Zelda Dungeon:Layout 4.0
Zelda Dungeon released Layout version 4.0 on May 3rd, 2003. This layout was found online from a website known as Free Layouts. The site offered a bunch of free layout templates that could be freely used by anybody who ran a website. This layout was chosen due to its simplicity and the standard two-navigation bars that was very similar from the previous two layouts. The layouts color scheme was drastically different than the previous two white layouts, as it had a much darker feel to it. After the initial release of the layout, Mases found that there was another, much smaller Zelda website, using the exact same free layout template. This lack of uniqueness caused the layout to not be much of a hit with the frequent visitors of the website.
After Steph became the first staff member of Zelda Dungeon a year earlier, the website hired numerous staff members to create content and write articles and editorials, but none of these staff members ever ended up sticking around for more than a couple weeks. On May 3rd, the same day as the launch of the new layout, Mases hired a new staff member who went by the alias of Cartoons. Upon his hiring, Cartoons was treated as a normal staff member and was assigned to work on content projects for Ocarina of Time as well as some material for Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. After being given projects to work on, Cartoons worked very efficiently and just mere hours after being assigned material, his first content pieces were ready to be released online.
Mases saw this dedication that Cartoons had for the website and over the next several months of the websites existence, updates became very frequent, content was being added on a daily basis, and the sites visitors were experiencing record highs. The site blossomed to getting over 500 unique visitors each day and on August 18th of 2003, the eve of the websites second birthday, Zelda Dungeon hit the mark of 1000 visitors in a single day. With his hard work and the success of the website, Cartoons was promoted to a Webmaster role at Zelda Dungeon.
It was also during this time period, that the first ideas of a Zelda Dungeon Forums were being tossed around. Mases was reluctant to create his own forum, as he felt it would be distracting from growth of the actual website, and because of the relative youth of Zelda Dungeon, it would not become very active. However, Mases began seeing the importance of giving a fan base a place to discuss and formed the first of what became a series of partnered forums. Rather than attempting to create his own forum, Mases agreed to link to existing forums of various affiliate Zelda websites of Zelda Dungeon.
During this layouts lifespan, there was a stunt to the growth of the website briefly due to hosting problems. Acidmist had been a great website for free hosting and a free domain name, but the big downfall was the poor technical support that was offered, and the reluctance of them to comply with the needs of their clients. In this case, Zelda Dungeon had outgrown the hosting package that acidmist offered, and towards the end of each month, the site was reaching its bandwidth limits once again and the site was coming offline.
This led to search for yet another new host. Unfortunately this also meant that the zeldadungeon.com domain name was also in serious jeopardy, because due to contractual fine print, that domain name was owned by Acidmist. After a search for various other websites that offered free hosting services, Zelda Dungeon discovered a website known as Telefragged. The website was a well established gaming website that hosted several large fan websites from all over the gaming spectrum. They offered free hosting in exchange for a simple banner advertisement that had to be placed on the website. Mases jumped at this offer and after weeks of uncertainty with acidmist, the website moved to Telefragged and was now located at zd.telefragged.net.
- Site traffic continue to grow rapidly, with traffic levels regularly reaching 500 visitors per day.
- The site hit the mark of 1,000 visitors in a single day, one day before the sites second birthday.