The bulk of the database was actually typed in before the WWW had been heard of. The actual date started is lost in the midst of time but probably some time in 1992. It was just there to help speed things up, rather than forever flipping from one guide book to the next. As the data base grew there where thoughts of publishing it as an electronic book on disc, or as a bulletin board but this never happened.
The first Backpack Traveller page was written in early 1997 this was the current home page although its had a lot more added since then of course. The basic format, colour and probably the introduction of the home page have stayed the same. Initially the site was just a few pages of hints and tips, similar to what's still on the site at the moment.
In early 1998 the site was up loaded onto Tripod where it still is. At this point it was realised that the data base could be added. Getting it from a paradox database to html wasn't incredibly easy but using Excel and a DOS version of Works as go betweens it was eventually achieved!
Through this period the links section grew to its present state and extra pages where added to the hints and tips and data base when boredom set in.
The Psion down load feature was added after more database conversion and seems fairly popular.
Eventually it was decided that the site was actually a scruffy mess of pages with odd bits of graphics, strange back ground colours, and not very appealing compared to the current state of the WWW. The answer was one long weekends work changing all the links, removing support for browsers that don't deal with frames, changing colours and adding a few graphics. The site was then up loaded to look pretty much like it does today. Oh yeah the new front page was also added around this time.
The expansion of the equipment section of the site from one single page happened in early 1999.
The buttons on the top of the page were increased to hopefully speed up access around the site shortly after the equipment section had been expanded.
May 1999 Start on increasing the medical information on the site. Malaria areas added to world database.
August 1999 Vehicle preparation page added.
Sept 1999 Vehicles page added, Malaria and fuel prices added to Psion data base now V1.02
Oct 1999 Medical page expanded, pages for cholera, hepatitis, diahorroa & typhoid added.
Nov 1999 The whole site was moved to http://bptravel.tripod.com.
Jan 2000 Addition of crime & hassle page.
Feb 2000 Several pages updated and communications page added.
Oct 2000 Media page written.
Nov 2000 Transport section added some of the pages where moved from the hints and tips section pages then added covering, cycling, motorbikes, buses, trains and urban transport. Too much time on my hands!
Dec 2000 Climate section added.
As well as the major overhauls, there has been constant work on problems and bugs as they are discovered.
In its current state the site covers 100 pages and averages about 20 hits a day. There seems to be a steady growth in the number of hits whether this is due to more people using the web or people just revisiting the site who knows. Hopefully its a bit of both.
The future? Well one day the work permits page will get finished!
The author has no idea how long he's spent on the site but hopes you enjoy it. If you have any views let me know.