For web designers and developers such as ourselves, we look back on the early websites with the same giggle-factor as you do when you see a picture of your dad. As long as the power is on, an as long as someone is paying the bill, websites don’t go anywhere. Would you believe that there are still websites from the early 1990s that are still available to view? Some might have changed locations but many are still up and running.
So let’s dive in and take a look at 10 old website that are still active.
10. CNN’s O.J. Simpson Trial Page(1995)
I was only 5 years old when the whole O.J. trial fiasco took place. Because I was so young, I don’t remember much other than a lot of talk about a white Ford Bronco and something to do with a pair of gloves.
Although I learned much more about the trial by reading the Wikipedia entry, it’s funny to see how “bad” a large organization’s website was. This was CNN we are talking about. They are no small fish in the news media pond and yet their old website looks like something a kid could make in Microsoft Word. Many of the features we currently use to develop websites weren’t possible in those days so CNN did the best they could given their time. If only I could imagine how limited we are today.
9. Berkshire Hathaway(1998)
Berkshire Hathaway started out as a textile manufacturer and ended up being bought by a guy named Warren Buffet. You’ve heard of him right?
By the look of their site you wouldn’t expect much had you never heard of the company or Mr. Buffet. But if I told you that as of January 10, 2016 a single share of their A class stock is $193,000 you might change your mind.
This site is unique among this list simply because the site is currently still updated. You’ll find 2015 annual reports and a bunch of current information. Buffet is known for buying simple businesses and this philosophy extends to everything in his life and even to his company’s website. Something can be learned from this me thinks.
8. Frog website(1994)
The Internet isn’t all just serious news agencies and boring financial reports. In fact most of us use it for fun.
The featured frog is simply just awesome. So awesome that I can’t believe it’s not a meme on Imgur or Reddit yet.
Better yet, the domain is quite interesting as it sells various items on Cafepress featuring ice skating frogs.
Hilarious? Fun? Check and check.
7. Lambsoft Web Design(1995)
Perhaps this website will only be of interest to those of us in the website design and development world, but it’s still a pretty killer example of how awesome things use to be. Comic Sans galore and other wise eye straing color reign supreme.
The awesome thing is that they only charge 50 South African Rands an hour! For us lucky Americans, that means we’d pay $3.07 an hour.
This website might be an experiment in nihilism or just someone sitting on an awesome domain. In one way, this website is the personification of the internet – the internet is yours. You can do with it whatever you feel. Some people feel just like posting a word. Go ahead. No one’s stopping you.
5. Sporks Rule!(1996)
Like most people of my generation, I discovered the spork in the mid to late 1990’s at Taco Bell. With blink-182 on the airwaves and a spork in my hand I felt unstoppable. This website pays an apt homage to those good ol’ days.
4. Choose How You Wake Up(1997)
Today, this site might be relegated to the avant garde side of the web. Just another college art project some might say.
In any case, it’s a wild ride. Filled with waking up, changing the temperature of your shower to hot to cold again, and again, and again, until you realize you have to select another option only to end up driving to work rather slowly or fast. It’s your choice!
Seriously though, make sure you choose the option on the site to drive to work slow as it’s nothing short of hilarious.
3. Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow-Torches(1994)
This website is perhaps among the first websites to go viral. Nowadays, it is not unusual to have some slow-mo video of a guy getting punched to garner millions of views within a few days.
Back in 1994 however, you’d be thrilled if you got 2000 views a month!
Written in a sarcastically serious and stern voice, the author’s sole purpose is to produce 12 inch tall flames from overcooking a pop tart in a toaster. Definitely worth a read.
2. Space Jam (1996)
Space Jam is pretty bad. It’s like a boring version of Rodger Rabbit playing basketball.
What is surprising is that the website and all pages work. I tried my darnedest to find a broken internal link but to my dismay I came up empty handed.
As we at WonderCrate are web designers we noticed a few things the average user might not. In web pages, developers can add comments to further explain their code or add some other pertinent information that doesn’t need to be displayed. The Space Jam developer must have been bored because we found the following HTML comments on various pages:
1. Bada Bing, Bada Boom!
2. Model Rocketry is fun and educational.
3. Congress shall make no law, etc., etc.
4. Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?
I should mention that these comments have no relation what so ever to the page they are on and there are many more.
And no, no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find any comments that were remotely crude. I admit I was a little disappointed.
1. Tim Berners-Lee Hyperlink Page (1992)
Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet. In other words, he is fundamentally awesome. He also founded and still runs the World Wide Web Consortium which literally sets the standards for the internet.
This page might not be much to look at but it reigns supreme as not only being the oldest on the list, but among the most important – if only metaphorically.
The internet deservedly retains the name of the “web.” An interconnected seemingly mess of links is what the internet is. The page itself is about and displays nothing other than a single link. No links no internet.