There's some great sites on the Internet, right? Ever wonder what those sites
looked like as a baby? Maybe you're just starting to create your
own web site and feel that it might be somewhat immature in comparison
to all the cool stuff out there now?
Well, realize that even some of the coolest web sites out there started out
as baby sites, too. And if you don't believe me, take a look at what Google
looked like many years ago!
Yup, this simple text page, shown above, was Google. Doncha just love the
"Might work some of the time prototype" description. They've obviously
figured out how to make it work all the time...and work incredibly well!
Now you, too, can take your favorite web site, stuff it in the Internet's
"WayBack Machine" and see what it looked like years ago.
Just go to http://www.archive.org.
This site has been saving copies of web content for many years and will be
able to show you the progression of many sites currently on the web.
Once you arrive at the Internet Archive web site, enter
the current URL for the site you want to check out. Click the Take
Me Back button and you'll see a listing of all the updates for that site.
As you can see below, MouseTrax.com,
(the creators of TechTrax Ezine) show site archives back to 1998. Granted,
Dian Chapman had her site up since April of 1996, but it was on another domain
for the first couple years. It wasn't until late in 1997 that she and Greg
purchased the MouseTrax.com domain name. So previous site listings don't
show. (Although I do know that first URL, but mom would kill me if I showed
you what MouseTrax first looked like!<evil grin>)
Once you see what pages have been listed for the site, you can click on various
dates and usually get a view. I say usually, because not all pages
will be included. This list shows when new pages were added or updated. Your
best bet is to click one of the updated pages that show an asterisk.
So I'm sure most all of you have taken the time to venture over and snoop
around TechTrax's mother site, MouseTrax.com.
Not a bad site, right? Pretty professional looking...now!
But some years ago, although visitor's said they liked the site, it wasn't
the most professional looking site on the block. Sure, it had good content,
but those glowing blue buttons were a trip! I did like the little mouse that
showed when you moved your mouse over a button.
Microsoft.com has changed a bit over the years, too. Realize that the missing
images on the page below are because Archive.org didn't have those images
handy to load and not because the page was up on the net with all those image
Yahoo looks a little different these days from what it looked like in years
gone by, too!
And lots of people think that Google, the top search engine on the net, has
only been around for a few years. But if we check the archives, we can see
the first instance of google.com back in 1998.
The Beta image below shows that 1999 was when Google really jumped onto the
Internet scene with this first Beta version.
Have fun being nosy! I'm sure a lot of current web developers would hate to
have you see their baby pictures, but then aren't those baby pictures embarrassing
for a lot of us?
I know some of mine sure are!
(Note to Self: Never threaten to expose mom's embarrassing moments, she's got way too much ammo!<sigh>)