Ever wondered what some of the biggest websites in the world today, looked like when they first launched? The internet is constantly involving and seeing how far the world has come in terms of web design, who know’s what could be next? With the help of the Wayback Machine, which provides screenshots of any website imaginable from its inception until now, we can view the original designs and content of some of the most visited websites in the UK.
The mecca of online shopping can trace its roots back to 1995, when it was primarily an online bookstore. Jeffrey Bezos named the site after the Amazon River. The original site contained small text and icons, which still informs its most recent design.
Facebook, then know as ‘thefacebook’ was created by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004. As the original interface indicates, the site was only available for Harvard University students, which eventually expanded to today’s 1.35 billion monthly active users. The interface also featured a digitally manipulated photo of Al Pacino, in the upper left hand corner.
This barely recognisable design was the first concept of co-founder Jack Dorsey back in July 2006. It featured the word “Twttr,” which was inspired by Flickr and SMS shortcode (which always includes five characters).
Launched in August 2003 as a competitor to Friendster, MySpace’s original design was pretty bland. When MySpace skyrocketed to popularity between 2005 and 2008, News Corp. bought the social networking site for $580 million. Although it holds the former title of most-visited site on the Internet, MySpace has sharply declined in the past few years.
An acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,” Yahoo was the product of Stanford duo, Jerry Yang and David Filo. In March 1995 the site was heralded as the first online navigational guide to the web. The original interface featured a simple search bar and hyperlinks to other websites.
Created by Stanford PhD students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google officially launched Sept. 4, 1998. The interface was so simple because the founders didn’t know HTML and were looking for a quick design.
YouTube launched in February 2005 with a practically empty interface and no evidence of videos. The first video uploaded to the site was created by one of YouTube’s founders, Jawed Karim, and was titled “Me at the Zoo.” It’s a 19-second clip of him in front of elephants at the San Diego Zoo.