Websites are a bit like people in the sense that you don’t really notice physical changes from one day to the next. It’s only when you look back on old pictures that you see how much they have changed.
Thanks to the Wayback Machine (one of my favourite and most-used tools on the web), it’s possible to look back at older versions of pretty much every website out there.
So here are 10 of the world’s most popular websites right now, and how they appeared in their early years. Use the sliders to toggle between each version.
(Note: the screengrabs below aren’t necessarily the earliest versions of each site; they’re simply the earliest version accessible on the Wayback Machine).
The early Google home page was pretty basic, but the current version is even more minimalistic. They have kept the same colours in their logo, but thankfully they have dropped that crappy bevelled effect.
One of the biggest changes for Facebook was that they famously dropped the “the” from their name. The rest is history.
The old YouTube home page looked a bit like Google, with a simple search box smack in the middle. Today, it features content more prominently.
Twitter launched in 2006, making it the newest of all the websites on this list. Even so, the home page has changed quite drastically.
In my head, Amazon still looks like this. But, looking at the latest version, it has actually changed a fair bit.
Wikipedia has never been graphic-heavy; its strength has always been the wealth of information, so naturally it’s always going to have a fair bit of text on the home page. But at least they got rid of the serif font.
Back in the day, Yahoo was the go-to site for all your internet needs. Now it’s a bit like one of those has-been popstars from yesteryear who still has a fairly decent following but will never be as popular as they once were.
You can tell the old version is from the Nineties, simply because the ‘toys’ category is called “Toys, Bean Bag Plush”.
Another one of the early internet’s most popular sites, the difference in appearance compared to now is quite drastic. I still don’t think I’ve ever really used this site though.
The Beeb’s website has changed a fair bit since its early dark and mysterious look. Thankfully.
I had no idea the BBC joined the web *before* they changed their logo (it’s been almost 18 years since then). That’s probably because I didn’t even know about the internet until 1999…