Everyone has their favourite websites that they go back to time and time again. Maybe they’re highly useful, maybe they offer the best deals, and sometimes they’re just fun to use. Some of these websites have been around a long time, and have gone through many changes to become the sites you know and love today. The Essayroo team has put together these screenshots of some of the world’s most famous websites when they were just starting out. You won’t believe how some of them used to look!
For example, check out the Facebook screenshot here. When it first started out, Facebook was only able to be used by college students. If you wanted to sign up, then you needed a college email address. Back then, it you wanted to update your status, it had to start with ‘(Your name) is…’, leading to some very unusual statuses. Plus, the ‘poke’ function was the most exciting thing the site had. This lad to infamous ‘poke wars’ between friends, before the site evolved.
Take a look at Netflix, too. The service is basically unrecognisable from what it is today. The service started out as an online lender of physical DVDs. You would sign up and pay your fee, and you’d be able to select a certain amount of titles. These DVDs would be sent to you in the mail, and you’d watch them at home before sending them back. Once you sent them back, you’d get the next titles in your queue. The service also lent out games too, something that it doesn’t do anymore.
Another good example of how services change is eBay. The original home page was cluttered and busy, offering all kinds of offers and auctions for you to bid on. If you take a look at their site now though, you’ll see that it’s much cleaner. It also groups auctions into categories, making it much easier to find what you were looking for.
Not all sites have changed that much over the years, though. Take Reddit, for example. It bills itself as ‘the front page of the internet’, and that front page consists all of the most popular posts on the site at that moment. That hasn’t changed much in the whole time the site has been live, apart from some minor aesthetic enhancements.
Another site that has barely changed is Wikipedia. When you think of this site, you think of the very minimalistic, black and white design that everyone knows so well. As you may know, they’ve never changed this in the whole time they’ve been around. A page from Wikipedia is now instantly recognisable, no matter where you’re from.
As you can see, many websites have been around for much longer than we’ve known them. In that time, they’ve gone through many changes. Some of those changes have been drastic, and others have been very slow and minor, so readers haven’t even noticed what’s been done. Check out this list of early websites, and see how many you can remember from your first days on the web.
Originally posted 2017-08-22 14:48:28.