Whatever Happened To…? Following Up On Major Websites From The Dotcom Boom

Joshua Lockhart 13-03-2013

what ever happened to websiteMany of you remember the Dotcom Boom that happened in the late nineties. All it took to make your stock go up was a “.com” or an “e-” attached to your company’s name. Of course, all good things come to an end, and the bubble burst in the year 2000. With that said, there were several popular sites around this era that just seemed to vanish. What happened to them?


Below, we have 5 of the top websites that came into existence because of the boom and details on where they’ve ended up. Consider this article to be MakeUseOf’s version of Where Are They Now. Keep your eyes open, folks – these sites may just disappear for good.


what ever happened to website

If you were like me (who – being the great high school boyfriend I was – once stole his ex-girlfriend’s account information, deleted any guy who could play a guitar from her Friends list, and unsuccessfully tried to keep it quiet from her and her pals), you may remember MySpace being full of teenage drama, pitiful HTML code, and half-naked pictures of your closest friends. At last, that has changed. The new MySpace is back in action with dynamic layouts and a return to its roots: music.

The social service originally existed as an art-sharing site for indie bands (as well as filmmakers and comedians), and thanks to new owner Justin Timberlake, it’s back on track. Marketing itself as a music-fueled website, the new MySpace is nowhere near the ugly social network it once was. With a return to its original focus, you just may find yourself using it again.

Alta Vista

old sites


Alta Vista – the original action-packed search engine – has taken the death march. Once a powerful Internet utility, the site is now just a front for Yahoo. The site was actually shut down in May 2011, but as of 2012, it’s back up using Yahoo’s search results. There’s no real reason provided for this – maybe Yahoo just got nostalgic?

The site doesn’t even decipher languages using Babel Fish translator anymore. Unfortunately, Alta Vista is merely a shadow of its original self.


old sites

Excite – as you may know – functioned as a web portal that aggregated Internet data and digested it for you. On the website you would find email, weather, stock market information, news, etc. Well, the site truly hasn’t changed much – it’s still around and kicking.


There are a few changes, of course. For instance, the US version of Excite is more of a personalized portal, dubbed My Excite. In fact, it’s quite similar to the old iGoogle personalized homepage (just not as pretty). Here, you can purchase flight tickets and even find an online college education. Outside of the States, you’ll find that Excite is quite similar to its original old self.


old sites

GeoCities is dead! Well, kind of. The Yahoo-based web-hosting service that once was home to loads of user-generated webpages officially shut down on October 26, 2009 (Yahoo likes to send its products to the gallows, doesn’t it?) However, it didn’t shut down everywhere. Actually, GeoCities is quite alive and well… in Japan of all places.

It appears that GeoCities is thriving in Japan. Of course, this is coming from someone who can’t read or speak Japanese whatsoever… Even still, if you feel like braving the online translator and attempting to create a webpage of your own, you still can! For some of you, there may just be a bit of a language barrier. Or check out the archives to see some old Geocities pages 3 Archives That Will Bring You Back Into The Days Of GeoCities Today, free web hosting is a thing of the past. Major search engines like the aforementioned Yahoo! and Google weren't such monsters yet, either. You could search for popular keywords and some of the first... Read More .



what ever happened to website

Personally, I vaguely remember using RealPlayer. It was on my first PC, but to be honest, I didn’t use it very much. Even still, when I did use it, it was fairly reliable. Come to find out, its home website, RealNetworks, is still up and running. However, the website now serves as more of a product showcase environment rather than anything user-friendly.

RealPlayer is still going, but its website offers a few other products you may want to download. They include Helix, Gamehouse, RealDownloader, Rinse, SaaS, and Superpass. There’s not much to see here, but you may find a few cool products worth using.


These sites are still around, but they may not even come anything close to their former glory. However, some sites (like MySpace) are at least trying. There are awards for effort, right?


Which of your favorite sites have seemingly disappeared off the face of the web? Have any of your old regularly-visited sites been bought up by other major companies? Tell us about them in the comments.

Image Credit: balleyne

Related topics: MySpace, Web Trends.

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  1. Kyle
    February 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I used to use a site called before youtube was a huge thing, and it would host a couple of videos in a couple of catergories, i remember it fondly for getting me excited by magic tricks and illusions then watching some unbelieveable car accidents, this website sadly vanished off the face of the earth around early 2007 but you can always use the way back machine to visit it, the videos are in a very low res as internet speeds back then were a fraction of what they are now. this is from the very last days of the website

  2. Alan Wade
    March 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Ahh, I remember the days of Mosaic which later became Netscape. It was the influence for Internet Explorer, no bloody wonder its not around any longer. Hahaha

  3. Scott MacDonald
    March 13, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Makes me think of the downfall of Netscape.

  4. 1hegame
    March 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I remember once I browsed There a girl told some story and said a great thing that "sex is empty". She revealed how porn (only) means woman and some data related to sexual abuses (I think I'm remembering right). Just some interesting and knowledgeable stuff was there. I'm missing that website now (though it is available in the web archive).

    And website is also going to die (a great name for a gaming website). The post on the first page "It's True: 1UP has Reached Its End" is telling story.

    BTW I'm not much into websites, I miss some discontinued softwares like Google Desktop, Google Pack, Snarfer (an rss reader whose development has now ended), Picasa Web (I think soon it'll get disappear as Google has started redirecting you to Google+ Photos instead of it). Google Sidewiki.

    Aardvark, Jaiku has gone.

    A website has no up and end. Can't say if someone is out there to see it or not. If it's gone, I will miss it :(

    • 1hegame
      March 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Edit: That was "porn is empty" and not "S** is empty".

  5. macwitty
    March 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Anyone remember eWorld? When Apple wanted to be a dotcom company (Ping is a later failure)

  6. Kannon Yamada
    March 13, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Great article. I particularly liked the part about how you eliminated the competition on MySpace. It has the makings for an awesome situational comedy.

    • jlockhart
      March 13, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Oh it's funny now. Teenage me didn't think so at the time...

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        March 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        How was the aftermath?

  7. Prashant Mirjankar
    March 13, 2013 at 4:58 am

    does anyone on facebook even remember they used something known as orkut

    • jlockhart
      March 13, 2013 at 5:10 am

      Seems like it's still usable. It's not popular where I'm from, but apparently it's still used in other places.

  8. Rajaa Chowdhury
    March 13, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Also forgot to mention about the HotBot search engine by the same company Lycos.

    • jlockhart
      March 13, 2013 at 2:42 am

      That's a good one.

      It appears they rebooted it in 2011. This was after it served as a front for other search engines like Alta Vista. During that year, it offered a portal interface like Excite, but now it's back to just being a search engine. It has a pretty cool looking revamped robot mascot now, too.

      Thanks, Rajaa.

  9. Rajaa Chowdhury
    March 13, 2013 at 2:16 am

    I remember before the Google phenomenon, Lycos used to be a popular search engine. Just tried now after ages and dunno what the site does now, but certainly looks very different.

    • Grr
      March 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      yes, I had used Lycos, and even they had an email service- for free.