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The Web recently celebrated its 25th birthday The Web Is 25... So Let Us Celebrate [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Web Is 25... So Let Us Celebrate [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Web recently turned 25, with this incredibly dense and diverse set of online destinations having been born in 1989. I think it's time to celebrate the Web in all its different forms. Party, anyone? Read More , having been birthed in a lab at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) by Tim-Berners Lee in 1989.

It’s evolved massively in the last quarter of a century, with extremely humble beginnings leading to the mass of useful and entertaining sites and services we now know and love. But where in particular did your online adventure begin?

A Thirst For Firsts

We want to know, What Is The First Website You Remember Viewing? We’ve added the word “remember” because we suspect a lot of you will struggle to figure out the first website you ever saw online. So, the first you actively remember using will more than suffice.

This discussion is running alongside this week’s poll, in which we’re discovering when you all first accessed the Internet When Did You First Access the Internet? [MakeUseOf Poll] When Did You First Access the Internet? [MakeUseOf Poll] It wasn't until the World Wide Web was born that the Internet entered into mainstream consciousness. Now, it's available almost everywhere. When did you first use it? Do you remember your first time? Read More . The Internet and the Web are, of course, two different things, but they’re so closely connected we thought it would be a good idea to run the two questions concurrently.

The poll results at the time of writing suggest an astoundingly high percentage of MakeUseOf readers ventured onto the Internet before 1994 10 Videos Exploring The Internet As It Was In The 1990s 10 Videos Exploring The Internet As It Was In The 1990s The history of the Internet stretches back as far as 1969, but it didn't become popular until the 1990s when the whole thing became commercialized, ISPs started offering access, and the World Wide Web emerged... Read More . With the World Wide Web having been created in 1989, it’s possible you’ll have to reach into the deep, dark recesses of your memory in order to recall the first website you remember seeing.

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We’re hoping to receive enough comments to create a long list of the first websites visited by MakeUseOf readers. This may end up being a list of nothing but ISP homepages, so feel free to ignore those default landing pages to inform us of the first website you actively sought out.

We suspect some of the websites named will still exist, but many will likely have been consigned to the Internet afterlife, where all websites go when they die. Their status is immaterial; if you remember a website from your earliest days of exploring the InterWebs Go Back In Time: How 10 Big Websites Looked 15 Years Ago Go Back In Time: How 10 Big Websites Looked 15 Years Ago The year was 1997. Apple was a struggling computer company, AOL was a booming Internet service provider, Microsoft was on the verge of releasing Windows 98, and the Web was a very different place. Through... Read More then please let us know all about it.

Feel free to add a little extra information to your comment rather than just drop the domain name in and hope for the best. The more interesting your comment is the more likelihood of it winning Comment Of The Week.

Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will win Comment Of The Week, receiving a geeky T-shirt for their effort.

We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. Dorothy
    August 20, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I think it was prodigy. All dial up.

  2. Bill L
    August 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I'm now thinking of registering "dogscajones.com."

  3. suzybel
    August 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Dave P...I remember it just like it was yesterday, I still have the movie xXx pictures I downloaded, it was one of my favorite movies. I said for years "no computer", changed my mind after son said he needed it for school, been hooked ever since.

  4. AH
    August 17, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Childhood memories as best as I can recall: "For more fun with Dragon Tales, visit us online at http://www.pbskids.org or America Online, keyword pbskids." I remember trying to play songs from Dragon Tales and Zaboomafoo from the pbskids site and rarely being able to do it because realplayer wouldn't cooperate. Dragon Tales was my favorite show but I remember the Clifford one a lot better for some reason...

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I remember Realplayer being the bane of my existence for quite a few years. That first website clearly had a impact if you can remember it that well!

  5. Abhishek R
    August 17, 2014 at 6:31 am

    We got our first internet connection in 2007-2008. I was not allowed to touch the internet but when my mom and dad went away for a party, i called my friend who know how to operate the computer, so we first opened IE and google was the default search engine set on it and on that i searched " IS SANTA CLAUSE REAL". The first link was to wikipedia i read the whole article and after that 'FACEPALM'.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      What?! Of course Santa is real...

  6. Ellen L
    August 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Whoa. We were using Telnet to access a mainframe computer as part of a teacher computer programming training. The instructor showed us CyberGopher and then the first Netscape. I think it was a CERN site that demonstrated hyperlinks. Probably the summer of 1997 (I have html files from 1997).

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      Remembering a CERN website as your first is actually pretty damn cool.

  7. James Bassett
    August 16, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Although AltaVista was the gateway the first actual site I remember was Geocities in 1994. I vaguely remember a black background with (very) bright text and it listed a bunch of pages based around common interests. Kind of a World Wide Web version of the old bulletin boards. You could join any community and receive updates whenever anyone else posted to that community.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Geocities was the dog's cojones back in the day. It's a shame it's not still with us in its original form, as I would love to explore it again as it was back then.

  8. KT
    August 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Rotten.com (around 1997-98)
    The singer for the band I was in was sick bastard. He had it as his home page

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Eesh, that must have been quite the introduction to the Web. I never got far into Rotten.com before deciding I'd seen enough for one lifetime.

  9. Von Adam Martinez
    August 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    As a an innocent child who is seeking for happiness, Y8 has been the playground of mine inside the house. I am certain of this since this is one of the easiest to type in the browser.

  10. Tygerr
    August 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I don't remember exactly which site was my first - it was probably Lycos or Webcrawler. I do remember the spinning Netscape logo on my browser vividly though: that was about the coolest thing I'd seen on a PC application until then.
    One site from that era that I did use a lot back then which I STILL use daily was IMDB.com - definitely stood the test of time.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      IMDb hasn't even changed much from then, has it? It's a little like Wikipedia in that sense.

  11. Don T
    August 15, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Way waaay back in the late 1980's/early 1990's, I used Prodigy and CompuServe. Netscape homepage seems to be what I would recall as the first website.

  12. Jeremy G
    August 15, 2014 at 12:35 am

    The one that sticks in my mind is Yahooligans, the kid friendly Yahoo portal. I am certain I would not be as impressed now, though nostalgia makes me smile. I remember AltaVista fondly and even Netscape , though by the end I wouldn't touch the latter with a ten foot bargepole.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      I remember Yahooligans, and I'm pretty sure we would all laugh at it now.

  13. Tom Marinello
    August 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I had a Sun SPARC 2, running Netscape 0.86 as I recall. The first site I really remember was Novell's - it was set up as a bookshelf lined with red binders. I'm guessing there was a Netscape or NCSA home page after the software was installed, but what I remember was Novell.

  14. suzybel
    August 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    My first experience was with Alta Vista. My son said "search for anything you want Mom". I was so stunned, the only thing I could think of was the Royal Family, Vin Diesel and Steven Seagal. And that was on dial-up.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      You remember what you searched for? That is astounding. It reminds me that back then we did all used to search for random stuff though. Now, most of us stick to the sites we know or get told about through social networks.

  15. Carol E
    August 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Since I've used Eudora as my email client ever since I was connected to the WWW, I searched my emails and found the first one saved was from 1995. It was from Netscape responding to my grumble that I paid real money for Netscape 2.0 and then learned that it was freely downloadable from the Web. So if Netscape wasn't the very first Web site I visited, I'm sure it was in the top 10.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      So, the scam of being charged for freely available apps and services is anything but a new phenomenon!

  16. Thambaru Wijesekara
    August 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    It was msn.com for me, actually IE took it me there itself on my very first visit to internet. By now, Google is my pal.

  17. Robert M
    August 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I first read about the internet in the late 80's but didn't really know what it was. I downloaded a beta browser (don't remember name) and tried using it on my 286 PC before I found out it required the use of a modem (I was clueless back then). Then Prodigy's online subscription service came out and I subscribed. So I suppose the first website I ever saw was Prodigy's homepage in 1990 or 1991. Fastest modem available at the time was a 1200 bit/s dialup modem so there were no pictures. There wasn't a whole lot to it, most of the available content was from Prodigy itself. I switched over to AOL sometime before 1993 because AOL had more content, although still mostly created by AOL. There was a fair amount of advertising on both Prodigy and AOL. The Mosaic came out about 1993 and I could begin surfing in earnest. Thought I was hot stuff when I got a 2400 bit/s modem and an HP machine with a 386 processor and dual floppy drives! You've come a long way, baby!

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      There must have only been a handful of websites back then. Which is pretty shocking when you think about how many we have now ended up with.

  18. Bill L
    August 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Enrolled in college as an adult student at PSU in 1996, I was confronted with the tasks of purchasing and learning the computer for the purpose of education. AOL!!! Yes! "America On Line" taught me everything one could possibly ever want to know about using the pc. Those chatrooms were so informative that in no time I was sitting at the front of the classless when in " Computerology 101." Seeing the search engines mentioned above reminded me that all of my saved favorite places were search tools with " Infoseek " topping the list.
    In closing, I remember well how that 28.8 modem speed made that on-line video sizzle at frame by frame rate... and the only place I found where I could study these mpegs were on "Danni Ashe's" site. I didn't even notice the naked bodies...it was all about the education.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Any mention of a 28.8k modem trying to cope with the increasingly graphic-heavy Web of the late 90s sends shivers down my spine.

  19. Bill
    August 14, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    1994 > nba.com

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Boy, I bet that's changed a lot over the years.

  20. fernando
    August 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Netscape's website in 1995 (default home page in netscape browser v2.0), im just realised how old i'm. :-(

    • Jeff S
      August 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      I still remember having my Micron computer at work with a 1GB hard drive. Telling folks in 1998 that we'd be seeing Terabyte drives soon. They all thought I was insane. "Dude you can download the entire library of Congress on that." Fun times. Yep, I remember Netscape Navigator too...

  21. Tom W
    August 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I don't remember the exact year that I used the internet, but I do remember the very first site that I visited: HamsterDance. A version of that highly addictive and hypnotic timesink is still online at http://www.hamsterdance.org/hamsterdance/ , although the audio isn't playing for me because I refuse to install Apple quicktime. As strange as it sounds, from the moment I saw that site I fell in love with the internet and the possibilities that it could present.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Damn, that's one hell of a nostalgia trip. I remember HamsterDance well, and it's nice to see it's still as annoying now as it was back then.

      The audio works on my Chromebook, so I'm amazed it isn't working for you.

    • Tom W
      August 19, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Firefox on Windows requires Apple Quicktime to play that page due to the way the audio has been coded. I haven't installed Quicktime, because it offers me no advantages, so the audio didn't play. It does play in Chrome, so I'm guessing they have a baked in way of playing audio just like they have Flash baked in.

  22. Dan
    August 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    It's embarrassing to admit but the oldest websites I remember viewing was some random webshrine for the anime character Madoka Ayukawa (hosted in Geocities, I think) and a website that's dedicated to Evangelion (probably not Geocities, I think). I don't even remember the search engine I used to find them, probably Altavista, Excite, or Hotbot. The first website that I really visited regularly was TheDojo which was a site dedicated to M:TG deckbuilding and strategy. Aside from being an otaku in 1995-96 when I discovered the information highway, I was also a competitive local M:TG player (internationally ranked even).

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      There's no shame in that at all. I loved Evangelion myself back then. Geocities, wow, that takes me back.

  23. Roger C
    August 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    AltaVista....at the time the best "web crawler" around.

  24. Philip Bates
    August 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I probably came quite late to the party, but as a big Marvel fan, I distinctly remember reading the now-sadly-defunct samruby.com; in particular, I remember looking at the synopsis for Amazing Spider-Man #2 - pretty sure it was around Christmastime. Actually, I'm incredibly sad that site's no longer running...

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      The Web is littered with corpses of sites we once loved. It is sad when you realize that. What year are we talking here?

  25. likefunbutnot
    August 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    The web in general? The National Center for Supercomputing Applications. But I was using lynx on a Unix shell account, which means that it pretty much looked exactly like a Gopher site to me at the time. The first graphical page I went to was almost certainly "Silicon Surf" - a sort of gallery of SIGGRAPH projects at sgi.com.

    Netscape, Yahoo and Amazon (a very early Netscape "Best of the Web" page) probably did follow very soon thereafter.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Amazon wasn't the Amazon we know now back then?!

  26. Jeff S
    August 14, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I'm pretty sure it was compuserve.com. I had a corporate account before I had my personal account (back then aol like everyone else).

    • Jesus
      August 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      COmpuserve for me too, long live the C-64

    • Jeff S
      August 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Ha / I had a c-128 - before that was the Ti-99a (ah cassette loading, those were the days)...

  27. KA
    August 14, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I don't really remember the first one, but Yahoo was very very popular and my first email was on it.

  28. Laser
    August 14, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I remember that the first websites I visited were all search engines, like dogpile, webcrawler, altavista and others.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I used to use Dogpile pretty much exclusively. It still exists too!

  29. Paul
    August 14, 2014 at 8:27 am

    My first actual use of the internet was through a sega dreamcast and I remember using excite.co.uk as my search engine.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      With the 33k modem? I had one of those too, and played Chu Chu Rocket until I could see were little mice running around everywhere.

  30. Jon
    August 14, 2014 at 7:21 am

    1995 is a long time ago, but if I had to say what website from then that I still remember, it'd have to be Yahoo. It had this wonderful catalog that you could browse through via category, and this was besides search. I also remember Apple's site, and their own "home page" that was active--based on information you gave it, it would display different things.

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      I remember being really impressed with Yahoo back then, but it feels like when the rest of the Web moved on they stayed where they were.

  31. james
    August 14, 2014 at 4:55 am

    canada says that they have confirmed obama had robin williams killed to take the media spotlight away from him

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Yeah, of course he did. And that's one hell of a domain in response to the question.

  32. Colin
    August 14, 2014 at 4:03 am

    I think it was the Altavista search engine. I used it to search for HTML coding lessons.

  33. Marc Cummins
    August 14, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I used yahoo.com and found Godiva.com

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      And now I want chocolate.

  34. Ed
    August 14, 2014 at 2:21 am

    I would have to say "WebCrawler" the search engine.

    • David
      August 14, 2014 at 2:26 am

      WebCrawler was my first thought, too. The Google of its time. That and Lycos.

    • jason
      August 15, 2014 at 1:18 am

      me too! i said that right before entering to read this article. awesome!

    • Dave P
      August 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      And that domain still exists, incredibly. Search powered by Google and Yahoo now though.

  35. Catherine
    August 14, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Epicurious ~ I was hooked!

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