Top Tech Websites: Then and Now

A Look to the Past

In the modern age of high-resolution images and HD computer screens, it's easy to forget that even the most familiar websites had very humble beginnings. For some, the images below may evoke feelings of nostalgia, but for many people it's hard to believe that even the top tech company websites in the world once looked so simple.

We've taken a trip back in time to find the earliest iteration of each site and compared it to the exact same webpage today in October 2015. In all cases, the difference is shocking.

What's most interesting, is how minimalist each of the modern websites look in comparison to their predecessor. While back in 1996 you may have expected websites to become more and more intricate and detailed, the reality is a lot less text and lot more imagery. You can also clearly see how today's major brands no longer need to explain who they are or what they do. Today, the brand speaks for itself.

Finally, each new site has become a hub of content, or a platform for a mixture of mediums especially video content. This change was likely driven by consumer demand and as a result, today we see sites made of attractive images and headlines which encourage us to click through and read more.


December 20th 1996

AOL website


April 4th 1997

Apple website


December 12th 1996

Cisco website


August 7th 2005

Facebook website


November 11th 1998

Google website


October 22nd 1996

IBM website


October 22nd 1996

MSN website


December 5th 1998

Microsoft website


June 24th 1998

Samsung website


October 26th 1996

Sony website


October 17th 1996

Yahoo website


April 28th 2005

YouTube website

Our personal favorites are “TheFacebook” and the early (yet optimistic) Google site which indexed a mere 25 million pages (soon to be much bigger). Be sure to check back here in another 10 years and we'll add the new images to this comparison.

Source: Wayback Machine

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