How Your Favorite Sites Looked On Launch Day | ThoughtLab

What Your Favorite Websites Looked Like Before They Were Your Favorite Websites

by Brandon Wright September 26, 2016
Design, Tech

There's nothing quite like the timehop feature on Facebook to remind you how incredibly awkward you truly used to be. Well, since the internet has deemed it acceptable to remind us of all our past mistakes (why did I think dying my hair black was cool?), we have taken it upon ourselves to point out that some of the highly refined, A/B tesed internet behemoths of today, used to be not so polished destinations at the very beginning.


CNN (2000)

The shocking thing about CNN isn't how different the design is, but how similar the headlines are.

Vintage, old screenshot of CNN's homepage Aug 15, 2000


Linkedin (2003)

Launched in 2003, it took several ex paypal, and SocialNet employees six months to build. Today the juggernaut boasts 400 million users! Back then, gaining 20 users per day, it was a bit more modest.

Original Linkedin Homepage


Reddit (2005)

This is probably the only example of a website that looked better 10 years ago. 

Original Homepage of Reddit


IMDB (1996)

The oldest website on this list, dating back to 1990, this site has came a long way since its inception. This particular screen shot is from 1996. 

Original, IMDB homepage from 1996


Facebook (2004)

Ah, the inspiration for this post also had its awkward teenage years.

Original Facebook homepage from 2004


Craigslist (1995)

No surprises here, not much has changed.

Homepage of Craigslist from 1995


AirBNB (2008)

A far cry from where it is today, AirBNB isn't new to good, and bad design. Here is the first draft of the now infamous hotel killer.

Screenshot of the first Airbnb homepage from 2008


Youtube (2005)

Well, it's nothing if not simple.

Youtube homepage in 2005


Amazon (1998)

Humble beginnings for the worlds largest ecommerce site.

An image showing Amazon's humble beginings in 1998. A screenshot of the original Amazon homepage.


Netflix (2002)

In the early days Netflix had an affinity for terrible stock photos.

An image showing the original homepage for Netflix when it launched in 2002


That concludes our list of terribly awesome websites. If you'd like to explore the web of yesteryear yourself checkout The Wayback Machine. Likewise, if you'd like to take your own website out of the stone ages we'd love to hear from you

Next: Business and Personal Web Design - Brushing Up on the Basics