- Internet & the Web
A laugh for all web designers! The history of web design and search engine optimization.
For those of you who own websites, I hope this entertains you and brings you back at least 10 years...
The web design business and industry has come a long way in 16 years...
For those of you who do not remember the internet from 1995, most people did not even hear of the internet until 1997. Up until that time, the "world wide web" (as we so prominently called it back then) was an underground community of networks that connected computers and allowed business owners to market their businesses on this strange new place called the internet.
My first web site (I have now designed over 300 websites since then) was considered a work of art. It had all of these great features:
- Every web page had a gray background.
- The color of all text was black.
- The font for all text was times new roman.
- The big search engine was Yahoo.
- The big web browser was Mozilla Netscape Navigator. Internet Explorer was so new at the time that it hardly made a dent in the web browser market. For Microsoft, they concentrated more on Windows 95 and pre-launched Microsoft Office 97. Those were Microsoft's biggest hits back then and they were actually selling Internet Explorer for $20. They sold it??? Netscape was giving theirs away for free. Who did you think was more popular at that time?
- All hyperlinks were blue with underlines. There was no CSS to turn off the underlines.
- The best animation we had was the HTML <BLINK> tag which annoyed people to no end.
- To view a website, you had to have an account with America Online, Compuserve, or Prodigy.
- The term "Go Daddy" was something you told your father when he was bowling.
- Domain names back then were $35.00 a year and you had to buy them from a place called "The Internic".
We did not have a choice. We could not change the color of the background, the color of the text, the font.
How much money did I make with every website client?
I was one of the first web page designers in my area and I was averaging $10,000 per web site. Try that today. Ha Ha Ha. You will get laughed right out of the business. That was cheap too. Some web design firms were charging $15,000 to $25,000 per website.
Other limitations of web site design back then:
- We could not even have multi columns layouts either with tables or CSS layout.
- No Flash or any animations (like I said, the HTML <Blink> tag was all we had and that did not last very long) The <marquee> tag was not even available yet. I am not even sure if we had animated GIFs at that time either.
- No music or sound files
- No jQuery
Search Engine Optimization In 1995:
The big search engines were Yahoo, AOL's Web Crawler, Hot Bots, Alta Vista, and Jayde. Where are those search engines now? The founders of Google were probably in diapers back then or at least in high school..
Search Engine Optimization was the easiest thing to do. Submit your web site to Yahoo, Web Crawler, and Alta Vista and your web site was listed in a week. A WEEK, folks. There was very little competition back then. Very few people knew about the web and it was very rewarding being a web designer.
Web Design Software? Non-existent!
There was no Dreamweaver. No Front Page. If you did not know HTML, you could not design web sites.
Server Side Scripting Languages: Perl was it. There was no PHP, ColdFusion, or .NET. No Java applets.
The Classic Search Engine Optimization Scam of Yesteryear:
- Hello sir, I will submit your website to 20,000 search engines.
My reaction: Really! Wow! You are really good to submit my website to 20,000 search engines. I cannot believe it. Sure, take my $29.99. This is really exciting!!! NOT!!!
Ok, first of all, can ANYONE actually name 20,000 search engines? I have been in this business for 15 years and I can only count 9 search engines, let alone 20,000.
- Hello sir, I can get you to the top of Yahoo in 1 week...
My reaction: So can I. It's not hard, you moron.
Back then, there was no Google. Yahoo was a piece of cake to get onto since there was very little competition among website owners. If I submitted my website to Yahoo, I got it up on the first page in 4 days...
Some questions for you:
- The internet has obviously come a long way since then. Do you remember your web sites back then?
- How many times have you or your web design changed your website since? For me, I have redesigned my website almost 12 times. I do not even remember most of the websites I had for Hot Web Ideas, but this one that I have here was my first.
- For those of you who had websites back then, did you find it easy to get onto Yahoo.
- Have you seen your website on the Wayback machine, the website that actually archives old versions of your website. Check it out by searching Google and laugh at your old website.