Club 2.0 as it was the second major update to the site, the first being its creation in 2009.)
As the years went on, so did The E Club’s mission. New sites were being added to the growing chain now known as The E Club Family, bringing new innovations and content to the web such as Mario Flash games without annoying ads, revolutionary social networking, and more. But there was an underlying problem – as the rest of The E Club Family, led by The E Club+, began to sport new technological and aesthetic innovations, The E Club itself could not keep up. This was because WebStarts, The E Club 2.0’s host, has a drag-and-drop editor rather than a text-based one, and it often rendered the advanced technologies I tried to implement unusable. Plus, it made applying new styles a tedious process.
For years, I was able to overlook this issue, since it was WebStarts that basically saved The E Club. But the list of issues with the service began to grow over time: prices went up while the features remained the same, and when they promised a “new editor” with new features such as a responsive design, I would have had to create a new website (rather than having the original upgraded) to access it. So in December 2015, I made the decision that would alter The E Club’s history forever – with the new techniques I learned from developing the rest of The E Club Family, I could easily replicate what a drag-and-drop editor could do while having full control of the source code at the same time. I could finally release the shackles that WebStarts, who wanted to charge money for submitting sites to be indexed by Google (which can be easily done for free), had placed on The E Club. Thus, The E Club 3.0 was born.
The E Club 3.0 is the culmination of the past, present, and future of The E Club Family; it continues The E Club’s mission that it had since June 8, 2009 with new, advanced technologies that only The E Club Family of the present could offer, and its framework (which implements new techniques such as PHP templating) allows it to be totally scalable for the future. So what’s new? Check out Founder’s Letter 2016 or the What’s New page. But there are some other aspects that have changed or been created that I didn’t cover in either, so here they are:
Incredible blog innovations
My blog here on The E Club has always been an integral part of the experience; I have written about updates on The E Club as well as various Mario and Star Trek news items not posted on The E Club World, which covers more The E Club Family-related information plus Mario and Star Trek things. When The E Club moved to WebStarts, I put the Moogo site’s blog posts on a separate page and used WebStarts’ blogging tool to continue E’s Blog. But the tool was lacking in many important features – I couldn’t insert links, videos, or really anything but basic text.
Now you can see that things are far different here on The E Club 3.0; instead of a glorified text editor like before, E’s Blog now runs on WordPress! That’s right: the most popular open-source platform on the web now powers what you’re looking at right now. And I was able to seamlessly integrate it into the site, from the design to the incredible features such as search and archiving built in. Plus, I added The E Club 2.0’s blog posts to More Blog and remastered them with functional links, images, and videos.
Games of Note
You may have noticed that the Mario Game Help page, which provided hints and tips about a few Mario games, has disappeared. On The E Club 3.0, it has been replaced by a new page called Games of Note. Why? Instead of solely focusing on Mario games (which the page will obviously still cover), Games of Note will also feature other games for Nintendo consoles! These will range from more familiar ones such as titles from The Legend of Zelda series to lesser-known but incredible games such as Xenoblade Chronicles (where Shulk in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U came from). More content will be added to this page as time goes on, so make sure to check in often!
You may not have noticed, but the URLs of The E Club’s pages have changed since the site left WebStarts – they are simpler, and the underscores and the “.html” suffixes have been removed. The most poignant example of this change is the Quick Polls page: its URL on 2.0 was http://theeclub.info/mailinglist_and_quick_polls.html, but on 3.0 it has been simplified to just http://theeclub.info/polls. Quite the difference, isn’t it?
But an issue quickly emerged with changing all of the page URLs: search engines and many pages across The E Club Family still link to the old pages. This would cause a huge accessibility problem, so I’m happy to announce that The E Club 3.0 is backwards-compatible with its predecessor. How? Try clicking on the old link to the Quick Polls page above.
Event Calendar, reimagined
The E Club’s Event Calendar hasn’t changed at all design-wise since I first put it on the Moogo site; due to technical reasons, I could not style it to match the rest of The E Club. Today, that has changed. The Calendar now features a custom design to match the look and feel of The E Club, so it looks better than ever.
Featured Mario Music Repository
In honor of this, we’ll be featuring some old favorites from The E Club’s past along with new selections; this month, it’s Mario Kart DS’ Waluigi Pinball theme, and next month it’s Super Mario Galaxy’s Bowser Battle theme. There’s a lot more to come, so stay tuned!
With the introduction of Smart Search, The E Club brought about a new dimension of searching – the menu automatically shows only the pages that match your search as you’re typing it. But what you would see upon hitting the Enter key wasn’t so cutting-edge; the search results page was a true page of The E Club 3.0 (like ClubIt! Designer), but the design of the results hadn’t been updated in years. Today, I’m pleased to say that the search results have finally been redesigned; they now accommodate all of the latest design techniques and sport an innovative edge-to-edge design. Search is now an innovation in its own right, before and after hitting Enter.
ClubIt! Designer 2.0
It’s an exciting time for The E Club. With blazing-fast loading times, advanced new technologies, and all kinds of incredible new features, The E Club 3.0 really is the true flagship of The E Club Family. And you can expect even more great things to come in the near future – the possibilities are limitless. So click on the top bar banner, have a look around, and enjoy the greatest version of The E Club in its seven-year history.