The first websites on the internet appeared in the 1990s, ushering in an entirely new era of the internet. Over ten years, online pages evolved from being little more than glorified Word documents to noisy sites with flashy colors, cartoonish cursors, and overly animated graphics.
The World Wide Web has endured and developed into so much more, from plain-looking text-only webpages to poor internet speeds and erratic connections, that we are now on the verge of Web3.
In this post, we’ll relive the days when there was just one website, then two, then three, and so on, until we cover 6 well-known websites from the 1990s that are still operational today.
Tim built the website to spread knowledge about the World Wide Web project. The project’s original goal was to facilitate the exchange of information amongst scientists. However, the project began to grow once Tim created HTML, HTTP, and URL standards.
The first website included fundamental topics like what the internet was, what kinds of information were available, how to use a browser, etc. Even though the website is still up and running, not all of its material is available.
Only a small number of websites were accessible internationally in 1993. Later that year, Bloomberg would join the group of forward-thinking businesses with a website of their own.
Having been established in 1981, Bloomberg went online in 1993. It continues to do so today, utilizing its website as one of its channels for offering financial, software, and other corporate services.
On the Usenet group “rec.arts.movies,” the Internet Movie Database first appeared as a fan-run movie database. A website from the early 1990s, it is currently one of the largest online collections of current information about movies, cast and crew, and other topics.
When the Internet first came online in 1993, the first IMDb website was built, and Cardiff University in Wales provided hosting for it. IMDb is currently owned by Amazon and has a contemporary website.
The San Francisco State University’s Department of Instructional Technologies developed FogCam, a camera that continually tracks the presence of fog on campus, in 1994.
This camera, which began as a straightforward student project and is still in use today, is the oldest and longest-running webcam in history. It’s undoubtedly one of the most cherished webcams, given how frequently people have struggled to keep it operational.
In the 1980s and 1990s, MTV’s music-focused television network, which debuted in August 1981, dominated the airways. VJ Adam Curry registered the domain for it in 1993.
The MTV website has been operational and is now seeing increased activity. You may travel back in time and see mirror versions of MTV’s previous 1990s website using the Wayback Machine. Various tools are available to examine older versions of websites, and you may use them to see how many websites from the 1990s appeared in the past.
In 1998, a Geocities meme called Hampster Dance was introduced. It comprises columns of animated GIFs of hamsters that are topped with automatically playing music. But it didn’t start getting more visitors till the beginning of 1999.
Along with its collection of hamster GIFs, Hampster Dance also featured other crucial components of the 1990s website design. Features like the visitor counter at the bottom of the page, a “guestbook” that visitors may sign, and the continuously playing background music were popular in 1990s web design standards.
Although many of these 90s websites appear gaudy in retrospect, fashion trends have a way of resurfacing. However, elements like the many typefaces, motion graphics, and collage images would be quite at home in the anticipated web design trends for 2022, even if we don’t think any of these websites would be recognized with design awards right now.
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