Widgets+

About us

WidgetsPlus is currently being maintained by two guys, who happen to work together. Chris and Rick. It all started shortly after Google opened their Google+ to the world. Chris thought it would be cool if you could put a widget on your website, showing in how many circles you are. An idea was born.

At the time of the first release, Google hadn't opened the plus-api to the public. So the only way to determine in how many circles someone was, was to read their profile using a scraper. In a few days, Chris made a working version of the widget. Together with his friend Tim, he made the first website for WidgetsPlus. What they didn't realize, was that it would be a huge success.

There weren't many things like WidgetsPlus for Google+ out there at the time, so news spreaded quickly. And soon webdesign blogs began to pick up WidgetsPlus and wrote about it. That's when things started to kick off. Within a week Chris had used up all his bandwith from his provider. That's when Rick stepped in. They knew eachother from work and talking about the widget got Rick excited. Rick had his own dedicated server, with more than enough room for WidgetsPlus. So WidgetsPlus was moved.

Rick's server was used by friends and family. Some with their business websites on them, and a few personal sites. One of them was his wive's personal blog of 5 years. Unfortunately for all of them, WidgetsPlus began to create momentum. Once the larger blogs picked up WidgetsPlus, traffic to the server began to rise and rise. Chris and Rick didn't know anything about large traffic. They never had a website that was this popular before. The code wasn't optimized at all, and fetching a widget required several files and even a few database calls. Traffic continued to increase until the widget reached about 2 million unique visits per day. Then there was the crash.

With all this unoptimised code, it was only a matter of time before the server crashed. A reset usually fixed the problems for a few minutes, but it just couldn't handle that much traffic. Crashes began to occur more often, until one day the server didn't respond at all. The harddisk controller had crashed, destroying all data on the drives. Rick and Chris lost all of the WidgetsPlus data, but what was worse... Also all the data of all the other websites was lost. And no backups.

After the crash, Rick had to spend a lot of time fixing all the broken websites and restoring a blog from Google Cache. Chris tried to pickup the pieces of WidgetsPlus. At that point, Chris and Rick kind of gave up. There was a lot to do besides WidgetsPlus. And after fixing the widget for current users, they stopped caring.

It wasn't until Chris got an e-mail from his domain registrar about a year later, that they started thinking about WidgetsPlus again. The domain was about to expire and Chris thought about not renewing the registrating. For some reason it sounded fun to be working on a project like this again, so Chris and Rick decided that they would give it one last shot. In a few days a new version was created, with better optimized code, and a better server. Tim was asked to design a new website. And voila! That's how you got here.

The developers