What Did Your Favorite Website Used to Look Like?

Screenshots and History of Todays Most Popular Websites

Facebook screen in 2004

Facebook was originally intended for college students to connect in 2004. In 2006 they opened it up to ages 13 and older for the entire world to use. My how time has flown..

Time comes and goes fast here in the internet world. How quickly a start up website can mature and fairly easily become the next largest and most profitable business in the world. This is the generation of all generations to live! To think You can create a website with a small idea and quickly morph it into a fortune 500 company in just a few years. Can you believe facebook was just started in 2004? That was less than 10 years ago. It was started with limited money and just a few good ideas for a site. Now 9 years later it has become an internet superpower that is worth billions of dollars.

Never before in the history of mankind, could a person create a huge business in so little time with limited resources. Sure you could always take out a bunch of loans and find investors if you are really determined to make a world renowned site, but the fact is it can be done by a kid sitting in his parents basement!

So enough of all the chatter! Lets look back a few years and see what all of our favorite websites looked like a few years ago when they started. 

For Your Nostalgic Enjoyment Here is an Audio File of Dial Up Internet :)

Most of us had to hear this sound every single time we logged into a computer up until just a few years ago. It really will take you back and prepare you for the rest of this article. It all happened so fast didn’t it?


Google was founded on September 4th 1998 by  Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It was originally intended be be simply a search engine,

Google screenshot Dec. 2 1998

Here is what google looked liked on Dec. 2 1998. As you can see this is the beta version.

with the mission statement “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Since then it has turned into one of the most powerful companies. At first they were unsure how they were going to make money. I remember hearing that they said ” we will first get traffic, then we will figure out how to make money”. Well, they have accomplished a few ways to make money! They have relentlessly bought out many organizations and websites. With their main source of income being advertising, they have created a monster of a company in a very short period of time.

Google screenshot Nov. 11 1998

Google looked like this 15 Years ago today! This is a screen shot of Google on November 11th 1998.


Its only been 8 years since the creation of youtube! Can you believe that? It was created in 2005 by 3 former paypal employees. It has been owned by google since 2006. I cannot believe what a huge mammoth youtube has turned into since I first signed up. I made an account in late 2005 and somehow lost my username. I signed up again in 2006 with my current account that I am still using today. At that time I never realized how new youtube was. I had a friend that used to make fun of me for signing up for all the, as he called them “trendy” websites. Well it would appear that youtube was more than a trend! It has become one of the the most popular websites in the world!

The First Video Ever Uploaded to Youtube

This was one of the 3 founders at the zoo looking at elephants. The first youtube upload ever. 

Youtube screenshot April 11th 2005

Here it is! Youtube exactly as it was in 2005 on April 11th. It certainly has come a long way since.


Yowsa, Yahoo has been around a long time in the internet world. It was created 2 years before Google and was a pioneer in a lot of ways. Looking back at this page I can really remember when it looked like this. This was taken the year I graduated high school.. Pretty sure that makes me old!? Back in 1996-97 I think pretty much everyone had a Yahoo email address. That was really a great way for yahoo to dominate the industry. What better way to force people to visit your website than to become their home of the mailbox..

Yahoo Screenshot in October 1996

Yahoo! on Oct 17th 1996 What a change eh?


In summary it’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. The entire landscape of the world has been changed by the websites listed above. Looking back on them in these early days it really wasn’t that long ago at all, but I would venture to guess that without any one of these websites our world would be entirely different. Seeing them as they were when they first started out should if nothing else be motivation for people. The creation of these sites was accomplished by people just like you and me. They didn’t have a lot of money in most cases, and they really didn’t envision their website creations becoming intertwined in the lives of almost every single one of us.

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