You Used To Be Cool Internet, What Happened?

This week, my friend sent me some links of some websites that are still online but have the same style of how all websites used to look all those years ago.

This beauty was apparently the new format back in 1999.

Warner Brothers seem to not take down old web pages advertising film releases. We have this one for You've Got Mail, starting Tom Hanks

You've Got Mail sceencap

And my personal favourite, this 1996 website for Space Jam. Why is it my favourite?

Space Jam Home Page

It has a cool look menu on the home page that takes you to all the main parts of the website without the bullsh*t but also looks interesting.

But my favourite part of this site is this Line Up page.

Space Jam Line Up Page

This might just look like a picture and some text, but there is something quirky about this page: each door on the picture is actually a menu item that takes you to another page.

What I love about it is that it achieved this without 1Mb of JQuery or Javascript or a ton of meta tags to make it fit on every screen. They did it using 'map' tags. Something I have never come across before but it is just regular HTML 4.

What happened man?

It was a time when we didn't care about "responsive web design" with grid layouts, or use Javascript to solve every single problem. We just made pages, put information on them and then made the pages accessible via the web. Look how they have solved problems with just plain HTML and CSS!

The websites were so quirky. Websites had so much personality. Now we have "standards and rules" that you follow if you are a "good" web designer. This means websites now all look the same.

Sure they have their own branding and colour schemes, but really, they are all white with dark colour menu bar and everything in grids. And anything that tries to be "different" uses awful parallex effects or are those "Single Page Applications" with endless scrolling, which also all look the same now: just put all of your content on the first visible part of the website if you want a single page!

This guy actually sums this up more elequnatly and better than I could:

"This entire page weighs less than the gradient-meshed facebook logo on your fucking Wordpress site. Did you seriously load 100kb of jQuery UI just so you could animate the fucking background color of a div? You loaded all 7 fontfaces of a shitty webfont just so you could say "Hi." at 100px height at the beginning of your site? You piece of shit."

I hope these old 'retro' sites are forever preserved on the Web. We can learn a lot from them or at least remember how things used to be done.

P.S. There won't be a new post for the next couple of weeks as I am going on holiday!


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