old logos for Google and BBC

Trawling Through the Archives

Determining the age of the World Wide Web (not the Internet), as we know it is a tricky business; for the purpose of this post we'll go with December 1990. This is when Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau introduced hypertext publicly.

With Google celebrating its' fourteenth birthday recently, I decided to go on a bit of a nostalgia trip and look at some other websites which have been around for a good part of the life of the World Wide Web.

Thanks to web archive it's possible to look up any site you wish and chart its evolution over the years. Feel free to check out the Free Rein website - we feel we've moved on quite a bit from our early days!

One of the websites I frequent on a daily basis is BBC, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find information on their original website. At 16 years old it’s one of the earliest examples I found while researching this post.

As the 6th most visited website in the world, Wikipedia was an obvious choice to take a look at. As a wiki it was never going to have changed too much in terms of look and feel. It's impressive that a website which has no revenue stream has managed to survive for this amount of time - 11 years.

Another obvious choice for me was Yahoo!, I'm pretty sure that one of my first email addresses was provided by Yahoo! 16 years ago. I was really quite pleased with the old look, I'm quite a minimalist person and I actually prefer the old layout over the default layout of the current site.

Unfortunately I had a spot of bother finding an older version of Amazon or eBay and had to settle with a 13 year old version of eBay. I think we owe a big thank you to the people who came up with select boxes and expanding menus!

If you can find any old gems which you think are worth a look, or perhaps will give us a bit of a laugh, please feel free to let us know in the comments.