May 1st marks the five year Anniversary of the launching of the 1715 Fleet Society website. On this day in 2011, we premiered the website with the initial goal of educating everyone about an important historic event: the (then) upcoming 300th Anniversary of the loss of the 1715 Plate Fleet on July 31, 1715.
It was also our hope that the Fleet Society website would serve as a magnet to attract articles, documents, photos, and all things Fleet related. We wanted to build an electronic archive and repository where collectors and researchers could access original materials and learn about the historical significance of the 1715 Fleet.
By all accounts (speaking immodestly) we were quite successful in commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the loss of the Fleet. Our two-day Conference at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Fleet Society Banquet in Sebastian, and various collateral events in Vero Be3ach and Ft.Pierce drew many more people than we expected. Since then we have greatly expanded the Fleet Society Research Collection of Silver Cobs and added to the website the entire 1500 coin State of Florida Gold Cob Collection. These are major electronic archives for numismatic researchers. Our educational goals now target a second Fleet conference to be held on March 16 and 17, 2017 at Flagler College in St. Augustine.
In late 2014 we also upgraded the design of our website. Craig Grella came on board as our professional web administrator. Among the new features and capabilities, videos were added. By the end of 2015, the new website has increased its user-base by more than 25% with nearly 67,000 pageviews in total.