About This Website
So you want to know more about how this website came about? You’ve come to the right place.
On 10th May 2003, at the tender age of twenty-one, Bonnie opened a fanlisting (basically just a list of fans) for actress Rachael Stirling, as she thought she deserved some recognition. There were no websites about her whatsoever. Travesty!
When Bonnie discovered there was quite a lot of interest, she decided to register the domain Rachael-Stirling.com (on 29th January 2004) with the aim of building an extensive website around the fanlisting. Many other actors have numerous “fan sites” dedicated to them, so it made sense for Rachael to have one too. After months of hard work, Rachael-Stirling.com finally opened on 1st November 2004, and received a great response from visitors around the world.
By now the website was doing well on its own without the additional traffic provided by links from The Fanlistings Network, so Bonnie decided to close the fanlisting section on 6th October 2006. This was mainly because of all of the spam members it was receiving, but also because she no longer thought it necessary.
In 2006, Bonnie received a letter from Rachael — in response to a letter she hadn’t wanted to send, out of fear of “looking like a weirdo” — confirming that Rachael had known about the website for some time and loved it. Rachael subsequently used the website as a work portfolio when applying for a green card to work in the USA, so it seemed to serve a very useful purpose indeed, as well as being interesting for fans.
Due to time constraints, caused mainly by work commitments and a busy personal life, the website suffered during 2007 and was updated infrequently. There was a lot wrong with the scripts Bonnie was using (which she had, for the most part, put together herself!) and it became tiresome to make updates. The design had become tired and outdated too, which didn’t help with motivation.
So in early 2008 Bonnie decided to re-vamp the website from the ground up, starting afresh with a brand new installation of WordPress and a thorough re-working of all of the content. It took several months to get everything in order, but the new version of the website was finally unveiled in the early hours of 7th June 2008.
In 2010, Rachael and Bonnie joined forces to promote a charity auction for the Too Many Women campaign for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Bonnie organised and coordinated the fund-raising effort officially on behalf of, and in conjunction with, Rachael. We raised just over £5,000 for the charity.
Claire, Rachael and Bonnie in November 2010
In August 2011, Rachael decided it would be a nice idea if Rachael-Stirling.com became her official website. After getting together with Rachael a few times to discuss matters over multiple alcoholic beverages, Bonnie got cracking with it, but it wasn’t until April 2013 that we relaunched the website as official. (Sorry about that, Rachael.) This delay was due to multiple reasons, including Bonnie’s personal commitments, fear of “getting it all wrong”, and lack of up-to-date knowledge on how to build websites for the modern internet.
The existing design had been online since 2008, and the internet had completely changed in that time. It was becoming increasingly common for people to use mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to browse websites. This brought new challenges for Bonnie as she needed to incorporate responsiveness — the ability for the website to adapt to whichever device was being used to view the website. This was a massive learning curve. Massive. But she got there in the end.
The official website finally launched in the wee small hours of 22nd April 2013.
Bonnie is 31 years old, and currently resides in East Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. She began designing websites back in 1997 (they were hideous) and has gradually learnt more and more about HTML, CSS, PHP and web standards. She tries to ensure that all of her websites are accessible to all and have valid, semantic mark-up. She would love to spend some time learning more, but at the moment she just practises as and when she’s working on a project, and learns as she’s going along.
Bonnie lives with her civil partner Claire, who also helps out with the website sometimes. She is great to bounce ideas off and can often help with troubleshooting. They both work in information technology for the National Health Service, and in their free time they enjoy theatre, photography, web design, reading, genealogy, films, spending time with friends and family, going out to restaurants, socialising, and writing.
Rachael-Stirling.com is currently Bonnie’s only fully-fledged website, and certainly the biggest and most time-consuming website she has ever run single-handedly. She was honoured that Rachael thought it good enough to become her official website and is very excited about the relaunch.
Credits and Useful Links
So many different websites, tutorials and tools were used during the website revamp in April 2013 that Bonnie has not yet had the chance to compile a list of them all. However, rest assured this section is coming soon.