What turns a site into a home? The people? Well they most definitely turn it into a community. But what else contributes to the atmosphere that turns it from a cold, reclusive place to a warm, inviting home?

Ah yes my friends, a layout! They’re are the kinds of things I almost take for granted. I just expect them to be there, alive and functioning. Sometimes I do think about them though… especially when one of my favorite layouts change (for better or worst). Layout changes and updates always shake things up for me and remind me of how I shouldn’t take a website’s look for granted. (Like the WA’s signature black… it’d be hard for me to imagine its layout without a dominant black theme since it’s been that way since I’ve gone on it ^^ — or like Winglin’s “chart” display. And so on~)

You don’t have to look at layouts from a sentimental point alone… you can also look at layouts from a more historical sense. They help you understand and appreciate the times–changes, innovations, and the likes. They allow you to get a better glimpse at what others considered to be their “home” and then you get to compare it to what you call “home” and so forth. Are the warm and gushy feelings too much for you? :P Is your curiosity still hanging around regardless? hehe~

For this “snapshot” entry, I’d like to focus on Soompi’s layouts through the ages. **I gathered screencaps of its layouts but don’t know if I’m missing any of the ones from its earlier days since I didn’t come around until late 2003.  If you have any additional screencaps you’d like to add, please let me know ^^ Without further ado… here’s Soompi Town through the ages…


Soompi 1998-1999 (home page/directory)


Soompi 1999 (HOT Page) — You might remember Sooji mentioning Soompi’s beginning days and the HOT houses in our first interview ^^ I think I used to have more caps/things saved from this time (the little houses) but I can’t seem to find the files. I’ll update this if I ever find them again ^^;



Soompi 2000 (home page) Do you spot any familiar faces? ^^


Soompi 2001 (home page)


Soompi 2001 (forums)


Soompi 2002 (home page)


Soompi 2002 (main site – fic page) Just had to say… It’s the great LMW! Lee Minwoo! King of fanfics during this era :D


Soompi 2003 (home page)


Soompi 2003 (main site – fic page, directory)


Soompi 2003 (home page) Boa x FTTS days<33


Soompi 2003 (main site – fic page) **I have the interviews saved and will post them soon if anyone’s interested in reading through them ^^


Soompi 2003 (main site – fic page)


Soompi 2003 (main site – fic page) **Here’s a DL for the fic. It’s a great Sechskies fic ^^


Soompi 2003 (main site – fic page)


Soompi 2003 (main site – fic page, old rating system)


Soompi 2003 (forums)


Soompi 2003 (forums)


Soompi 2004 (home page)


Soompi 2005 (main site – fic page)


Soompi 2005 (home page)


Soompi 2005 (home page – *I’m pretty sure the layout wasn’t white/bare but I’m not sure since it’s been a while ^^v)


Soompi 2005 (forum)


Soompi 2006 (home page)


Soompi 2006 (forums)


Soompi 2007 (home page)


Soompi 2007 (forum)


Soompi 2008 (forum)


Soompi 2009 (home page)


Soompi 2009 (forum)


Soompi today (2011) (forum)

— Let me know what you think ^^ I’ll also be posting this at Soompi ^^~


  1. 2003 was the first layout for me with the fttsxboa banner! i miss the fic list/section from then – it was a good layout as well and easier to find fics.

  2. This is amazing Phim. I recognize the 2003 layout and onwards. I had no idea how the older layouts looked like. It’s kind of awe-inspiring to see soompi’s changes. “funky fanfix library” How adorable!!

  3. yesyes, I agree it’s amazing that you documented all of this <3~

    ah 2005/2006, now that I think about it, I think it was during a time when fansubbing was relatively based at soompi and not at individual idol group forums because there weren't THAT many during that time (or. i'm guessing because super junior fansubs was what led me to soompi hahaa)

    is the soompi archive (from 2003) still up? I remember we use to be able to access it and read old stories…

    1. You can still find it through the Request thread ^^ but sadly it doesn’t really go beyond page 1 for individual fics ): I wish there were a better way to access it though T_T

  4. Oh my, the black background reminds me of the nights i stayed up reading those fics! The screencap you have of the fanfix lib, with those old school fanfics listed! Bartender and the Beast, My Heart is Your Heart, Desidaratum and Scarred by You…wow!

    It was 2009 when it changed to that format? I thought it was more recent! Wow, time really does pass quickly.

  5. I LOVE YOU!! I have been searching for two days for the fic No Regrets with no idea of the title or author except that it had sechskies, arranged marriage and THAT poster!!! I was so happy when I saw that! LOVE YOU! Satisfaction complete ^^

    1. hey jenxjen, i reaaaally loved No Regrets so i’m happy you figured it out :) feel free to message me if you ever need to figure out another title/author ^^ ~~ enjoy :)

  6. Woooow now I can boldly say I’ve been into kpop since 2003! I really miss that layout… Fanfics were the bridge into the kpop world and it’s craaazy because I was reading all of these stories with NO idea who the characters were (that they were actually popular singers xD) until I started listening to some songs that some authors would recommend/post what they were listening to as they wrote that chapter… Woooow, this is awesome. I really miss that layout, it was so simple and… Nice. Back when the whole ff had to be finished to be posted and you could read it in one sitting. I can’t believe I was reading those when I was 10/11, though aha.. I’m still trying to find a bunch of ffs that I had read.. But I can’t remember the names.. Just that a LOT of them were shinhwa/lmw and ftts based.. With some BoA and FIN.K.L/Hyori… The good ol’ days..

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