If you were a kid when the Internet was invented and made available for all the people, you might be wondering what popular and old websites like Google, Amazon looked like when they were first launched.
During the initial years, the Internet was slow and accessing it was possible only for the people who owned a computer. In the 1990s and early 2000s, computers were costly. You had to be rich in order to own them.
Engineers and aspiring businessmen who wanted to take advantage of Internet launched several websites out of which only some of them survived during the dot-com bubble. For example, when Google.com was 1st launched, Alta-vista used to be a popular search engine. Google’s user base grew in an arithmetic progression every month and it became the leading search portal (It is still at the top). Many shopping portals were set up, but none of them became as popular as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba.
The websites set up in 1990’s that are still up and running are using the same layout. They’re powerful and their owners are billionaires.
Websites like Altavista don’t exist anymore, but you can easily check how they looked in the past with the below two awesome tools:
Internet archive is website that saves the pages of all old websites. It has been operating since 1996 and has a huge collection of pages. As it was started during the early years of Internet revolution, it probably has snapshot of all web portals launched after the year 1995.
It is easy to use. You just have to paste a domain name in a text box and press enter key. IA allows you to choose a date after which it will display the page from the cache.
Oldweb.today allows you to select old browsers like Netscape 3, IE4, Apple Safari 3, etc. When you’ve selected browser, enter the domain name of an old website which you want to see. Now select the date, time and hit surf the old web button. OWT will query internet archive and it will open the web page.
The coolest feature of this website is that the internet browsing software is rendered as a web page with the help of an emulator. This tool behaves as if you’re running the browser of the 1990s on your computer. It is very useful for people who want to check who website look in different browsers.
Conclusion: Its very difficult to predict the future of portal. During the dot-com bubble, many internet companies vanished overnight as if they never existed. IA is doing an excellent job of caching websites. OWT is a new tool that uses IA as a backed. It is useful because users are given an option of choosing a browser on which they’d like to check new and old websites.