The BGHS Website Through the Years

Bishop Garrigan High School has one of the oldest high school websites on the internet.  Our school has been online since 1995.  It began as part of the Gifted and Talented program at the high school and was first created as a project of Tim Mosbach, who was then a student at BGHS.

When the site began, it had the unwieldy URL http://ncn.net/~admiraltim/bghs/ .  Like most websites of its time, it was very crude at first, consisting primarily of text and clip art.  The crude look continued until 1999.  



Screen captures of the Internet Archive's record of the BGHS website from 1999.
Click top or bottom for full-size versions of the pictures with clearly legible text
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A few remnants of original pages can still be found on our site.  Examples include the "Contact Us" and "Location" pages, though these have been revised several times.

Storage on the NCN server was extremely limited, and as some pictures began to be added to the site, it rapidly outgrew its space.  Parts of the site showed up on a variety of subsidiary servers.  For instance for many years the "Bear Facts" script archive was maintained the Tripod free server.

Kevin Lind served as student webmaster from 1998 - 2000 and designed an index page that was used for many years.  One of the main features he introduced is the scrolling marquee that continues to be a feature of our main page today.  Another popular feature Kevin introduced is the Alumni Tree section, where graduates can share their e-mail addresses with each other.




Screen captures of the Internet Archive's record of the BGHS website from 2002.
(Because of the length of the page, it takes three separate images to show the entire home page from this era.)

Many people remember the bear paw links, the Harlow script font, and the summer and winter views of the school that were featured on our site shortly after the year 2000.  As more and more sections were added, the front page became extremely long.


Winter view of the school that alternated with the one shown above.

The site at this time began to get many more photographs, and during this time it moved to the URL http://garrigan.unlimitedweb.net .   Brent Bierstedt, who was in charge of the Unlimited Web Network, provided much technical help during this period.

The Specialized Technology Topics class was created to help students learn web design. For many years Mrs. Sarah Freking was in charge of this class, while TAG Coordinator David Burrow continued to upload pages and oversee the site.  Nate Pierson, a web design student created a new black and gold look for the site that was used until 2010.



Screen captures of the Internet Archive's record of the BGHS website from 2005.
Click top or bottom for full-size versions of the pictures with clearly legible text
.

The golden bear logo (which Nate adapted from the logo of the University of California) can still be found on several pages of our site, particularly in the Virtual Tour.  At first the front page featured the school front photo shown above.  Later a JavaScript widget was added that created a slide show of pictures from around the school.  This was eventually abandoned in favor of pictures that change daily, because many computers blocked the JavaScript feature.

In this era many new sections were added to the site, including the Virtual Tour, an expanded Seton Grade School section, the popular "Through the Years" alumni section, and a special section created to honor the school's 50th anniversary.  As the site grew to one of the largest school sites anywhere, a "What's New" page was added to showcase each day's additions and changes.  This remains the single most popular page on our site. 

In 2010 the left Unlimited Web and moved to a new server operated by Yahoo.  We then got the much simpler URL http://bishopgarrigan.org.  Moving more than 5000 pages to the new server and changing all the old "HOME" links was a very big challenge.

As the website grew, the list of links at the top of the main page rapidly got bigger and bigger, until eventually there were four rows of links to various parts of the site.  In the fall of 2010 web design students Joe Golwitzer and Nick Foertsch completely overhauled the main index and all the primary menu pages on the site.




Screen captures of the Internet Archive's record of the BGHS website from 2011.
Click top or bottom for full-size versions of the pictures with clearly legible text
.

Nick and Joe considered several options for the re-design.  Among these was a drop-down menu system similar to what is found on many modern sites.  After a lot of research, this was abandoned in favor of a more user-friendly approach with large buttons that lead to the menu pages. The overall look is sleeker than previous versions, and it prominently features the new "+BG" logo that first appeared on our school's football helmets and highlights our Catholic identity.

Since the move to the Yahoo server, the site has grown tremendously.  We have action shots from every sport and activity, audio files from the weekly "Bear Facts" broadcasts, pages documenting all the fun activities in the early childhood classes at Seton, and pages of pictures from all our masses and other religious events.

Something else that began around this time was the code that appears at the bottom of most pages of our site.  The code shows the date the page was created or last revised.  In most cases it also gives initials of the student who created the page.  Pages that are dated but don't have initials were usually created or revised by our webmaster, Mr. David Burrow.

The sub-domain donate.bishopgarrigan.org was split off from the main site and is maintained by the BGHS development office.  This leads to a secure server on which alumni or friends may use their credit cards to give contributions to the school.  The development office contracted with an outside private service to create that part of the site.  

In 2014, a the request of the Sioux City Diocese, most of the content of our website moved again.  The student-created site is now at the new domain http://bggoldenbears.org  We continued the look and feel of the site, with just a minor re-design.  The old http://bishopgarrigan.org domain will be completely overhauled.  It will get a new look similar to the sites of other schools in the diocese and will be maintained by the development office.  The Specialized Technology Topics class will continue to maintain the student domain.


The Development Office's new version of bishopgarrigan.org from July 2014.

As part of the move, pages on the student site now have two "HOME" links.  The "BG+" logo links to bishopgarrigan.org, while a new bear paw logo links to bggoldenbears.org.



Screen capture of bggoldenbears.org in June 2014.
The page featured pictures from throughout the history of the school in summer.
Click top or bottom for full-size versions of the pictures with clearly legible text.

We are proud that for nearly twenty years the Bishop Garrigan website has been created and maintained primarily by students.  As of 2014 the site has around 6500 pages, and our server contains more than 300,000 pictures, .pdfs, and audio files.  Each day of the year we get visits from more 3000 different people.  Most of these are students, parents, or alumni of our school.  We have gotten visits from people in all fifty states and more than ninety different countries, though, and we hope our site has helped them find out about our school.


bggoldenbears.org


bishopgarrigan.org

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