By Danny Markov
Web design has come a long way since the internet came into existence in the 1990s. With only a handful of web-safe fonts, rudimentary CSS, and tables for layout, designers were very limited with what they could do. Fast forward to today, and the situation is quite different. Now multi-megabyte pages with large cover photos are the norm, and we have plenty of frameworks, icons and fonts to chose from.
It is fun to compare how popular web sites looked all those years ago. Thanks to the magic of way back machine, we have gathered a timeline of vintage screenshots for your enjoyment.
Apple has been around for quite a long time and their web page has been up for almost two decades. The company is known for its great design, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at the early versions of its website.
Youtube was founded in 2005 and only a year later it was bought by Google for $1.65 billion. Once the home of the best cat videos, YouTube now features 4K playback, channels from big entertainment companies, and being a “youtuber” can make you a ton of money or get you a place in a South Park episode.
One of the most highly ranked websites on the net, Microsoft.com has always adhered to a flat look. The recent iterations of its design feature large images and lots of whitespace.
Twitter’s success has been rapid and since their launch in 2006 they’ve reached an active user base of more than 250 million people. Around 10,000 tweets get sent every second! Some of twitter’s popularity is due to us being on it – @Tutorialzine
Skype’s homepage has had major overhauls almost every year, and judging by the oldest version of their site, it certainly needed them.
Yahoo! was founded more than 20 years ago and ever since has been one of the most popular websites in the english-speaking world. Their homepage has always maintained a text-heavy look.
Today Google is an enormous multinational corporation but in 1998 it was just a search engine. And their HTML wasn’t even aligned properly! Through the years Google kept the original simplicity of their webpage as well as their brand colors. On special occasions, they turn their logo into playful animated doodles.
A billion people every month log in to Facebook. With so many eye balls, every little bug is noticed and thoroughly complained about. The first version of the social network went live in 2004 and has gradually evolved into what it is today.
Ebay’s homepage has had the same layout for about 15 years – categories on the left, ads and pictures on the right. Just now in 2015 they’ve come up with a new design that involves a drop-down menu positioned on the top of the page and big photos and banners for the rest.
Ten years ago, Myspace was the most popular social network in the world and it had an yearly revenue of more then half a billion dollars. However, with the rise of Facebook and changes in the company’s management, Myspace’s popularity plummeted. Redesigns and relaunches haven’t been able to save the company, and it’s most recent price on the market was a fraction of the original deal in 2005.
Pizzahut.com welcomed 1999 with a surprisingly modern-looking design. Today, its website is adorned with lots of tasty product shots.
Lego is a company that is loved by generations of fans from around the world. Every year they release sets, games and movies. Their website reflects their playful character and features games and animations.
IGN is a popular video game website that has gone through a lot of transformations since it was founded in 1996. These days it covers much more than just games.
Fashion websites are a good way to judge the popular trends in web design of the time. Here is one of the oldest.
Every boy’s dream car maker has had a surprisingly disappointing web presence for most of the internet’s existence. However things are looking great today!
Nike is a multi-billion dollar sports goods manufacturer. But you wouldn’t have guessed that from their 1998 homepage.
One of the first gadget websites that is still around, Gizmodo, has had frequent redesigns over the years, but has kept its overall aesthetic.