What some of the most famous websites looked like back in the day

Take a quick trip down memory lane (if you’re old enough) and see how far web design has come since the days of AOL and Alta Vista

25 years ago the Internet was pure html, almost entirely graphic-less and as you can see in screenshot #1 it was described as “a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.”

What’s interesting to me is that from these screenshots alone, you get a clear sense of the shift form Web 1.0 to 2.0 around the advent of LinkedIn and its emphasis on network.

Early websites functioned more or less as directories or document archives. The next step was the emergence of forums, email and chat groups pushing the idea of online community. Web 2.0 added the capacity to reach beyond the website wall, and Twitter or Twittr as it was known in 2006 brought the all-important real-time component characteristic of the social web that we take for granted in 2016.

When did you start using the web? Do you remember using Yahoo in 1994? What was your first impression? It would be great to hear some “throwback” stories, so please do leave a comment.

1. The World Wide Web (1991)


2. Yahoo! (1994)


3. Altavista (1995)


4. Amazon (1995)


5. AuctionWeb – aka Ebay – (1995)


6. Yandex (1997)


7. Google (1998)


8. Paypal (1999)


9. Wikipedia (2001)


10. Linkedin (2003)


11. WordPress (2003)


12. Flickr (2004)


13. thefacebook (2004)

The Facebook

14. Reddit (2005)


15. YouTube (2005)


16. Twttr (2006)


17. Tumblr (2007)


18. Dropbox (2008)


19. Pinterest (2010)


Written by Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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