In the fall of 2015, our team of developers encountered a beast that’s changed the way our business works.

Monsters are real,” said the old man, peering over the thin frames of a squared pair of glasses. “Ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.” The man is Stephen King, who at age 70 is still crafting some of the worlds most terrifying tales.

But King’s stories live on paper. And while ghosts may well be real, his phantoms forever rest in the realm of fantasy. Monsters, though, monsters can find their way off of the paper pages of King’s domain and into the very real world pages of business. In web design, monsters come in many forms: tight deadlines, content mergers, and software glitches. But the most fearsome monsters we’ve ever seen? Those are the ones that still haunt our dreams.

Several years ago, in the fall of 2015, our team of developers encountered a beast that’s changed the way our business works. Frankly, it’s changed the way we feel when we answer the phone. Its name was, and it came crawling to us from the forgotten crypts of old world web design.

Point5Digital was huge.

In the world of monsters, this 30 gigabyte content crypt was a heavy hitter. Built on a bizarre, proprietary content management system—allegedly inspirited by the U.S. military—the supposed news website housed years of daily images and copy from multiple media outlets in rural Tennessee. And while its size was terrifying, and its language was indecipherable, its most terrifying feature was its face: you see, was ugly.

We mean u-g-l-y enough to scare any grown web developer who dared look directly into its eyes.

This website was an abomination scarred with a patchwork of widgets, features, low-quality images and bloatware that had no business in front of human eyes. Even for the brave souls who dared peer into its eyes out of determination or sympathy, the website refused to respond to mobile devices. Users needed a Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass to read stories. Social media integration was non-existent; really, it was discouraged by the content management system.

On that fall day, our lives changed forever. Unlike visitors, Team Potato couldn’t look away from Point5Digital. We had to stare this Balrog down, grapple it man-to-man and drag its dated designs back to the dungeons from whence they came. The battle that ensued took months. It required countless hours of reverse engineering. It required dozens of sleepless nights living a hellish dystopia of 1990s server code. And, it required a complete ravaging of the old websites features and widgets, skinning the site down to its bare bones and features before resurrecting it as a new animal.

After months, we made it through the fire. We battled the beast to better than a draw, and Team Potato came out on top.

The new lasted a few more years before transforming into the you see today. In the process, the hulking Medusa that it began life as transformed into a Marilyn Monroe, gathering more than two million page views before its evolution into a new business model.

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