TypeRacer turns 5 years old and reaches 1 million users!

Posted on August 8, 2013. Filed under: Guest Column, TypeRacer News |

Today makes exactly 5 years since TypeRacer began accepting signups for user accounts, and coincidentally, we’ve just reached the milestone of 1 million accounts created! I want to thank everyone for signing up and racing over the years: you guys have literally changed my life!

To celebrate our 5 years on the web, for one day only the next week, we’re dropping the price of premium accounts to only 5 dollars! You have two options if you subscribe today: $5 for one year ($12/year thereafter, if you choose to keep the subscription), or $25 for the next 5 years!  (If you have already subscribed and would like to lock in the next 5 years for $25, please email us, and we’ll gladly change your subscription.) Please subscribe and help us celebrate our birthday by racing with your personalized avatar:

Cool avatars

Some of the avatars that are available to premium members

(Update: In response to one of the comments, I’d like to mention that you can always tell Paypal not to renew your subscription automatically. Just log into your Paypal account, go to Profile > My money > My preapproved payments, then click on your TypeRacer subscription, then click “Suspend” or “Cancel.”)

Update 2: Due to the high demand, we’ve decided to keep this offer open for a full week (until Thursday, August 15th). Thanks to everyone who subscribed!

I’d like to also personally thank David Pritts, who signed up (as valikor) as soon as TypeRacer started accepting signups, has completed over 23 thousand races in the last 5 years, and has recently joined me as the second member of the TypeRacer staff!  I asked David to write about his experience on TypeRacer as a 5-year veteran, and about some of the future improvements we have planned. David, thank you, and happy anniversary!

– Alex

Happy Birthday Typeracer:  A personal account of Typeracer’s past, and a look at its future

by David Pritts

Like many others in my generation—when personal computers began to become common—I first started typing in elementary school, with games like “Mario Teaches Typing”, and later using typing tutors like Mavis Beacon. Looking back, even 15-20 years later, I can still remember playing the Mavis Beacon “car game”, where fat, juicy mosquitoes would splatter on my windshield with each typo, at times leading to my horrific death. Luckily, computer games at this time had very bad graphics, so I was spared the bloodshed after each crash.

Does anyone remember this typing game?

Does anyone remember this typing game?

By middle school—probably when I was around 12-years-old—I typed about 80wpm; at the time, I was quite proud of this, because I was just surpassing my father, who had been using computers for years. By high school, I typed maybe 115 wpm, and would occasionally go to one of our school’s computer labs during my free periods and play on the software that was used for typing classes. There was, I think, something refreshing and relaxing about the whole practice; after all, computers, unlike people, are predictable. The keys that you press always correspond to the letters that come up. It doesn’t require a lot of thinking. You just go. By the end of high school, I would say that typing had become one of my hobbies, albeit kind of a boring one. I had learned the Dvorak keyboard by this point, and could type “fluently” on two keyboard layouts (Dvorak and Qwerty), but there were no competitive typing games online, and no communities for typing enthusiasts. I considered launching such a website, actually, but this idea—like a thousand others—disappeared into the hungry abyss that is my mind.

typeracer_beta_logo

Old Typeracer logo (Holiday and Beta edition)

Fortunately, though, I was being a typical American college student one day, procrastinating with my schoolwork, when I stumbled across a new typing site called www.typeracer.com. The site was quite good, as it allowed users to race in real-time against users all over the world. All the data was stored in cookies, though, with no permanent records; there were no user accounts, and there was no way to communicate with other users. At the time, each user could occupy an unlimited number of positions on the leaderboard, so this “fastest typists” list was often dominated by the 2-3 fastest typists of the hour.

The old scoreboard system only worked well for a few people at a time.

The old scoreboard system only worked well for a few people at a time.

Or sometimes, if certain people wanted to boost their egos, they would find a time when nobody faster was logged on, and they would completely dominate the leaderboard. It was nice for some people who wanted an ego-boost.

At the time, I may have been a little overly enthusiastic.

At the time, I may have been a little overly enthusiastic.

The game was a lot of fun, but the site was still in beta, and needed a lot of work, as there were a lot of random bugs.

Typeracer's growing pains

The countdown timer exploded and teleported to the bottom of the screen. These were among Typeracer’s growing pains

Huh? Typeracer still needed a lot of work.

Huh? Two different scores? Typeracer still needed a lot of work.

Dangerous times. This was like the Wild Wild West phase of Typeracer history.

Dangerous times. This was like the Wild Wild West phase of Typeracer history.

Over time, though, Typeracer became more stable, and added more features. The scoreboard became more fair, only displaying each user’s highest score. The biggest day, however, was August 8th, 2008. This is when Typeracer introduced permanent user accounts, officially bringing it into post-beta.

A few old-time users will remember this day.

A few old-time users will remember this day.

Since then, we’ve seen massive expansion. The community has grown extensively, with typists all around the world registering. Many notable users from other typing competitions, including large-scale international competitions, have also made themselves present on Typeracer. Over these past five years, the changes have been enormous. Typeracer has improved stability, introduced score histories for all quotes, optimized the player matching algorithm, introduced global ranking, more skill levels, added an Instant Death accuracy mode, support for 51 languages, added premium accounts, the ability to export your race history, a school edition, the Pitstop, customized avatars, Typeracer scorecards, and much more.

I have lost to this guy countless times, but I did win once! Sorry, Sean, I am posting this screenshot!

I have lost to this guy countless times, but I did win once! Sorry, Sean, I am posting this screenshot!

During this time, I have personally improved my typing speed from around 120wpm to around 140wpm (it is becoming more and more difficult to get faster!) I completed 10,000, and then 20,000 races. I beat the world’s fastest typist one time (he beat me maybe 100-200 times, but somehow I doubt he took any screenshots). I also had the honor of racing against Typeracer legend Chimchimchim as he became the first person ever to complete 100,000 races on Typeracer!

The one and only Chimchimchim, completing his 100,000th race on Typeracer! It was good to be there!

The one and only Chimchimchim, completing his 100,000th race on Typeracer! It was good to be there!

In June 2013, I became Typeracer’s first employee. In just under 5 years, Typeracer grew into a game with 1,000,000 registered accounts (the latest number is 1,029,920)! There was too much work to do and not enough manpower to do it all, so it was time for Typeracer to expand. We have a lot of projects to work on. Typeracer supports 51 languages, but we are still relying on machine translations for most of these languages. Despite countless hours of work developing anti-cheating measures, people still have found ways to cheat on Typeracer. Although we have hundreds of texts, there are thousands of dedicated players who have performed a large number of races, so we’ve already outgrown this selection of texts. Moving forward, we will be working on all of these issues, in addition to continuing to develop new features. Let us know what you want!

Typeracer is going to be vastly improving its support for other languages.

Typeracer is going to be vastly improving its support for other languages.

The most important point, though, is that today is Typeracer’s birthday fifth birthday, marking five years since Typeracer left beta. We want to celebrate by offering a promotion (for today only), dropping the price for premium memberships from $12/year to just $5 for a year. We hope you will consider supporting us! In addition, we want to make today special by adding some new texts, and deleting a number of cheaters who have made Typeracer less fun. Lastly, we want to announce an exciting new project, which is long overdue: starting today, we will be actively working to transform Typeracer International into a more fun and useful venue for typing in 51 languages. We want to get rid of all the texts which have been translated by Google Translate, replacing them with new texts specific to each language. If you speak any other languages, and want to help put together a collection of texts in your language, please contact me at David AT Typeracer DOT com. The Typeracer crew looks forward to working with Typeracer’s one million users in order to make sure that Typeracer remains the best typing website on the internet! Thanks, everybody, for your support over the years, and let’s wish Typeracer a happy fifth birthday!

This balloon arrangement was put together a while back by Serbian Typeracer Zoran Markovic. I'm going to re-use it to celebrate Typeracer's 5th birthday. Happy Birthday Typeracer!

This balloon arrangement was put together a while back by Serbian Typeracer Zoran Markovic. I’m going to re-use it to celebrate Typeracer’s 5th birthday. Happy Birthday Typeracer!

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34 Responses to “TypeRacer turns 5 years old and reaches 1 million users!”

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Wow-o, happy birthday. It doesn’t feel like it’s been this long, but the time does tend to fly.

Happy birthday to all in the TypeRacer community. To you, especially, Alex, for conceptualizing this AMAZING site, and to David Pritts (valikor), on your birthday as well. Keep up the GREAT work!

My login name is baldguy.

Thanks baldguy!

am Nyombi Ronald (ro_nald) from Uganda I would suggest to delete all the cheaters on the leader board, and please figure out the way you can stop these cheaters because they bore us when we are racing against each other.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYPERACER

Hi Nyombi. Thanks for the birthday wishes. Regarding the cheating issue, we are working on it.

Well, Congratulations for the wonderful achievement. Hope to see many more soon!
Been using typeracer.com since 2009. Increased my speed from 85 to 115. Thanks a lot again.

Thanks for your comment, Ganesa! I hope you continue to improve and have fun on TR.

Happy Birthday ! I would like to buy premium so badly but I can’t since I have no credit card registered on PayPal. Why can’t I just use the PayPal money?

Thanks! I’m not sure why Paypal is requiring a credit card, I’ll see if there’s any way to change that.

Many many thanks for made this type of site.

Happy Birthday, my friend Typeracer.com, and Happy Father’s Day to you, Alex! David, I want to help with portuguese texts to increase the amazing feeling of playing typeracer on my own language.

Thanks Mario. I’m sending you a personal email regarding Portuguese texts.

I’m sure you’ve beaten me more than once actually, David, and we must have competed in many more races than that, though I rarely remember these things. I very rarely take screenshots of my races though (besides my YouTube recordings…)

I don’t know. It’s possible! But I feel like I would have remembered it, had it actually happened.

I would like to be able to donate for a year membership without having a subscription to worry about.

Thanks! You can cancel the subscription from your Paypal account right after you’ve signed up; that way you’ll have it just for the period you paid for and you won’t be charged again.

I’ve just updated the blog post with instructions on how to do that in Paypal.

Leron_Brames: Donations are always appreciated, and can be sent via Paypal to ALEX AT TYPERACER DOT COM. Thanks!

Type Racer has certainly been an effective method for me to practice and improve my typing. I started playing every morning at school around 7:45 AM when we were covering the typing unit in Computer Applications I. I used to type at 50 w.p.m. just by plucking away, but after having learned to type the proper way in class and spending countless hours of fun practicing with type racer, I have reached an average of around 80wpm and an all high score of 103 w.p.m.

Happy Birthday Typeracer. You are truly amazing.

Typeraces is very helpful for me. I can see my gradual increase in speed through the progress chart. I started typeracer at around 35 WPM, now I am around 70WPM. I hope to become a megaracer soon. I wish to have premier account, but for some reason paypal is not accepting my debit card.

Hey, happy birthday Typeracer. I found you back in May of this year, and at first I was excited that I finally found a site where I could (figuratively) beat strangers into submission with my keyboard. But, then I saw the speeds over 140 and started getting my ass handed to me. So now I’m just sad and need a hug…

But, my typing speed has improved, even if I do get irritated, mash my keyboard, and then close out of the window when I mess up a word. Patience is a virtue.

Congratulations, guys.

I’m happy to be a part of this great community. 5 years!!! That’s something! My first average was 105 and nowdays it’s about 125. Not bad. 🙂

Wow! Such a great site! It’s never been this fun! Keep up and I’ll wait until your 10th birthday, Typeracer!

from Philippines..

TR: AlnelExtreme

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYPERACER.
I have had 3 accounts since 2009, and completed over 5000 races on each, I started typeracer with a speed of 40-50 wpm and now i’m well over 120 wpm with a best of 169 wpm. I still race just occasionally. Thanks to you guys I enjoyed myself learning to type and wish you all the best.

Happy Birthday Typeracer! Thanks to this site. I really had improved! ☺

This website is amazing. In less than a year, I went from not knowing how to touch type (looking a the keyboard was the way for me), and only typing about 45 wpm, to over 100 wpm. Typeracer is not only a thing to do when I’m bored but it has helped me in life, allowing me to do schoolwork faster, and has opened up many opportunites for me later in my life (I’m only 16). Thank You.

Congratulations on TypeRacer’s 5th birthday! You guys truly have put a lot of hard work into the site and I have so much respect for your dedication. I have been on TypeRacer for over four years now (as cytokid101), ever since I was in middle school – I wouldn’t have improved from 90 WPM to 130 WPM if it wasn’t for TypeRacer!!! Thanks again~

Happy Birthday, congrats to TypeRacer…
before i play this game my wps just only 23-30 that the fastest that I can do without ten-finger typing.
but today my wps become 50-65 with ten-finger typing, I can’t do this without help from TypeRacer.
many thanks and once again..congratulation 5th aniversary.

Happy Birthday I love competitive typing as it’s a fun way to improve without being bored by typing the same exercises all by myself.
Congratulations on reaching one million.

Happy Birthday and thanks for giving me a fun way to improve my typing

[…] the Typeracer team does not speak 50 languages, so we can’t do it alone! As I mentioned last week, we will be looking for volunteers to oversee the collection of texts in other languages, and this […]

Bravo….congratulations… it’s already like 6 months i started using typeracer.. just love it..

Glad you like it! Hope to see you on the racetrack sometime.


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