Nostalgic Websites: What thirty-two Popular Sites Used to Look Like

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It’s simply no secret that website design trends (and best practices) have transformed dramatically since the internet’s debut. Reflecting upon nostalgic websites plus comparing them to their own present-day counterparts is a great way to understand why updating your site is so essential.  

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With the help of the Wayback Machine, you observe what our favorite sites looked like in years past.   Whether you’re preparing a  website redesign and could use a few inspiration, or you would enjoy reflecting upon nostalgic websites, we have rounded up 32 sites to peruse.

1) Google

Nostalgic websites: Image shows Google homepage from 1998 side by side with 2022 Google homepage.

While Google essentially maintains the branding with its multi-colored logo and whitespace on the homepage, there are other aspects of the site that look entirely various today. In the 1990s, Google had special offerings underneath the search bar. Today, the organization leans into creating a personalized homepage designed for users by bookmarking their frequently visited websites.

2) Apple

Nostalgic websites: Apple. Image shows 2001 Apple homepage and 2022 homepage.

Apple always takes a product-centric approach to its homepage. Even in i b?rjan p? tv?tusentalet, you’ll notice that the particular company’s items had been the website’s primary focus. In 2022, Apple chooses to keep branding minimal yet distinctive. It functions just one product to help make the center focus of the homepage. The current homepage is also a display of compelling copy; in just three adjectives, Apple company paints a complete image of why you should obtain an iPad.

3) Microsof company

Nostalgic websites: Microsoft's homepage in the 2000s and 2022 are compared.

In 2000, Microsoft’s website has been clunky and over-complicated. The abundance of words on the website plus lack of whitespace made for an overwhelming user encounter. Today, Microsoft’s site takes a cue through Apple and centers on its products. The website, as a result, is less dizzying and more digestible for visitors.

4) Mashable

Nostalgic websites: Mashable in 2005 compared to Mashable homepage in 2022.

Once upon a time, Mashable a new gradient background — not to mention a serious insufficient imagery. Now, the site balances visuals along with text. The company personalisation also no longer takes center stage and targets featured stories.

5) HubSpot

Nostalgic websites: HubSpot in 2006 is shown next to HubSpot's homepage in 2022.

In 06\, the tech and marketing world was focused heavily on surviving and succeeding in a web 2. 0 world. Small businesses had been popping up worldwide, and HubSpot’s website was focused on showing the way the product could include value for these companies. Today, HubSpot still caters to small businesses but also medium and organization corporations. Now, our own website focuses more on the product and includes a lot more color than it initially did.

6) BuzzFeed

Nostalgic websites: Buzzfeed's homepage in 2006 is compared to 2022's. Both feature text, but 2006 features significantly more.

BuzzFeed was created to help customers find their favorite points, including movies, music, fashion, ideas, plus technology. The site still achieves this with a more visual and interactive approach. These days, the website balances images and text a lot more seamlessly, but the website’s overall feel continues to be intact.

7) The White-colored House

Nostalgic websites: The White House homepage in 2000 compared to 2022. In 2000 you see a picture of the whitehouse itself and in 2022 you see President Biden getting his coronavirus vaccine.

In 2000, Bill Clinton was your President of the United States, ‘s Gore was Vice President, and the Whitened House’s website a new very different look and feel. Then, the website featured a Declaration of Independence-esque script font and didn’t emphasize imagery — or storytelling, considering the text just welcomed visitors to the particular page. When you visit the site today, you’ll notice a large picture and copy that will focuses on current endeavours. We also really like how the refreshed web site focuses on accessibility along with options to change the written text contrast and dimension.  

8) TED

Nostalgic websites: TED. Left features early 2000s website homepage and right side features 2022. There are more images in 2003 than there are on the 2022 homepage.

Though TED’s the year 2003 website still appears outdated by the current standards, it was in front of its time, with most of the homepage showcasing visual content. Within 2022, their web site still features various images but also balances copy — and there’s only one primary image above the particular fold. The site’s overall feel today is less cramped and overwhelming compared to it was in years past.

9) Skype

Nostalgic websites: Skype. Left shows the old website homepage and the right side shows the present.

In the early 2000s, Skype’s homepage featured several colors plus lacked hierarchy. (And who knew it call platform as soon as had a red logo design? ) Today, Ms owns Skype, and the latter takes a cue from the larger organization’s look and feel. The site functions whitespace, excellent visual hierarchy, and offers the compelling image of the product in action.

10) AOL

Nostalgic websites: AOL. Left side shows AOL in 2000, right side shows AOL in 2022.

Within 2000, AOL’s site had a variety of shades that weren’t cohesive, ultimately making the website appear messy. These days, the site features enough whitespace to balance the amount of copy and imagery it has. We’re also fond of the particular site’s new typeface, as it’s aesthetically appealing and easy to see.

11) Ask

Nostalgic websites: ASK. On the left it shows the site before the rebrand and on the right you'll see the site after.

Ask Jeeves rebranded as Request. In 2000, the site lacked whitespace plus featured a personality — part of the site’s unique branding. Considering that dropping the second 1 / 2 of the name, there’s no longer a character in the site’s homepage. Nowadays, the site looks a lot more like a news or even publication site than the usual platform to find out and get quick solutions.

12) Blockbuster

Nostalgic websites: Blockbuster. Left: shows the website in the 1990s during the company's prime. The right shows the website now, in 2022.

Remember the great old days of going to Blockbuster to pick out your movie and grab a few snacks? We sure do. What Blockbuster’s 1996 site lacked in hierarchy, this made up for in personality. Today, Blockbuster’s site is out of commission — and features a cheeky note that the business is working on rewinding your movie.

13) Pepsi

Nostalgic websites: Coca Cola. Left features their site from 2000 which is remarkably ahead of its time. The right features the site from 2022.

We’ll give it to Pepsi: Their branding will be timeless. Coca-Cola’s internet site from 2000 does not look too cheap compared to many of the obsolete websites on this listing.   The brand understood the importance of visible content and simpleness in 2000, and they also still do today. In 2022, their web site focuses more on symbolism and features less red than in the past, however it still feels cohesive with the rest of their own branding.

14) Pepsi

Nostalgic website: Pepsi. Website on the left is from the 2000s, the website on the right is the homepage from 2022.

Pepsi’s site in 2k was cluttered, lacked visual hierarchy, and had too much going on. Today, we’re huge enthusiasts of Pepsi’s nostalgic homepage. It features a font that’s readable, plus the site doesn’t feel too messy. The company has also given that moved its menu to the top of the web page and cut back on the number of tabs there are that is much better from a user experience standpoint.  

15) Macy’s

Nostalgic websites: Macy's. Left side shows Macy's from 2000 and the right side shows Macy's in 2022.

While Macy’s 2000 website doesn’t conform to today’s criteria, we appreciate just how cohesive the colors are. Interestingly, items aren’t at the forefront of Macy’s nostalgic site. Today, however , the Macy’s internet site tells an extremely different story. The website includes a neatly organized menu and excellent visible hierarchy.

16) Amazon

Nostalgic websites: Amazon. Image to the left shows the site in 1999 and image to the right shows Amazon in 2022.

It happened in 1999, Amazon’s website was highly text-heavy, making it dizzying to look at. The vertical menu seemed to be cluttered and difficult in order to digest. Today, Amazon’s menu appears at the top of the page, as well as the site seems significantly less overwhelming despite the fact that it still advertises different products.  

17) Yahoo

Nostalgic websites: Yahoo. On the left is the homepage in the 1990s, on the right is the homepage now.
In 1999, Yahoo’s website focused mainly on text and featured no imagery. Today, a very different story is told when you visit the platform’s site. Because Bing is a news site, there are images to accompany every tale, plus a summary of what you can expect when you read the piece. We’re also a fan from the trending column around the right side of the site, as it makes it easy for users to comprehend what’s in the news at a glance.

18) Tumblr

Nostalgic websites: Tumblr. Site on the left is from 2007 when the platform was in its infancy, the right shows the homepage now.

In its infancy, Tumblr referred to blogs as Tumblelogs and had a text-centric website. Today, if you visit Tumblr whilst not logged in, you’ll see a mock dash that shows visitors what theirs could look like if they generate an account. Today’s Tumblr site is also much more image-focused.

19) Pinterest Nostalgic websites: Pinterest. Left side shows Pinterest in 2010 when it debuted, the right side shows Pinterest in 2022.

Remember whenever Pinterest was invite-only? As you can see from the screengrab of the 2010 Pinterest site, the platform had a completely different logo and a less sleek look. If you visit Pinterest today, you can create an account instantly — no request required. In addition , the platform features a live image that changes yet loads quickly. The duplicate is simple yet convincing.

20) Reddit

nostalgic-websites-REDDIT

In 2005, Reddit was all about text. Reddit is still more text-focused than most modern sites. However , it will feature a balance of images. We like how the font Reddit uses today is still semi-nostalgic but is easier to read than it is often in the past. The site can also be more visually persuasive as it appears more like a news site.

21) Barnes & Noble

Nostalgic websites: Barnes and Noble. Left features B&N's older website, the right side features Barnes and Noble's site today.

You’re probably starting to notice a theme at this point: The websites of years previous were text-focused. Barnes & Noble is not any exception. In 2000, the bookseller had a dense, visually unattractive vertical menu. The images took quite a long time to load — if they did. There’s the lack of visual structure, so it’s hard for visitors to determine where to look. Nowadays, the company’s site is significantly more digestible. It balances whitespace with imagery plus text, and the designers cleaned the menus up.

22) Dunkin’

Nostalgic websites: Dunkin. The left features an early 2000s version of the website's homepage, and 2022 shows the present version in 2022.

We’ll hand it to Dunkin’: They’ve stayed faithful to their signature color scheme for decades. This particular screengrab from their site in the 2000s any of our favorites with this list. It’s shockingly minimalistic and functions an image that wasn’t standard for the period. Today, Dunkin’ has plenty of whitespace, features cohesive branding, and balances graphics with the copy. The website also offers an easy-to-follow menus and includes the particular company’s striking pink and orange colours.  

23) Starbucks

Nostalgic websites: Starbucks in 2000 versus Starbucks in 2022. In the 2000 version, the images do not load.

In 2k, Starbucks got a number of things right: Their own menu is straightforward, and so they featured images on the site, though they didn’t load. (Psst: These plugins will help ensure your content tons quickly if you have the “heavy” page so your website avoids an identical fate. ) You will also notice their consistent logo. In 2022, Starbucks easily offers a pop of color on its site without overwhelming visitors. The site features Starbucks’ signature font and includes an image promoting a recent collaboration with another organization. The image itself furthermore feels on-brand. All of us also want to call out Starbucks’ rare yet effective navigation at the top of the web page.

24) Walmart

Nostalgic websites: Walmart. The past version of the Walmart website is shown next to its 2022 counterpart.

For its time, Walmart’s site in 2002 was quite productive. It featured images and text which usually still dominate the site today. In addition , it had a better visual hierarchy than a few of the other examples we have investigated. Similar to Dunkin’, one thing that Walmart does incredibly properly is translating the famous color system to its web site. In 2022, Walmart’s website has plenty of imagery and concise copy that enhances the graphics.

25) Target

Nostalgic websites: Target. On the left you see Target's site in 2004 and 2022 on the right.

There are also plenty of things Target got right within 2004. For one, the particular brand used the well-known color system. The site features images, too, and its logos is still largely the same. In 2022, Target’s site puts a much larger emphasis on visuals than it does on text. The personalisation is minimal however effective, and the site features a simple menu that expands when visitors click on it.  

26) The New York Times 

Nostalgic websites: NYTimes. On the left, the NYTimes from 2000 and on the right, its 2022 counterpart. Both resemble a physical newspaper.

We’re impressed: Whilst New York Times has reworked its website since 2000, the website is remarkably comparable. Even in 2000, determining where to direct attention was easy. The newest York Times scores major points due to the fact its 2022 site resembles a newspapers. It features visual hierarchy, balances pictures with copy nicely, and we like the way the font is special yet easy to read.  

27) Lay’s

Nostalgic websites: Lay's. Left features an image of the 2008 site and the right features an image of the 2022 site. The left has green background and poor text contrast the right features Lay's well-known yellow color.

In 2008, Lay’s website was green and featured inadequate text color contrast. This makes it difficult for people to read the particular copy. Luckily, Lay’s has since reworked its site. Nowadays, it’s still vibrant but features better contrast. You’ll also spot the site has lots of Lay’s illustrious yellow. The 2022 site seems far more on-brand than it has in past times.  

28) McDonald’s

Nostalgic websites: McDonald's. The left image is from 2001 and features a red background and yellow text. The right image is McDonald's present homepage.

In 2001, McDonald’s website featured a red history and yellow textual content, which wasn’t precisely optimal for visitors. Now, McDonald’s site is minimalist. This features few colours aside from the brand’s distinct yellow and offers a number of options for visitors to select from on the menu area. However , the menus isn’t overwhelming because the rest of the website is really straightforward. The brand name also taps the signature font for the 2022 website.  

29) Sephora

Nostalgic Websites: Sephora. The image on the left is Sephora's website in the early 2000s and the right is from 2022.

Sephora’s website within the early 2000s featured a balance of images and text. For the time, it was a good example of a compelling website design. Today, the site sticks to modern website design trends. It has huge images that are aesthetically appealing and includes  straightforward copy.  

30) Netflix

Nostalgic websites: Netflix. On the left is the 2005 homepage and on the right is the 2022 homepage.

In 2005, Netflix featured an image-focused homepage, which is quite different from today. In 2022, copy is the star of the display on Netflix’s homepage. The company also intelligently places a call to action at the center, therefore you’ll provide your own email address and get started. In both 2004 and 2022, the main concentrate of the homepage was a call to action, which is significant. We like the image in the background, which the text overlays as it features shows and movies you can appreciate with a Netflix subscription.

31) auction web sites

Nostalgic websites: eBay. On the left is eBay's homepage in 2004 and on the right is eBay's homepage in 2022.

In the early 2000s, there was a lack of structure on eBay’s site, which made it challenging for visitors to understand where to begin. This is furthermore detrimental from a user experience standpoint. That has since changed, nevertheless. In 2022, auction web sites has a carousel over the fold on its site. It features a few products and promotions the company is currently offering. The site furthermore features more whitespace than in the past, and the menus is paired back by comparison.

32) Burger King

Nostalgic websites: Burger King. The left side of the image shows the nostalgic homepage from 2006 and the right side of the image shows the 2022 update.

In 06\, Burger King did have a primary image on their site. The menu was also at the top of the site, but the font was difficult to read. Within 2022, Today, Burger King features a neutral history and keeps the focus on its imagery. Copy is thinning yet effective. In addition , the company uses a typeface that offers a appear of personality however is readable.

Take Site Redesign Inspiration from These Nostalgic Websites

If you’re seeking inspiration for the site redesign, look at these nostalgic sites to get an idea showing how you can rework your own landing page. These nostalgic websites prove that will by using your unique logos, balancing images plus text, and including a clear visual hierarchy, your site will look ideal for years to come.

Editor’s note: This post was originally released in April 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.  

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