In this next instalment of our From The Spartan Archives series, we’re going all things digital, with a look back at the history of the Spartan website over the years.
In recent weeks you may have noticed a number of changes made to the Spartan website, with new colours and images being added daily. We’re in the process of overhauling many of our existing pages and adding new ones, with our Spartan Documentary also to be added online!
In the meantime though, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reminisce on the many designs our website has had in the years since. We looked at something similar back in 2016 when our updated website was launched, and it is interesting to see the progress made in the time since.
The current version of the website also includes a mobile friendly version that makes it easier than ever to read on your phone or tablet, as it automatically moves to suit any screen size.
One of the bigger changes in recent times to the mobile version (other than the ongoing design improvements) is the addition of a second menu in the top which now lets you access the secondary menu (for things like Connect, MySpartan, MyCricket etc) on your phone. This is where we add all the extra items in for things like photos and downloads, as well as links to other relevant areas on our website. This is available now to check out on your device!
The top menu as it appears on the desktop version of our website.
The second dropdown button (top left) that was added recently
The recent changes help keep the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club website as the leading website in the South Metropolitan Cricket Association, and makes it easy for current members and prospective members to get involved with the Spartans.
One of the more amazing traits of the Spartan website is the fact that it is actually one of the oldest websites in Australia, as it first launched in 2001. This was around the time of the “Dot-com Bubble” that occurred throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.
The “Dot-com Bubble” was a period of massive speculation in the stock market regarding the value of internet companies and necessity of websites, and resulted in a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the internet.
Whilst this was mostly occurring in the United States, Australia was not far behind in terms of riding the boom, and the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club were hot on the trails also.
Our website officially launched in or around October 2000, and was (like it is today) operated entirely in-house. Shannon Davies recounted that the website was initially written in the Notepad application on Windows, a far cry from the modernised content management systems of today.
It has certainly come a long way in the last twenty years, and we are continuing to add even more to the site. Check out the old iterations below!
Table Of Contents
The images below of our website changes have been organised by year. To jump to a specific year, simply click the Table of Contents below!
- 1 Birth Of The Spartan Website – 2000
- 2 First Redesign – 2001
- 3 A Significant Upgrade – 2002
- 4 Another Redesign – 2003
- 5 Website Renovations – 2004
- 6 Perfecting The Design – 2005
- 7 Another Colour Change – 2006
- 8 Return To Familiarity – 2007
- 9 Slight Changes – 2008
- 10 Almost A Decade On – 2009
- 11 The Website Turns Ten – 2010
- 12 Massive Overhaul – 2011
- 13 Continued Design – 2014
- 14 New Paint & Polish – 2015
- 15 Refining The Design – 2016
- 16 Total Overhaul – 2017
- 17 Continued Improvement – 2018
- 18 Font And Centre – 2019
- 19 Major Changes – 2020
Birth Of The Spartan Website – 2000
The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club website was launched in the year 2000 and as you will see below, differed greatly from what we know today.
The famous Spartan navy blue is however front and centre, as well as links on the left hand side in a vertical menu. Images were also present however these are no longer archived and are therefore not available for display (hence the numerous question marks in the squares).
That said though, the images below do give a great outline as to how the website appeared in its earliest stages.
The Leeming Spartan website’s homepage in 2000 to early 2001
The rest of the home page.
The committee page from the earliest version of our website.
The teams that the side entered that season, along with their captains. Each team had a clickable page that took you directly to the team’s overview.
The Club Photos Page – unfortunately these are not archived and cannot be viewed.
First Redesign – 2001
The Leeming Spartan website underwent its first redesign less than a year later when in mid-to-late 2001 it was overhauled and upgraded with an all new look that features a very basic early-stage horizontal banner as well as prime real-estate for our major sponsor of the day.
The site is certainly text-heavy by today’s standards without many photos, but that was common for the era back then – almost twenty years ago – and it nevertheless quickly outlined the overview of Leeming Spartan and some of our latest news – which per this image below was still a work in progress.
The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club website’s homepage in late 2001 following the first redesign
The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club contact page as it appeared in 2001.
A Significant Upgrade – 2002
In 2002 came another redesign of the Spartan website, one that differed greatly from the previous version and returned back to the style in the initial release. The horizontal bar of links was moved back to the left hand side, although the navy blue had been swapped out for a much lighter version.
There were now two columns worth of details though and all latest news would appear in the first, whereas general information related to the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club was entered into the second, right hand, column. Notice also the Yahoo! search button which was the most common search tool of the time in the days before Google’s popularity soared.
The 2002 homepage as it appeared then. This design was used for over a year.
Our sponsors page that detailed all of our corporate sponsors.
The page dedicated to the LSA who manage our facility.
The Team Selections page as it once appeared on our website
The About Us page
The overview of latest Leeming Spartan news from 2002
The Leeming Spartan Forums Page as it once appeared
Another Redesign – 2003
The Leeming Spartan website was again redesigned in 2003 with an all new layout that favoured the common horizontal menu bar, that placed everything neatly up the top. The website was still in its infancy and this particular iteration did not show our logo, instead opting for a Word-Art text banner.
It did however mark the beginning of a common design for the website that would be used in the years to come, and retained this style for quite sometime whilst more and more information was added to the site over the years.
The home page as it appeared circa 2003
The About Us page – notice its transition in design from the one shown above
The Team Selections page had quite the typewriter feel about them back then
The Leeming Spartan history page made its debut in this design
Website Renovations – 2004
The Leeming Spartan website continued to see improvements and additions made, and by 2004 it was clear that a design had been settled on. This one added back the logo and continued with the top banner that displayed all other pages on the site.
What’s also quite interesting is the free vouchers to the Zanzibar that were given out to the best player’s each week!
The homepage as it appeared around 2004
The Selections Page looked similar to the old design
The Statistics page was added with content for the first time during this design
The Reports page
An article as it appeared on the website back then
The results page from the 2003/04 Read/Waterer Medal count.
Perfecting The Design – 2005
The website in 2005 retained almost the exact same as the year before, highlighting how the Spartan website was becoming more and more polished. There were some slight colour variations and an updated primary sponsor included, but overall the website continued to add on to its existing design and content.
The homepage circa early 2005 – the repeating SMCA logo under the results section was fixed
The Spartan Song page as it appeared on the website around this time.
The map detailing our location as it appeared in 2005 on the website. This page was first created in 2002 and remained largely the same in that time. Note also the image of the map that shows the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and surrounding area as it appeared in 2002. Back then there were no houses on Dimond Court – the road leading into our clubhouse.
Another Colour Change – 2006
The year of 2006 continued to bring updates and additions to the Leeming Spartan website, and the most obvious change was a brand new heading area (called the header) that implemented a light-blue colour similar to the helmet on the Spartan logo as it was then.
The homepage circa 2006
An article about the Worst Pubs of the West tour that was posted in late 2005
One of the many photos pages on the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club website around 2006 (page was originally published in 2004)
Return To Familiarity – 2007
The website was reverted back to its most common iteration at the time, with the top header again implementing a blue gradient. The right column sidebar was however upgraded and saw several design changes, including details of the Club’s location and contact number on the homepage for the first time.
The homepage around mid 2007, denoting the 90th year of the Club.
Slight Changes – 2008
The results column and breaking news section of our 2008 website were slightly changed this season, although ultimately the design remained largely the same.
The homepage as it appeared in 2008
The Leeming Spartan Committee page as it appeared in 2008
Almost A Decade On – 2009
The Leeming Spartan homepage as it appeared in 2009
The Website Turns Ten – 2010
The Leeming Spartan homepage in 2010
The Leeming Spartan website used to have a dedicated page for our junior cricket club
Our events page back in 2010 – it has changed quite a bit in the last ten years!
The Leeming Spartan sponsors page around this period
Massive Overhaul – 2011
The website received a significant upgrade in late 2010/early 2011 with the launch of a complete new design. The front facing changes are obvious, however the behind-the-scenes changes were even more significant. The site received an entirely new content management system called WordPress that served as the way we create posts and pages, and do everything possible on the website.
This change was so significant that we are still utilising it today to create and publish content on the site.
On the front end, the changes are extensive and include a new banner and way to display our posts that automatically shuffle down as each new one gets added. Before, it was required to manually move posts down or remove the old one to add anything new in.
The pages are again listed up the top in a single menu and the sidebar also added in all the important details including an option to join the Spartans online.
The homepage as it appeared in 2011 following the major redesign
The upcoming events page that listed all the planned functions. It is back better than ever on our current website here!
The list of sponsors as they appeared on our website in 2011.
The Committee page as it appeared on our website in 2011
The Leeming Spartan Junior Cricket Club page as it appeared in 2011
Our photos page as it appeared between 2011-2015
Continued Design – 2014
The website in 2014 was largely unchanged since its new introduction a few years beforehand, although content continued to be added to it and news posts were also published. One of the major areas of expansion on the site was in the History pages, as both Brian Waterer and Graeme Ashley worked tirelessly to add in an extensive historical overview of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club which was then naturally added onto the website.
New Paint & Polish – 2015
2015 brought about a new committee and a number of new changes to the Spartan website, with new colours and photos front and centre to make it more appealing to new visitors. The layout remained largely the same, although there were several new pages added to the site as you’ll see below.
The refurbished homepage in 2015.
The Selections Page returned in 2015
The error page on the website
The sponsors page on the website featured a new banner image up the top for the major sponsor
The Become A Spartan page was overhauled this season
The WinterT20 page as it appeared on our website in 2015. It has been recently completely revamped and looks very different to what it did back then.
Refining The Design – 2016
2016 saw minor upfront visual changes to the website, and focused more on the content displayed on each of the pages. The sidebar was tweaked slightly but by far much of the changes surrounded the Sponsors Page and Committee Page.
Total Overhaul – 2017
The website was completely redesigned in 2017 to make it more modern and user friendly than ever before. Colours and imagery were at the forefront of the design and for the first time ever, a mobile responsive version was included.
A slideshow of images was also included on the homepage, the search bar and social links were front and centre, and perhaps most significantly, two menus now appeared to help better display everything.
The new homepage was hugely different to previous years and of its major changes was to put the link to the homepage inside the logo
News posts continued to be displayed on the homepage, with a sidebar showing off our sponsors and options to subscribe to our newsletter or join the Club. The header now also followed you as you moved down the page to make it easier to get to other areas of the site.
The bottom of every page now featured a way to subscribe to our newsletter, our contact details, calendar of events, our Facebook page overview and our sponsors.
Continued Improvement – 2018
The website was continually improved and refined in 2018 based on the recent major overhaul, with changes to the main banner image and page content again some of the noticeable improvements.
Perhaps the most massive change however was the launch of our online store that allows you to purchase and pay for all your Spartan merchandise online. This had been many years in the making and was finally ready for launch, and it has proved to be a quick and easy way to get your Spartan gear!
The homepage as it appeared in 2018
The Selections Page. One of the new features was a secondary header image that changed to suit whatever page you were on
The Selections Page was greatly improved to make it mobile friendly and allow you to easily see the teams as they were announced
The Events Page
The Spartan Shop Page
The Apple News page on our website as it appeared in 2018. It too has been updated recently.
Font And Centre – 2019
The website underwent further improvements last year and these are still more than apparent today. Visually, it was the introduction of our own Leeming Spartan font that made for the most apparent change. For the first time, we could use our font in all aspects of the website and not just in our logo. You may notice below the changes in the menu links that reflect this upgrade.
The homepage as it appeared in 2019. Notice the new font along the top
The latest news page now allows for relevant images to quickly grab your attention
The Selections Page on our website was upgraded heavily and now extends the full width of the page
The Events Page on the website prior to its makeover in 2020
The Committee Page on the website
The Sponsors Page on the website
Major Changes – 2020
The website is also currently undergoing many visual changes and improvements, with page overhauls, new colours, images and layouts to best work for anyone browsing the site. We are approximately 40% of the way through and will continue to update everything over the off-season. Be sure to check out our progress by browsing the website! Next on our to-do list are the Committee and Sponsors pages, which will occur after our 2020 AGM.
This is the sixth edition of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club’s “From The Archives” series. We have brought it back bigger than ever in 2020 are taking a look at some of the most interesting bits and pieces from our extensive history! We hope to bring you regular instalments this off season for your perusal and encourage anyone to submit stories worth sharing.
Additionally, you may also wish to immortalise some of the memorabilia you may have at your disposal inside our incredible trophy cabinet at our clubhouse, with special thank you to those who have already donated priceless pieces! Should anyone wish to aid with the development of the series, please feel free to Email me!
We have also created a new series of scorecards, appropriately titled The Spartan Scorecard Series which we have been bringing you every week for over a month now. Here, we take a look back at some of the most fascinating matches in Spartan history. Be sure to check it out when you can!