“CHiPs” Online turns 25 today

CHiPs Online in 1995

This web site launched on this day 25 years ago, May 11, 1995.

The site was originally titled The Original “CHiPs” Web Page and was created during a “CHiPs” viewing marathon by myself, Patrick Delahanty, and my college roommate, Tim Lewis.  We had finished our senior year of college and literally had nothing to do until our graduation ceremony.  As we watched “CHiPs” in our college dorm, we talked about rumors we had heard about the show, wondered how many episodes there were, and were curious about other facts about the show. We turned to the World Wide Web for answers, but found none.

At this point in 1995, IMDb was still just for movies and didn’t have any information on “CHiPs”. Searches (on Yahoo!, because Google didn’t exist yet) turned up nothing. We took the opportunity to start logging data ourselves from our dorm room and began to post it online. We recorded information about the episodes we saw, such as episode titles, brief plot outlines, and how many Volkswagen Beetles we spotted. (Yes, we were actually counting those in the early days.) We also started to put together a Frequently Asked Questions page.

It wasn’t long until the web page (renamed to The Original “CHiPs” Web Site) started attracting the attention of people who had worked on the show. In the first few months, I had received e-mails from Rick Rosner, Cy Chermak, Phil Bondelli, and others. Fans started submitting information too and helped to assemble the first episode guide with a complete list of episodes in the proper order.

In September 1995, I got a job at The Internet Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts and moved the site away from my college account’s web page and to the underground.internet.com web server hosted by people at the company that was used for personal projects. The site was renamed to “CHiPs” Online in 1996 because the title sounded silly when there was only one “CHiPs” web site out there.

After leaving The Internet Company, I moved the site to my own Adequate.com domain in 1997 before finally moving the site to its current chips-tv.com domain in 2003.

With “CHiPs” being out of production, the site never got a lot of traffic at once…until the CHiPs ’99 TV movie aired in 1998. During the airings of the reunion, the site logged the highest traffic it has ever seen even to this day.

In 2005, a wiki was added where fans can collaborate by adding and updating detailed information on “CHiPs” episodes, cast, crew, guests, locations, and trivia. There have been 17,825 edits made to the wiki by 98 registered users with 681 pages and counting.

In 2017, the site underwent its sixth major redesign as it was converted to WordPress. Prior to this, most pages had been coded and updated by hand. For better or worse, the site also provided coverage of the CHIPS movie that same year.

Although the site’s name and design have changed over the last quarter century, it’s still the leading source for “CHiPs” information on the Internet and I plan to keep it running for decades to come!

Patrick Delahanty got his first job after college as a direct result of this “CHiPs” site. He is currently a Web Engineer at TWiT.tv and also runs FanCons.com, a site dedicated to fan conventions around the world.

May 11, 2020