The Internet has been around for a while now, but we still haven’t gotten used to how bad it used to look.
In one corner of the world wide web is the Internet Archive project, home to the Wayback Machine. This database uses technology we don’t understand to find copies of websites from the past. We voyaged as far back as 1996 and found some pretty disastrous examples of early web design.
Though you can search literally any website, we could hardly venture out of Vancouver before time escaped us. Check out some of these vintage websites of note.
UBC – circa 1996
Got to love the pixelly clip-art in the lower left-hand corner.
UBC – circa 2000
That use of “default blue” is on fleek. And if you have any questions, you can check out the “email post office”!
UBC – circa 2004
Whatever happened to the “Campus Cam”?
B.C. Government – circa 1997
A highway from Victoria to Vancouver? This website had ambitious clip-art!
B.C. Government – circa 2000
Sorry, Mr. Dosanjh, the internet people hadn’t figured out how to maintain aspect ratio yet.
Government of Canada – circa 1997
Wait… our country used to be named “Contents”?
Vancouver International Airport – circa 1996
So what time does my flight get in?
City of Vancouver – circa 2003
“We wanted the site to illustrate the vast blue oceans that surround our city” – anonymous webmaster
Vancouver Canucks – circa 1996
We’ve seen enough. We don’t need your “text version”, thank you very much.
White Spot – circa 1997
Click on any of these Word Art objects to be taken to a legendary place.
BC Ferries – circa 1999
Let’s hope the section on “Y2K Readiness” isn’t what we think it was for…
TransLink – circa 2000
Hey look! Lions Gate Bridge construction was still going on 15 years ago (the bridge deck was completely rebuilt around that time).
TransLink – circa 2004
Had developers still not figured out by 2004 how to make a link a colour other than blue?
Vancouver Aquarium – circa 1997
Who didn’t claim to be this little poster child for the Aquarium while growing up?
BC Tel (now TELUS) – circa 1996
Are those lines the beginnings of TELUS’ fibre optic cables?
Vancouver Sun – circa 1998
Black and beige – that’s a colour-scheme that sells.
Vancouver Sun – circa 2005
We know you’re a newspaper but… that’s a lot of text.
Vancity Buzz – circa 2008
We apologize for whoever had to win that Blackberry Playbook.
And just because…
Twitter – circa 2006
We’ve only heard good things about the Oxy-Clean ball. Thanks Twitter!
Facebook – circa 2005
Was Thomas Middleditch the Facebook guy?!