How Wootton Bridge Historical Started
The original concept of a village web site was first discussed in mid 2003 between two retired gentlemen of the village with a view to preserving village history for future generations, it was agreed we should investigate, but the question was where to begin?
Initial efforts were focused on collecting information and pictures, this proved to be a bigger problem than we had anticipated and was very time consuming. We managed to obtain the permission of both the Editor of the Isle of Wight County Press and the County Archivist to access their records, and slowly we began to collect information.
By 2006 we were ready to move to a web site. But how do we write and produce one, with no experience or money? We selected a domain name, and found a free web site programme.
Our initial efforts at producing a web site were limited, during the last five months of 2007 we achieved 4,600 visitors, 51,000 pages viewed and 200,000 hits. We realised we needed more professional guidance and several avenues were examined, but all required money we did not have.
In 2008 we carried on with our efforts to collect information about the village and the adjacent areas and we were fortunate to be given access to a collection of village photographs. We actively sought professional help from various sources, again to no avail.
By 2009 we had collected almost one Gigabyte of data relating to local history and we were at the crossroads - obtain professional help or close the web site down. A newspaper appeal was made in June, and we were very fortunate to receive an offer of help from our current web designer Tony Hudson. With his help the web site was completely redesigned and from that point in time it has grown to its present size of around 14GB's
At the end of 2009 my long time colleague, Roy Richardson, decided to withdrawn from active involvement in the web site and it was left to Tony and myself to continue with the site development.
Through 2010 to 2012 work continued on developing and improving the web site and in 2012 it has achieved a high ranking both globally and in the UK. Visitors for last year number 280,000 and the site received in excess of 6,200,000 hits. In 2012 we created a new web site devoted purely to old cooking recipes Recipes Past and Present and this has proved to be very popular.
We believe we have succeeded in our original aim, which was to record and preserve both village and Island history and make it available to all, in doing so we hope tohave promoted both the village and the Island.