Go Back in Time: How 12 Big Websites Looked Years Ago

Joe Keeley Updated 12-12-2018

The internet has progressed massively over the last two decades. Back then, Apple was a struggling computer company, AOL was a booming internet service provider, and Microsoft was on the verge of releasing Windows 98. Through the magic of the Wayback Machine, we can travel back in time and revisit the past.


Take a walk down memory lane with us as we hop into our DeLorean and take a look at what the web used to be. If you were there at the time, you’ll feel nostalgia. If not, you might be surprised just how far we’ve come. Feel free to follow the links and do your own exploring, even revisit your own old haunts and marvel at how dated they look.

1. YouTube

A screenshot of YouTube in 2005

In 2005, YouTube was founded by three American guys who worked for PayPal. It made the process of uploading and viewing videos so much easier than it ever had been before. The first video was titled “Me at the zoo”, uploaded by co-founder Jawed Karim.

Google purchased the site in 2006 and YouTube continues to dominate If YouTube Sucks, Why Is Everyone Still Using It? YouTube is dominant right now, and despite its recent woes, there are plenty of reasons to believe YouTube is going to continue dominating the world of online video. Read More ; today, 300 hours of video get uploaded every minute.

2. eBay

A screenshot of eBay in 1999


eBay wasn’t always called that. When it launched in 1995, it was known as The AuctionWeb, and one of the first things sold was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. In 1996, the site hosted 250,000 auctions. A year later, that figure went up to two million, with Beanie Babies making up 10% of those listings.

eBay continues to be a popular shopping destination 5 Critical eBay Online Shopping Tips You Must Know eBay is different from Amazon and other shopping sites. Here are the critical eBay shopping tips you must know to succeed. Read More , though now it sells a whole lot more than collectible toys.

3. Apple

Screenshot of Apple in 1997

Apple, now one of the most valuable companies in the world, was a struggling computer company back in the 90s. Apple’s website from 1997 seems like it’s about a completely different company from the Apple we know today. But even back then, Apple pushed mobile devices—the eMate 300 in this case, which used Apple’s Newton platform. (It flopped.)


4. Google

Screenshot of Google in 1998

Google wasn’t the first search engine A Brief History of Search and How Google Came Out on Top After a half dozen (or more) unsuccessful attempts over the years to find a better alternative, it led me to try and decipher what makes Google better than competitors in this space. Read More , though it did improve upon it thanks to a page ranking formula created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The iconic, minimalistic design has always been present on their site, as has the colorful logo.

Here’s a little-known fact: The only reason Google started with such a simple design is because the company founders had little knowledge of HTML.

5. Yahoo

A screenshot of Yahoo in 1997
1997 was the pre-Google era, so people used other search engines Which Search Engine Should You Be Using Today? There are many search engines out there, but which one is the best for you? Read More —like Yahoo. Yahoo was a pretty basic search engine and directory back then, nothing like the jam-packed front page it would become. But then, Yahoo just couldn’t be cluttered back then. It would have taken too long to download over those old dial-up modems.


6. Microsoft

how websites used to look like

Microsoft was working on Windows 98 at the time, and their “Where do you want to go today?” slogan featured prominently on their website. As you can see, they’ve always offered a variety of products and services. The top headline—“Internet Explorer 4.0 Debuts to Critics’ Applause”—is amusing in retrospect, since in later years the browser was swiftly overtaken by the competition. Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More

7. Amazon

Screenshot of Amazon's website in 1999

Amazon began selling books in 1995 and was, like all good internet companies, founded out of a garage by Jeff Bezos. He chose books because of the worldwide demand for literature, the low cost, and the huge variety available. Bezos was selling $20,000 a week within two months, so you might say it was the right choice, especially since Amazon remains the number one online shopping destination.


8. AOL

Screenshot of AOL's website in 1997

AOL’s website really is a blast from the past. The front page advertises the beta release of AOL Instant Messenger, which ultimately became very popular. It even offers a free AOL trial, which brought many people online for the first time.

9. GeoCities

Screenshot of GeoCities' website in 1997
If you were around in the 90s, I’m sure you remember GeoCities. Instead of creating blogs, people created their own personal websites and they usually looked horrible. GeoCities was shut down officially in 2009, but it faded away and died many years before.

10. The New York Times

Screenshot of the New York Times website in 1997
The New York Times shows us what a newspaper website used to be like. The website attempts to bring the familiar newspaper-style layout to a browser. Luckily, newspaper websites have advanced since then, and for many publications, it’s the primary output since print media is no longer as popular as it once was.

11. AltaVista

Screenshot of AltaVista in 1997

If you weren’t using Yahoo, there’s a good chance you were using AltaVista. Back in 1997, they were more than just a search engine. You can see that from their proud boasting of a new “email with attitude” service called ME-Mail. AltaVista now just redirects to Yahoo’s search results, and Yahoo is just a frontend to Microsoft’s Bing.

12. The White House

White House website in 1997

The White House front page used to be the “White House Virtual Library.” It offered the ability to browse and search a variety of documents. No splashy front page with the latest news and high-resolution images of the president here, just a glorified search engine with a tiling background that would have been all the rage at the time.

Even More Blasts From the Past

One day, someone will no doubt write about how ancient the web looks now and marvel at how backward we were.

Now that you’ve learned about the history of the web and how it used to look, it’s time to check out some fascinating sites to make real history come alive These 15 Fascinating History Sites Make the Past Come Alive History isn't just the subject we left behind in school. These 15 interactive (but educational) websites and tools prove that the re-telling of historical events can be entertaining and fun. Read More .

Related topics: History, Nostalgia, The Internet Archive.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Bryan
    November 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Anybody else remember BBSs, prior to the web we know today?! Then Compuserve came about.

    • Martin Green
      December 13, 2018 at 4:00 am

      My first forays onto the Internet back in 1994 were via Canada Remote Systems, a big multiuser BBS. Luckily I managed to avoid both Compuserve and AOL.

  2. Anonymous
    July 20, 2015 at 1:03 am

    The internet did used to have a CD that came in the mail. Wow! A throwback.

  3. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I remember these days. The White House was the most surprising in this group. Amazon sure has upgraded their look with sleek icons and lots of color. Thanks for the memories (:

  4. Adrian Rea
    October 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Yup, some of us knew it with Netscape and all. If we only knew how it would turn out!

  5. Joe G
    September 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Sooner or later, all the iPhones and Droids and other phones like will become dinosaurs, just like car phones. One of these days I'm just going to decide to stop upgrading my technology, and will become one of those who say "How do you use this transporter? I wish I could use my car."

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Give it 10 years and we may all be using augmented-reality glasses. Another 10 and we may have neural interfaces!

      Well, I can dream.

  6. Charlie
    July 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Okay, just wondering where are the good old days. You know the black screens or least we should forget the green screens!

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 17, 2012 at 1:50 am

      That takes me even further back! I remember when I was a kid, the first computers I used used DOS and Windows wasn't even a thing yet. You had to know the commands to type in to use it.

      • Martin Green
        December 13, 2018 at 4:02 am

        My first computers were running CP/M.

  7. moto_modx
    July 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Good article, I first accessed internet for one hour in 1996. when i was 13, later in 1998 onwards I started using it by visiting to my uncle's office frequently. I remember some of these pages. I started using altavista in 2000, and indiatimes was also a favorite destination. memories refreshed.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Glad I could help! This really took me back, too -- back to when I was a kid with an AOL disc.

  8. Thegreatvinay
    June 5, 2012 at 5:47 am

    not only the pages internet speed in india too should evolve. still using 512Kbps speed :'(

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Ouch, well.. at least that's faster than dial-up! That's something. Man, dial-up was slow even in its day...

  9. Claudia -
    June 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I loved this article - even though I was only just being though of when most of these websites looked like this, when I was in grade one I made a GeoCities website, and even then it was ancient. Thanks :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Thanks! It's a good thing Geocities is gone. I'm sure my little Geocities site from when I was a kid would look embarrassing today.

  10. Lisa
    May 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Krishna Sir,Namaskar. This is Narayan Singh Gurung from London. Thank you very very much for your detailed infoimatron about Ghandruk. May we hope to hear from you the same in the days to come as well. Finally please extend my and my family's regards to Dharma Shila madam and children.Bye for now.

  11. bg
    May 7, 2012 at 1:35 am

    wow i can't believe how old i am, i discovered the internet in 1995 but didn't get an email address until 1997. now more of the paranoid people are using the internet. and most of the sane ones have move on,

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 7, 2012 at 5:01 am

      Really? Where have the sane people moved on to?

      I think the Internet was more paranoid back then -- I remember seeing crazy conspiracy websites more back then. Nowadays, most normal people use the Internet, so crazy conspiracy sites are further between.

  12. stars nackt
    May 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  13. jakomos
    May 3, 2012 at 11:38 am

    ha, i remember juno. i remember the sound of dialup, at aol screaming at me: You've got mail! i remember constant crashing, confusion, chaos. predators and aggressive selling. floppy drives companies would send you in the mail offering new products; and you would format those floppies and use them for whatever you wanted haha. there are also a lot of things worth forgetting about the internets prior to 2000. literally, prior to 2005-6, there were few reasons to remember with any mirth the computer world.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Sadly, when AOL switched to CDs, you couldn't erase them and re-use them anymore!

  14. Dear writter this was the funniest of rides, Thanks.
    April 27, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I realy was laughing than as I do now, to a how whole internet design looked at the time. This collection is priceless.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

      These are some of the better-designed websites of the time! You should see old Geocities with their animated GIFs and "under construction" signs.

      • Arjun Bajaj
        April 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Haha, I remember once creating a GeoCities Website with a very stupid "loading" animation.

        That time I was just 10 years old.
        And that useless editor they had, I used to hate that, it used to take so much time to load. :P

  15. Rick Henderson
    April 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I was on the Internet in 1997, near the end of my university days. I'm an old C64 user, so when I went home for the first two summers I used my 1200 baud modem to dial in to the mainframe, and would sometimes surf the web using Lynx, a textbased web browers. I miss the days of Gopher, Archie, and Veronica. There should totally be more Gopherspace these days. I remember when your univ moved from Gopher and released their first website. I used to use the search engine OpenText, which they made private and now is one of their flagship products.

  16. Tomalak Geret'kal
    April 26, 2012 at 12:58 am

    It's hard to believe that the number "1997" can now be associated with the phrase "15 years ago"!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

      I know -- next thing we know, we'll be saying the same about 2012. I feel old already.

  17. seo costs
    April 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I've learn this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some fascinating issues or tips. Maybe you could write subsequent articles relating to this article. I desire to learn even more issues about it!

  18. cendrinemedia
    April 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for this awesome article, Chris! Yahoo still looked like that well into the 2000s, which is funny to me.

    I will be sharing this article with my students tomorrow. I am teaching a intro on blogging class, and it will be a perfect way to show them how things have evolved and changed, and how important design truly is.

    Thank you again!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Awesome, thank you for spreading it around! I'm very flattered.

  19. TtfnJohn
    April 24, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I'd hoped, in a lot of ways to forget those days. Hooking up with 56K modem which was really 48.8 with compression so it actually was slower downloading pictures and arc files that using the real thing.

    I learned HTML to get Geocities to display decently, too. There was Netscape and IE and the battling standards so you actually HAD to have both. People have mentioned Gopher, old bulletin boards, usenet (still the wildest west of the Internet) but have forgotten IRC which is still around and still beats heck out of other chat networks if you just want to do things like actually talk to another human being. :)

    Yes, in 2017 todays Web will look ancient too. The roll out of HTML 5 increasing and the capabilities of that which may render PHP, ASP and Flash and whatever MS's answer to Flash is dead as doornails.

    Oh yeah, back in 2007 there was this strange little operating system called Linux starting to appear which, back then, you had to compile yourself and spend far too much time on the command line once it was running because GNOME and KDE were far from bulletproof. The OS that runs almost all of the Internet and web backbone now.

    The smart phones and other gadgetry will be all over even though the often predicted death of the desktop PC won't have happened. Hard core gamers and graphic designers and users of things like Photoshop and 3D software will still demand the ability to upgrade RAM and video cards three or four times a year. I'm more inclined to think the laptop is the best candidate for endangered species by then.

    But the Wayback Machine will still be there, documenting our stupid designs so that we can look back at something 5 years later and shudder at how totally ignorant we were. ;-)

    I'm looking forward to revisiting this again in 2017!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Yup, the desktop PC won't "die" in the forseeable future, but it's definitely not the only way to compute anymore.

      It wasn't long ago that Windows and Internet Explorer was the only option for most people -- on a desktop, or an expensive laptop if you were lucky. Now we have a wide variety of device types, platforms, and form factors.

  20. Thom F
    April 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I was in college in 1997, and I remember getting a list of numbers from the school to use to get online. I was running Windows 95, and had a removable modem card. Good times. There were always those 2 or 3 numbers that seemed to just work better than the others...some took way too long to load up Yahoo! search. None of us really had any idea how to really leverage the web back then though.

    I also remember no one really seemed too sure what email was for, or at least, no one really seemed to use it much.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Yup! As far as email, this about sums it up.

  21. ShareForward
    April 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    This is fun. I can remember these sites, especially AOL and Yahoo. It was all about search engines back then.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      There was certainly a lot more variety in search engines back then, back before Google crushed them by offering a better product.

  22. Kyem Ghosh
    April 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    It was just a before I was admitted to a school n I had no idea or never heard of a machine called a computer!!! Internet was far away and Apple was selling mobile phones then... I was just 5 then!!! Pretty interesting to see these web pages.. Even its hard to believe or think how fast the technology is growing day by day.... Now we are almost dead without internet!!!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Yup -- I remember being a kid (a little older) messing around with AOL back then.

  23. Omstavan Samant
    April 23, 2012 at 3:59 am

    here is how looked over the years!*/// select the dates encircled in blue to see how it looked!

    • Kyem Ghosh
      April 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Oh! didn't display its own.....

      • Chris Hoffman
        April 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        Thanks for sharing the link! I've mentioned MakeUseOf's old stuff in another post. We certainly weren't around 15 years ago -- we're pretty young.

  24. Omstavan Samant
    April 23, 2012 at 3:55 am

    The best way to see old websites is to go to and use the wayback machine.. i love it

    • Kyem Ghosh
      April 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thanx for it.... Lov it!!!!

      • Chris Hoffman
        April 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        Yup, Wayback Machine is super awesome. It's sad that more people don't know about it.

  25. Omstavan Samant
    April 23, 2012 at 3:51 am

    very interesting! nice collection!!!

  26. Gil
    April 23, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I remember using back in 1995-1996. Before it was What did their website look like back then?

  27. Oliver
    April 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Can you guys imagine what people 10 years later will say about our present day web design? "Why are all the website's 2D??!! Why isn't everything hologram? Why do you need to click this mouse thing to get to different pages" etc etc

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      "What do you mean, they didn't have direct brain-to-internet interfaces?"

  28. Joao
    April 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    The Amazon website still looks similar (that is not a compliment *wink wink*)

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Yup, Amazon is known for not updating their design much. It didn't look as bad as the others back then, though.

      • Tomalak Geret'kal
        April 26, 2012 at 12:59 am

        Amazon always looked clean and navigable, and it still does. Hopefully there's a lesson to be learned here for all the "web 2.0" nutjobs making sites "shiny" and contentless for no apparent reason...

        • Chris Hoffman
          April 28, 2012 at 5:05 am

          It's definitely interesting that Amazon feels so timeless, but even they've updated their look recently.

  29. Jim Osment
    April 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I remember being online in about 1992 using Windows 3.11. I believe it was Netscape and Mosaic which were the main browsers but I was using Opera at home. Opera was good because it was the only browser that worked "well" and fitted on a 1.44 MB floppy disk. I was using old secondhand computers and my HDD was too small to run both windows operating system and browser. I also remember one of the computers at work being upgraded by purchasing an additional 4MB of RAM. The module cost $397 and brought the total RAM to 8MB ! No wonder it took 5 minutes to download a single photo. I also vaguely recall some of the older guys playing dungeons and dragons online (using Dos I think) way before graphical user interfaces were invented. My brother had to write and run a simple program using a punch-card system at university in about 1988.

    • Cowmix
      April 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      Umm.. try 1994, not 1992.


      • Jim Osment
        April 23, 2012 at 1:00 am

        Hmmm you're probably right, my memories and their chronology from 20 years ago are vague at best. I was working at University of Queensland. It would have been dialup to the uni's server. I did a bit of reading and the names Pegasus as an ISP, AARNET and the "Gopher" information system and Usenet News, are familiar names which bring back a few vague memories from those days. I still occasionally use my Operamail email address. Their webmail records only go back about 12 years so don't know how long I've had it. ;-)

        • Chris Hoffman
          April 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

          Gopher still exists, interestingly enough. No one seems to use it, though -- actually some people (probably one or two people) seem to "prefer" it to the web.

          Support for Gopher has been stripped out of browsers like Firefox long ago.

        • Rick Henderson
          April 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

          I think there has been a surge of support for Gopher in the last 3 years or so, because 5 - 8 years ago you couldn't find any reference to it on the web. Not to any gopher sites I mean.

    • Dave Young
      April 23, 2012 at 2:04 am

      Kids! Used punch cards to write Fortran programs which were given to the computer operators to actually run the programs. My first personal computer was an Apple ][ which has 48K (4 bit bytes, I think) with a big add-in card for the additional 16K. Had a Microsoft CPM card - that was the coming OS! (not)

      Still have all this stuff in the attic. Any bidders?

      • Chris Hoffman
        April 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

        Now that's well before my time. I can't even imagine!

      • Elvenrunelord
        April 26, 2012 at 5:39 am

        I done all that stuff to with the punch cards but I'm happy to say that my beard is still black :D

        Just foolin' with to see another old timer like me keeping up with the times.

  30. Elaine Nicol
    April 22, 2012 at 5:11 am

    LOL. I just learned basic web-design last year and can make html sites like those... not with all the fancy js and php or other stuff I was never that techy. Funny, now automated builders like joomla and wordpress are much more advanced than Microsoft's or Apple's (websites) were back then.

    Chatting on ICQ back in 95 was much fun and geeky... lol I used to search mostly on lycos and dogpile was popular... funny name. I remember ie coming out yes it was a bit confusing at first, but preferred it to Netscape.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      That was pretty much all HTML could do back then! Not all the fancy things we take for granted these days.

      It was a actually a document markup language back then.

  31. Jonal Coleman
    April 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    When ever i wanted to test a PCs internet connection back then..i would always go to Those were the good old days... well .. not really technology sucked back then..

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Heh, yeah. It's such an archiac era in retrospect -- just like 2012 will seem like some day.

  32. Dave Parrack
    April 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Great article, Chris. It takes me back in a big, bad way. The Web was ugly back then, but as you say, I'm sure in 2027 they'll be saying the same about us.

    I have to say I don't miss the days of 56k dial-up.

    • Kyem Ghosh
      April 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      U wud hav a an ultraband connection with 1GBps download speed in 2027 n you would get all ur webpages in 3D.... You can expect much more than that, I guess....

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      I can still hear the modem dial-up sound in my head. I don't miss dial up, that's for sure.

    • JerryP
      April 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      56K, ah the luxury of the "new" technology. I had the joy of using a coupler modem once with it's might 110 baud glory (regular old style home phone where you pressed (coupled) the handset to the speaker and mic of the modem.)

      This steps back probably 30 years, but if you don't know your history of phone networked communications... From what I recall, couplers (which ran around 110 baud) couldn't handle 300 baud, so those speeds required a direct phone line attachment. Ah, the good old days when the nudie pics were in ascii and delivered at 300 baud... The technology stepped up to 1200, 2400, 9600, 19.2K, 28.8K, 56k (though most phone lines can't actually accomodate the full 56k).

      To get a sense of speed (or lack thereof), a slow reader could comfortably keep up with text being sent directly to the screen at 300 baud. You could watch it do a slow crawl across each line. At 1200 it was difficult for a fast reader. And this was simple pure text, though some liked to make things blink or use garish colors.

      Everything new seems fast until you become used to it. You just don't know how slow it is until you have the next new thing.

      • wac
        April 29, 2012 at 12:39 am

        Oh, yes, I remember the ascii nudie pix - printed out on an old, old line printer - back when I was a programmer in the 1970s...

        and playing "Colossal Cave" (after-hours only - during work hours a wizard would appear in a puff of green smoke and throw you off!) on a green-screen monitor off of a DEC 2040/60, late 1970s...

  33. Erica
    April 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Does anyone remember Prodigy or even the old bulletin board services, pre 1997????

    • Cheryl
      April 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Wow...I had forgotten all about Prodigy! I used that for a long time. I actually really enjoyed their chat rooms. I met a lot of cool people in them. Since that was the first time I had owned or operated a personal computer, it really helped meeting people who knew more and could teach me. Good times. :D

      • Chris Hoffman
        April 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

        Yeah, the old BBSes -- that's even older. I wasn't even around for that.

        Someone should definitely write a post about those, but preferably someone who was there!

  34. Bill Kendrick
    April 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    (From Wikipedia: "In June 1998, Compaq paid AltaVista Technology Incorporated ("ATI") $3.3 million for the domain name – Jack Marshall, cofounder of ATI, had registered the name in 1994.")

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      I thought AltaVista had back then -- I guess I was off by a few months.

  35. Bill Kendrick
    April 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    That screenshot isn't of AltaVista. It even says so! AltaVista, back then, lived at digital. See, e.g.:

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Oops, good point! Well, that certainly is back then -- it wasn't the AltaVista we knew (and loved?) though. Thanks for pointing that out!

  36. Anargh Valsalan
    April 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Lol, you guys should check Youtube @ 2005 its like a dating site

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Definitely looks pretty old school:

      I remember when YouTube launched -- it was a big deal that it used Flash and could actually play videos reliably! No fiddling with RealPlayer, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, etc

      Now everyone seems to hate Flash -- how far we've come. Flash is definitely better than the old mess of plugins, though.

  37. bestjobstore
    April 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Wow ,

    i remember yahoo and google and i am not familiar with rest of them. Good old days.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      The bad old good old days, in some respects. (Dial up!)

  38. Joe
    April 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

    How can this take me back? I was never there in the first place.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      All the more interesting, then! You can experience the stuff you missed out on and see how far we've come.

  39. RaMaN
    April 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    May be wayback machine can show many interesting things but the fact I hate most is that most of the dates when we click them results empty. They are marked as they contain webpage but after clicking they try to redirect to the original page of current time. wayback machine would be awesome if its all dates are equipped with pages otherwise wayback should remove all markings from the dates for which there is no page of a particular website. BTW I've also seen how MUO looked at first when launched. You were as a blog on wordpress :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Yeah, WayBack Machine isn't perfect -- but it's pretty amazing when you consider how big their archive is.

  40. Raja Chowdhury
    April 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Ahh also remember hotbot became a very popular search engine at some point of time.

    • Raja Chowdhury
      April 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

      Lycos, altavista, askjeeves, howstuffworks, hotbot...................

      • Chris Hoffman
        April 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        I liked Dogpile, for a while. It searched a lot of those old ones!

  41. Raja Chowdhury
    April 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Do remember about lycos and ask jeeves. Used to do a lot of search using them. Also howstuffworks. Also altavista and the excite search engines.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Yeah, they all still exist -- as hollowed out shells of their former selves.

  42. Flipsen
    April 21, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Missing another big player from that era that I'd like to see: compuserve

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Yup, I never personally used CompuServe, so I never thought to include it. You could certainly go check it out yourself, though!

  43. Tim Martin
    April 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Why are you using a picture of a hacked upgrade of an Amstrad 1640 against an Apple Item!!!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      I'm just using a stock image of an old-looking computer -- I'm not sure what the Apple item here is, there's just one screenshot of Apple's website.

  44. Devin Walker
    April 21, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Very many show broken images... Probably used Time Machine for the screen shots. Still, good post. Takes me back, loved it

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Yup, I used the Wayback Machine -- that's where the links in the article go. Sadly, there are more broken images than I'd like.

    • Bishwa
      May 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

      by Annaji. Oh ! What a great revelation of the tonaitirdal Bhartiya way of Life. “Perfect behavior, pure wisdom, untainted life, Sacrifice….” Do we agree with Anna really?Corruption rests in Mind of people and spreads in Rules, Finance, Society, System and overall. Communalism is another form of corrupted mind-set. We have to uproot this corruption from our mind from everybody. A common man to politician. From a businessman to a home tutor. We have to take an oath to save our country from corruption. Only bringing the stashed money from Swiss Bank will end the corruption? No. Enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill will end up corruptions? No. But, all these are the certain powerful tools to set strong machinery against Corruption. But unless and until the Human resources are free from corruption, nothing shall be happened.Thinking envious to the neighbors will make us corrupt, not discharging the stipulated responsibilities in time makes a vicious circle of corruption and bribes, debauchery in life tends a corrupted life, the sprawling subversiveness survives in corruption, Political ambitions without the prosperity of the people makes us completely “Corrupted” and my corruption and your corruption made this Nation, easy to say as “Corrupted”. Yes, this is the time to say no to “Corruption”. Anna started to set a “Corruption” free India. We have to follow it hermetically.Certainly the most significant feature of this Anti-Corruption Movement is to bring the mass from all strata of life, all beliefs, all rights group and different organisations across the country even touches the hearts of millions of Indians dwell out side India. The whole country saw the fervor of the growing sentiment in favor of Nationalism and against the political corrupts, bankrupt bureaucrats and the media moles in the system. And after all, the reluctant and repulsive Govt crowned with corruptions bent to the protesting populace demanding a strong law enforcement against Corruption with the direct representation o the Republic of India. Now such a necessary law is possible. That may be a nightmare of the corrupted politicians, bureaucrats, media moles, NGOists. But we have to draw the dream lines of the Corruption Free India for which millions of youngsters and the youths marched these days with the older generations even.Yes, only Anna can do this. Perhaps, He is the uncrowned King of India. All responded him to join the cause. The Bharat Swabhiman Trust, Art of Living, ABVP, RSS all joined with another thousands for this great cause. We saw Swami Ramdev and Ram Madhav in a frame. We saw Medha Patker and Anupam Kher side by side. The Buddhist monks and the Jain Munis were on the stage, at the same time Farah Khan could not resist her to reach Jantar Mantar, keeping aside her busy schedule of Bollywood. Hindus worshiped and offered ‘aahuti’ in Mass Yanga (fire rituals) in the street, while Muslims and Christians prayed for the success of Anna’s fast at Jantar Mantar. The whole India were with Anna these days and must remain with him. The feelings are My India, My Bharat – against inconsistency of the system so far, against big beefed ‘bhastrachar’ (corruption) in India. Anna surfaced the potential Oneness of India. Ekatma Bharat. And not detracting and rejecting any thing for the good of this Republic, Anna solicited the strength from Vivekananda to Gandhi, Laxmibai to Bhagat Singh-Chandrasekhar Azad, from Dayananda to Rammonhar Lohia. Anna symbolized him as a modern saint of India with a tonaitirdal vision and values. Anna’s scientific approach for the rural reconstruction in Ralegan Siddhi with preserving all the Indian values and ethics may serve as a role model in every aspirant rural corners of India too. Now a modern India can stand up with its own identity along with rationality and modernity.I am still in the rhythms of little school girls who were shouting very enthusiastically in the street rally after Anna broke his fast in the fifth day – ‘Ek do tin char, dur karenge bhastrachar’ , ‘hamara neta kaisa ho, Anna Hazare Jaisa Ho’…. I was also clapping and shouting in the same way.Bande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki Jai. Jai Hind.

    • Surit
      May 10, 2012 at 1:30 am

      PAINKILLER RECIPEPusser's Painkiller was created in the British Virgin Islands. It is serevd in almost every restaurant and on every island in the British Virgin Islands. It is now considered the official drink of the BVI's.2 4 oz Pusser'sae dark rum4 oz pineapple juice1 oz cream of coconut1 oz orange juiceComes in numbers 2, 3, and 4 based on amount of rum. Serve on the rocks. Stir and grate fresh nutmeg on the top.

  45. simbasounds
    April 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

    ha ha.. excellent. nice one, Chris Hoffman 8¬]

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks! Glad I could share. It was fun to revisit these.

  46. Yaz
    April 21, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Navigating and finding information via Yahoo!'s categories and subcategories on Compuserve was "da bomb" back then. You're considered a demigod in geekdom. Pretty awesome if you ask me. LOL.

  47. Shawn
    April 21, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I used to use for all my email and search engine needs... except for the AltaVista image search. Whatever happened to Excite anyway?

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 21, 2012 at 4:43 am

      Looks like Ask Jeeves bought them. Their search engine appears to return a mix of results from Google, Bing and Yahoo (which is Bing now, too.)

    • Christian Cawley
      April 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

      My first taste of the web was in the library of Sheffield Hallam university, and the first page I visited was Can still remember the thrill and anticipation of my first session on the web!

  48. Ed
    April 21, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Made quite a few web sites on Geocities including a family site. Was sorry to see it quit doing the free web pages for the regular guy. Not too many sites like that left (didn't say none, just not that many left).

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

      Yup, it's all about blog-style sites and other easy-to-assemble web pages these days. There's also Google Sites.

    • Avijit
      May 8, 2012 at 7:30 am

      Dear Nadesan,I wish to know your opinion about the Jeneva deicsion. I think this situation has increased the diffrences between tamil and Singalese. But most of Tamil (About 99.9%) in jaffna believe that America should send their nato force against Singala rulers and economic embargo etc ..Bharthipan

  49. Leigh
    April 21, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Prodigy! That was my portal to the giant interwebs.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

      Ah, that's another big old one! Never used it myself, though.

    • dl
      April 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Ah yes Prodigy where you created 2 3 or 4 accounts for the $29.95 for 30 hours so you didn't have to pay the horrible over the limit fees, AOL was worse. AOL scared me LOL I found the nice friendly, not dirty chat rooms, few by far compared to AOL where I made some very nice friends and had fun. I was sad to see it go. AOL was not the same. Everytime I went on AOL I would get an IM out of no where, about what the now call sexting. I was aghast! LOL I was shopping or on a photography or art board, not even knowing what half of what they said meant, when i did get it I would answer IN TYPE? Are you crazy? How dumb was I and not ashamed of it, I was never anywhere for that garbage! Yahoogroups finally had decent boards for photography, art, things that I was interested in with none of that. This was about the first time my family convinced me to try a computer, draging me literally to a new laptop with a modem! I went online and they haven't seen me since. It's their fault LOL And I'd like to add that I MISS Google and Yahoo as JUST search engines without all of the other garbage they try and stuff down your throat, not interested! Thanks for the memories.

    • dl
      April 21, 2012 at 7:38 am

      A PS I cringe/cringed when I saw/see people yapping about a $20 to $60 a month fee for unlimited broadband!

  50. Ian H.
    April 21, 2012 at 12:01 am

    I built my first website in 1997 on, what else, Geocities. It had all the information on one long page with an image border running down the side. I was pretty proud of it! How times change!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 21, 2012 at 4:41 am

      Yup, I remember playing with Geocities as a kid, too. I thought my silly little website was pretty cool.

    • Tina
      April 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I remember being very frustrated with the visual Geocities website builder. It kept crashing in Netscape (Netscape!!!). So I eventually started learning HTML to build websites. That was between 1998 and 2000. Interestingly, the site where I learned my first HTML still exists: Marco Abrar's HTML Wörterbuch

  51. Greg
    April 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    To bad I was born in 1996, I missed so much :(
    I ask my parents about this kind of stuff, but anything with computers they didn't care about. :( Heck, they didn't even know what Google was until 06 haha and me to

    • Krishnapriya
      April 21, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Yeah, I was born on 1994 and I only used a computer when I was 7 and first accessed the internet in 2007. I can't believe how ancient looked back then.

      • Chris Hoffman
        April 21, 2012 at 4:40 am

        One day, 2012 will seem ancient, too!

        • dl
          April 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

          Faster than you can even imagine time does literally fly by, make the most of now.

        • Chris Hoffman
          April 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

          Yup! That's seriously good advice.

          In 15 years I'll be writing about the web in 2012, perhaps.

          "Back then people used computers as separate devices. They didn't have our direct neural interfaces, or even the glasses-like heads up displays, which are now restricted only to luddites."

        • RaMaN
          April 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

          Yes and those who are born in 2012 will hate themselves. We are lucky though.

          I know google I think around 2005. I used to use it in cyber cafes.

          In the coming years the world will become totally digitalize.

        • Krishnapriya
          April 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

          LOL. Not only the websites but the whole internet will look and feel a lot different in the future.

    • RaMaN
      April 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

      and what about those who are borning in 2012. think about them also. ;)

    • Joobin
      April 29, 2015 at 7:56 am

      I was born in 1987 .... this is so nistalgic for me .....