J-Cena.com (purchased March 12th, 2008) was created on 13, March 2008 and is still to this day hosted by SurpassHosting.com. The site started out with a very basic design and very few pages which held basic information on John Cena as well as a written biography. I had sat for years supporting other John Cena sites and in one split-second decision that all changed when I saw that they had become nothing on the news and updates side of things. I was tired of just seeing the Raw Results and the occasional news post, I wanted more. With the help of Cute News and basic HTML tutorials (the dreaded Inline Frames), I was able to bring a website to the masses. I had no intention of competing with other John Cena fan-sites; I just wanted to give an alternative that covered most, if not all aspects of John Cena news.
I realised that at the time all we were doing was offering more on the news-front than other John Cena websites, it helped us gain a plethora of visitors, but obviously we would have to offer more content and information on the man himself. I began adding more and more content to the John Cena section, such as title histories, quick facts, album information, track listings, lyrics and offered small information on the films.
As I made changes, visitors flocked together and soon I was seeing growth to an extent I didn’t imagine. Although, comparing the numbers from then to our standards now, it makes them feel tiny. I thought 100-250 unique visitors per month was a great thing to have, it gave a sense of accomplishment that I was able to create something with that many readers.
This structure continued on for a few months and it was in August of 2008 that my friend, Dan, was able to hop on board and help out. The focus of the website had completely changed: there was more of a focus on media and the whole structure of the content which Dan helped with a lot. We were able to start providing videos of John Cena’s weekly appearances and were able to capture images ourselves, rather than my relying on Live-Journal as a third-party source of help. The site at this time saw a huge in-flow of news readers and it wasn’t too long before we decided to change to a different content management system.
The “Wordpress era” of the site was born. We were the first of a few fan-sites to make the change (PhenomForever.com being another) to WordPress, blog software which helps to power the masses of fan-sites out there now. The new focus of the website still had close relation to the original plan of providing John Cena news to the masses, but this was in a much more attractive way and we also had a plethora of support from original content to thousands of pictures in the gallery.
Unfortunately, Dan’s position was temporary on the website and he left due to him getting more involved in the designing aspect of the Internet. From then, the site has seen a lot of new staff members: from Shaibani to Kaitlin, Alisha to Yasman, Marie to Marciana, etc. We attribute our growth to the huge support that we have received from staff members and visitors alike. Without our staff members, we wouldn’t be able to provide half as much on the news-front that we do, we wouldn’t be able to provide videos and captures of the weekly shows (or at least not up to the quality that we have been).
We have continued to show and promote our online presence and have proven to be very successful. We have branched out to social networking which allows us to interact quickly with 2,000+ people on a daily basis. It is the perfect compliments to support the already strong following the website brings and we only hope to get bigger in the future.
As long as the site has support from the “CeNation,” we’ll be around for the foreseeable future.