This worked for a while, but then site traffic EXPLODED as news about Sly 4 slowly leaked onto the scene. It was impossible to keep up with adding everyones membership profiles to the site manually, so I had to find an alternative. Other fan websites were using a service called Freewebs for their entire website which had membership functionality baked into it. Unfortunately, I couldn't switch this site from Weebly to Freewebs. So, I decided to create a separate site with Freewebs to handle membership and simply embed that site as an iFrame on the members page on the real website. The service has accrued almost 300 members since then, which is still crazy to me.
Unfortunately, Freewebs is not a very good service, and I've anticipated its demise for a while. The company just announced that they will be ending their hosting service by June 30th as the result of a buyout by Vistaprint. There are ways I could preserve the members site by migrating the data to a Vistaprint account, but the reality is that it isn't worth the trouble. Over the years, technology has changed, and the members thing couldn't be embedded on the main site the way it used to be, so it's just been linking out from the navigation here, causing confusion among users. Also, as the Sly fan scene has waned due to a drought of any official releases since 2013, there has been very little activity on the members site. It's time for that chapter of the Sly Cooper Fan Network to come to an end.
If there is anything on the members site you wish to backup, save, and make copies of, I suggest you do this sooner rather than later. The members service will shut down on June 30th, 2021. This will be permanent.
Right now is a perfect time to give a shout-out to Tabreez. Tabreez was the very first person to leave a comment in the discussion panel of the site, and the first fan to create a members profile back when I was adding them manually. He's even stuck around for all these years, and I think he follows me on Twitter lol. The fact that anyone was interested in the site made all of the hard work worth it and was very inspirational for me back then. So Tabreez, if you're reading this, thanks for everything.
The closure of Freewebs, while it won't severely hurt this website, is definitely a blow to the Sly Cooper fan website community. A vast majority of fan websites, like Cooper Capers and The Vault, were all created with the service. Any site left up will probably disappear after June. Freewebs has been wiping inactive sites from their service for years, and the Sly Cooper Fan Network was, at one point, diligent in saving, archiving, and re-uploading anything worth saving from these sites, as well as making archived links available on the Links page. So, in theory, hopefully not much will be lost.
As for the future of The Sly Cooper Fan Network – as I said, we aren't going anywhere. I made a commitment back in 2011 that I wouldn't disappear and the site wouldn't fall apart into obscurity. I intend to hold true to that promise. The Sly Cooper culture needs to be preserved, and I believe we are the final torch-bearer of the early fan scene before wikis, sub-Reddits, Discord servers, Aminos, and whathaveyou.
Due to my turbulent life situation and a lack of anything official in the world of Sly Cooper in over seven years, there have been long periods of inactivity. I expect those to persist. However, the site will continue to be live, I'll still be kicking around, and updates will come one day. I want to eventually do an overhaul of everything here, but that will be a massive undertaking, and things in my personal life and professional design career are just too time-consuming to allow me to focus on the Fan Network. That said, if anyone has any suggestions for how things should and could be improved around here, I'm all-ears.
In the meantime, if you'd like to keep up with me personally, you can find me @tyfrisbee on Twitter, @tyfrisbee on Instagram and on my personal site at tylerfrisbeedesign.com
Thank you for the support and the memories. Here's to the future.