Pottermore History

POTTERMORE.com opened registration for the first 1 million user of a beta version of the site, on July 31 to August 6, 2011. In order to access the registration, one had to answer the question of the day correctly, which was only available for a short period of time. These questions were known as the Magical Quill Challenge, and gave the first beta users admission to the site from August 15, 2011.
  1. Day: How many breeds of owl are featured on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign?
  2. Answer: 5 - Multiply this number by 49 - Solution: 245
  3. Day: What is the number of the chapter in which Professor McGonagall cancels the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff?
  4. Answer: 14 - Multiply this number by 42 - Solution: 588
  5. Day: In the Gryffindor versus Slytherin Quidditch match, in Harry’s third year, how many points is Gryffindor leading by before Harry catches the Golden Snitch?
  6. Answer: 60 - Multiply this number by 35 - Solution: 2100
  7. Day: How many students take part in the Triwizard Tournament during Harry’s fourth year?
  8. Answer: 4 - Multiply this number by 28 - Solution: 112
  9. Day: What is the house number of the Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix in Grimmauld Place?
  10. Answer: 12 - Multiply this number by 21 - Solution: 252
  11. Day: How many chapters are there in HARRY POTTER and the Half-Blood Prince?
  12. Answer: 30 - Multiply this number by 14 - Solution: 420
  13. Day: How many Deathly Hallows are there?
  14. Answer: 3 - Multiply this number by 7 - Solution: 21
On April 14, 2012 the site were opened to everyone, with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone available.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were launched in three installments, with the first installment’s release on July 11, 2012.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban were also launched through three sets of installments. The first was released on December 20, 2012, the last on July 31, 2013 along with a bran new layout of the site.
The gateway and navigation system was changed from its original design with an ornamented menu at the top and navigation overlook, to a clickable map and navigation bar at the bottom.

The old gateway as it looked for a Ravenclaw user.
The new gateway as it looks for a new user.

This new design also included a separation between Harry Potter’s journey through the books and the users’ own journey. Therefore a couple of changes were added to the previous books.

Previously in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in the moment “Arriving at Diagon Alley”, users had to collect the first year shopping list before opening their Gringotts account and go shopping for their first year necessities – just like Harry – ahead of being able to get ones wand at Ollivanders. This interaction between Harry’s journey and the users’ journey is now divided and the moments have been altered to look like the rest of the book, including new installments for the Gringotts and Ollivanders moments.

Beforehand, users had to wait until “The Sorting Ceremony”, before they could get sorted into one of the houses; now the moment depicts the Sorting Ceremony itself taking place in the Great Hall, as the users' sorting has been separated from the main storyline.

The last change to the first book comes in “Harry's First Potions Lesson”. Previously the moment simply encouraged you to practice brewing Cure for Boils.

More changes were made to the second book.

In the first moment of chapter four “Letters from School” you were to collect the second year shopping list. This moment has been removed completely. The shopping list is now to be found in “Lucius Malfoy”.

Again in “The Diversion”, an instruction to brew the Swelling Solution and a hint to revisit the moment “Snape’s Office” afterwards, has been replaced with another look into Snape’s office – no clue to brew the Swelling Solution is given, even though possessing this potion unlocks Snape’s personal storage, now no longer in “Snape’s Office” but in the current moment. How new users is suppose to figure this little trick out, with no help from Pottermore, one can only wonder.

The last thing changed in Chamber of Secrets, is that users who were not sorted into Slytherin House, could not enter the moment “The Slytherin Common Room”, if they didn’t have both parts of the Polyjuice Potion. This has thankfully been changed now, as brewing both parts takes between 25 and 19 hours (depending on which cauldron you use).
An absolutely unrealistic demand if you ask me, so I appreciate this change.

Another change that has been made is that previously users had to buy everything on the shopping list related to the school year of the book, in order to move forward. A demand that wasn’t made clear and therefore caused some confusion amongst the users. This demand is no longer in effect due to the separation between Harry’s and the users’ journey, and therefore the collecting of the Monster Book of Monsters have been added to the moment “Monster Book of Monsters”. This is the only change that has been made to the third book.

Overall the changes have been both bad and good, in my opinion. The one thing I miss most though, is the interaction between Harry’s and the users’ journeys through the books.