Keira Knightley Wavefront or just KKW is a Keira Knightley fansite opened by Barrington in 2002. Today it is arguably the most successful Keira site on the web in terms of visitors, community and participation - attracting around 10,000 unique visitors on an average day. KKW hovers around the No.1 spot on Google for searches under 'Keira Knightley', a feat regularly marred by a particularly turbulent history.
KKW actually began as a joke. Early in 2002 Barrington was beginning a fledgling career as a Web Designer in a small town. In order to better showcase his work he began construction of a portfolio website, eventually deciding to show his friends the site before advertising the URL publically. As something of a joke, he filled the entire site with Keira Knightley pictures; a serendipitous move that would cause a microscopic ripple in the fabric of the internet. Even though at this time there existed only about ten Keira Knightley pictures in the world, a hardcore contingent of fans started to visit the website, reaching about 30 per day by the beginning of 2003. Instead of removing the site, Barrington admitted that perhaps the internet needed its first real Keira Knightley website and let it remain. Realising he needed a little bit of help, an Administrator position was advertised. First to reply and duly appointed soon after was Liam, a drunken Australian.
The Golden Year
About twelve months passed and the completely unknown actress Keira Knightley was beginning to make a name for herself. KKW grew to enjoy around 500 visitors each day, a number that would soon seen it frequently exceeding the bandwidth quotas of Prohosting; KKW had to leave. Solace was found in Fan-Sites.org, a celebrity fansite hosting network. They offered us (at the time) unlimited bandwidth and space. Pirates of the Caribbean came and went and the site soared to 4,000 visitors per day; Keira was getting really, really famous! The relatively virgin forums were soon bustling with over 2000 members and a well-frequented IRC channel, #kkw. With so many members contributing so much to the growing community, a new rank of Officers was created to acknowledge those who had performed above and beyond the call of duty. There was a real sense of community spirit, a feeling of interests shared and friendships forged. A great number of Senior Members look back on these times as what they might call the Golden Year of KKW, but it wouldn't last.
Before long Fan-Sites.org began to complain about the amount of bandwidth KKW was eating as Keira became ever more popular and the site was given one month to find another host and move out, although the crunch came long before that. Experimenting with ways to pay for a dedicated server on which to host KKW, Barrington made the crucial mistake of replacing Fan-Sites' own Google Adsense codes with his own, just for one day, to see if it could support itself financially. Fan-Sites.org discovered this less than 24 hours later and assuming it to be a hostile move, pulled the plug on KKW and locked the Administrators out of the account. KKW was left with no home and, with a mixture of catastrophe and stupidity, without a backup of the Forum database either. The entire community would have to be rebuilt from scratch.
Charity, Recovery, Instability
KKW spent about a week in the wilderness. After establishing an Emergency Rallying Point the website was contacted by Glare who, since he was a huge KKW fan, offered to host the site for free. Pleased by such generosity, KKW restablished itself, slowly regrew its community and began the long road of recovery. Yet more assistance was required in the form of third Administrator, Apoggy. Before too long Glare revealed himself to be somewhat mentally unstable, closing and reopening the site on his own moody whims. After seemingly abandoning his post as server admin, KKW contacted his parent reseller Serverseed who continued to host us on the same server. Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and Pride & Prejudice left their mark on KKW's bandwidth bill. On some days up to 25,000 visitors would pour into the site, leaving KKW about $600 in the red. Generous donations by many members brought the website through this difficult time, giving rise to the First Class Member rank. Most prolific in the campaign to keep KKW running was Digital Ice. He would later become the fourth Administrator after the departure of Apoggy and Liam from active duty.
Within six months KKW would begin to push 10,000 visitors per day on a regular basis, taxing Serverseed to breaking point on occasion. With almost uncanny repetition, Serverseed's owner disappeared from the face of the Earth leaving behind an array of slowly failing servers and ever growing instability. With ever-increasing downtime culminating in nearly three days' sustained outage, it was decided that KKW needed to jump this sinking ship to find its fifth and (hopefully) final home.
Dreams of Independence
In October 2006 KKW relocated to Dreamhost and they are, as the name implies, a dream host. With this move finally came financial independence, securing the future of the website indefinately. Indeed, the First Class Members may never swell in rank beyond those who so nobly saved KKW; their presence now a permanent memorial of community dedication. After Dreamhost came KKW's fourth design, KKW Dream7, a streamlining of what had gone before to take us into 2007. From unintended beginnings through tortuous development to google no.1, this is Keira Knightley Wavefront today.
Origins and Future of the Name
After beginning life as a joke on a server called Project Red the fledgling KKW (at this point called Keira Knightley @ Project Red moved servers to Prohosting: in particular their server called Wave. As one of the first sites to be located on this server it could be said that the website was on the front of the wave, quickly becoming Keira Knightley @ The Wavefront. After about a year Keira Knightley @ The Wavefront grew too big for its home on Prohosting and the site was moved to Fan-Sites.org. With the name now meaningless yet still carrying something of a 'brand identity' it was truncated to Keira Knightley Wavefront and there it has remained. Happily we can associate the name to being at the forefront of something, or the first in a line of entities to follow.
When KKW officially acquired the domain www.keiraknightley.com the previous domain, kkwavefront.org, was demoted to a redirect only. Since "Wavefront" means very little and keiraknightley.com means very much in internet terms, references to Wavefront have declined recently. In 2007 it is likely that all references to KKW will stop and the site will simply be known as KeiraKnightley.com
Members tend to know how oldschool they are by the name under which they first knew the site!
Technology & Statistical Trivia
- Inauguration: September 28th 2002
- Design: Adobe Photoshop CS2
- Coding: Macromedia Dreamweaver MX2004, Macromedia Flash MX2004
- Galleries: Powered by Coppermine
- News: Powered by modified PHPNews "Quantum"
- W3C HTML Validation: Not on your nelly
- MySQL Version: MySQL 5.0.16
- PHP Version: PHP 5
- Operating System: Debian Linux
- Web Server: Apache
- Current Website Size: 2.985 Gb
- Average Bandwidth Used: 75.2 Gb/month
- Peak Bandwidth Usage: 438 Gb/month
- Total Pigeons Kicked: 38 and a baby