First launched in 2000, Ponty.net was envisioned as the successor to the then official website, PontypriddRFC.co.uk.
Designed and maintainted by Pontypridd back row, and Czech International, Jan Macháček, the site was graphically and technically superior to the 'official' offering, but lacked the raw content complied by club media officer, Guto Davies.
Jan was an astute web designer, and quickly realised that news gathering and enabling user comments were the route to success for the website, and coined the term "Media Monitor" as a method of displaying the full text of News websites such as icWales.co.uk and BBC.co.uk. The forum capabilities were ahead of their time, offering supporters the chance to discuss and debate Pontypridd RFC online, albeit with a smaller playing field, as the internet was still a relatively new experience to the masses.
During 2002, and with Jan playing at Montferrand in France, an open invitation was issued by Jan for any aspiring web editors to manage the Ponty.net site. Up stepped Owen Williams, having previously dipped a toe into the web-design market with the tongue-in-cheek player website, BrettDavey.com. Owen began delivering Pontypridd-related news in droves, with the popularity of the unofficial site soon eclipsing that of the official, much to the chagrin of club officials.
A good-natured compromise was sought in mid-2004, with the club recently having entered a business agreement with Bridgend RFC to form the Celtic Warriors (Owen again - in partnership with Bridgend-based graphic designer Rhyd Cole - running the unofficial site, CelticWarriors.info). to merge the unofficial and official Pontypridd RFC websites, creating a technically superior product, as detailed in a news article here: www.ponty.net/new-website
As the internet became more established, and companies sought to gain a foothold for themselves in what was thought to be a "lucrative" market, Pontypridd RFC was courted by numerous webdesign companies, hopeful of attracting the business of Premiership clubs. Careful consideration of all offers was given, although the lack of perceived financial benefits and opportunities, and the very fact that so much data was stored on the servers of Jan's company in the Czech Republic negated any move away from the status quo.
With paid advertising allowing the website to generate a small, but steady income, numerous cosmetic improvements could be undertaken with the assistance of Sample 3's Aled Williams - who had, by 2006, formed his own company, NotJones.
The 2007/08 season saw the biggest change for the website, as Jan Macháček's company, Infonia launched a complete overhaul of their Content Management software - the engine behind all their websites. This allowed Ponty.net to do things which hadn't been attempted before, such as video streaming, RSS newsfeed inclusion and the ability of upload and host large data files, as detailed here: www.ponty.net/a-new-website-for-a-new-season
It also brought local company, The World of Groggs on board as 'Website Partners', providing an income stream that had not previously been explored.
2010 was a significant step forward for the website, not least as the inaugural season of the British & Irish Cup was at the forefront of the club's collective mind. This was seen as an excellent opportunity to stamp a true 'brand' on the website, and so, over the summer of 2010, Aled Williams retooled the website with an overhaul of the club's crest, and shifted the monochrome pallette front and centre. The website was also rebuilt, widening the fields of content providing increased opportunity to market the club via the 'net.
The club's Commercial Manager, Gareth Howells was instrumental in bringing local car dealership, Griffin Mill on board both as a major sponsor and as key online advertisers, in turn receiving huge exposure via flash banners across the website.