ShadowFire just popped into my head sometime in 2004 when I was thinking for a name for a MSN account. (I didn't really plan about it, and I didn't Originally it was just "Shadowfire" but then I changed the 'F' to a capital when my friend added me into her fanfic. I decided that I like this name and chose to use it ever since. (As you can see, I also decided to use this as my site name).
Although it is really supposed to have a capital "S" and "F", many people type it as "Shadowfire", "Shadow Fire", or "shadowfire".
When I first started I did not know anything about HTML. In fact, I didn't even really know about computers. (At that time I basically used e-mail, MSN, surf on the net for some anime images [I wasn't into graphics at that time, in fact, I probably didn't even know what it really was]) I couldn't even open a zip file at that time! So why would I make a website? I was inspired by my sister's website (she had taken some HTML lessons), and soon I really wanted to make a website.
I told my sister I wanted to make a website and asked her to help me. And she told me that I need to have a layout first. (Back then I really did not know anything about web designing, so I didn't even know what a 'layout' was). After she briefly explained, I began searching on the internet, downloading a bunch of layouts. Then I had a problem; Why can't I open them?! Like I mentioned earlier, I did not know how to open a zip file at the time and to add to that, I didn't even know what a zip file was! When my sister finally explained to me that I had to unzip the files, I had to search on the internet for 30 minutes for a tutorial with screenshots (because my computer is Chinese, so tutorials with just text wouldn't help) because she wouldn't teach me how. (The truth is, I had to beg her for a very long time just to tell me what something meant [and she wasn't very polite either XD]) The next step, a host. Again, I did not know what a host was (until my sister (again) told me what it was). So I just used the host my sister used. Back then, I wasn't aware of the ads or popups, or disk space, etc. Like I mentioned many times: complete newbie. It was February 13, 2005 when I signed up for hosting. But of course, I did not even know how to put up the layout. After almost 3 weeks of begging my sister, she finally helped me upload the layout and roughly described the links, content area, etc. And alas, ShadowFire was up and running on March 13, 2005!
Learning The Basics
Since March 13, I began reading over all the HTML in the layout, and started to know how to link and edit the site without messing it up. So basically I'm self-taught. Simple, but quite a pain in the azz at that time.
Content And Changes
I wanted the site to be a graphics site, and I was very lucky because I already had Photoshop 7. But just like websites, I had no idea how to use Photoshop. What's worse, the Photoshop wasn't in English so it made things a lot harder than it should. I wasn't even sure how to open a new file! So I didn't have a choice but search on the Internet for hours and hours for Photoshop tutorials. Finally, I managed to make some simple (but rather low quality XD) graphics. Boy, I was really excited back then. X3 Besides graphics, I wanted the site to contain info about Final Fantasy X/X-2, Inuyasha and Yukirin's art. Unfortunately, I was really ignorant at that time and I wanted each page to have a different layout! I wasn't aware about the diskspace at all. I was really confused when I couldn't upload another layout. XD A few months later, before (or maybe after, I'm not quite sure myself >__<") I got a new host, I decided to take off all the info content (FFX,FFX-2, and Inuyasha) off and stuck to graphics.
ShadowFire was first hosted at Free Servers. It was hosted there for over 6 months, but there were too much ads and popups, so I decided to change hosts. I had a really hard time finding free hosts. All free hosts (the ones where you just have to sign up and can get an account automatically) that were ad free had something wrong with their servers. I was finding a host for about 1 month. Then one day while I was browsing through sites and clicking links, I stumbled upon Selio, and got hosted there. Sonic was a really nice and friendly host; he really gave me a big hand and also returned my e-mail extremely quickly. However, months after I was hosted, his domain had a transfer, so I couldn't be hosted there anymore. So instead of searching on a search engine for a host (since the sites are always the type of ones I'm not looking for) I just went to various sites and visited their affiliates, forums, hosts, and so on. By doing that, I found Twirp. Twirp is also very nice, and had a very reliable hosting service. He was extremely generous with his plans and I was hosted by him for around five years! Unfortunately, he stopped providing hosting on June 1, 2011 so I went on a host hunt again. I was very fortunate to find Three-Words. Like my lucky streak with my previous hosts, Misaki is fantastic. Like Sonic, she is very prompt to return my e-mails and had constantly helped me since I first got hosted by her. Now ShadowFire is currently hosted at three-words.net and I am incredibly thankful of the opportunities all of my hosts have given me.