11 Shocking Designs Straight Out of the ‘90s

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May 25, 2017
11 Shocking Designs Straight Out of the ‘90s.

The Internet has certainly been through a lot over the past 20+ years. We’ve watched web design change from the most basic of HTML markups to complex JavaScript, CSS and HTML5 coding. But remembering the past can be fun and that’s why, this Thursday, we’re throwing you back to the 90’s for a look at some of the worst (or best, depending on how you see it) website designs of the decade.


Where to start with this site? It appears that if you need a drone, ATV or laser show device, you can find them all here. It’s almost like whoever made this site sneezed into a digital Pandora’s Box of random pieces of machinery and behold, an e-commerce explosion formed.


2. McSpotlight

That nifty spotlight effect on the right-hand side of the page was a big deal back in the day, so we have to give this site props for that. However, a redesign once in the last 20 years probably wouldn’t have hurt.


3. Forbes

Forbes’ website from 1996 still conveys the sense of business-oriented professionalism the brand is known for today, just with a little less attention to fonts and more attention to print media, which was still hugely popular then. The real kicker is the text in the side bar that says “One day, everything Bill Gates has sold will become obsolete.”



Who needs Google when you can, uh, find it? This super sweet search engine emerged on the scene in 1995. It’s still alive today, although definitely not one of the more popular search engines in use.



A sister site to IFINDIT, go to this page if you definitely want to have a seizure.


6. ClevelandBrothers

Like many construction websites back in the day, this one leaves something to be desired. However, you have to hand it to them for getting the image switcher down, and for keeping that trend alive on their current website (and in HD nonetheless).


7. TravelASSIST

This website is likely the grandfather of all digital travel magazines. But let’s face it; could the designer put any less effort into the creation of this page? Imagine if that was our job? “Hey, yeah, just throw some text and one picture up.” I wonder how much designers got paid back in the day.


8. Playboy

If you stumbled upon Playboy’s homepage from the 90’s, you’d probably have no idea what the brand specialized in (astronomy maybe?). While their current homepage is a bit more risqué, you at least know what the deal is as soon as you find the site.


9. Taco.com

Ah, the Technical Advisors Company didn’t really think their plan through. They did embrace their name, though, and show a pretty swift sense of humor. Check out the copy: “We do not sell tacos. We do not make tacos. In fact some of us do not even like them very much.” And you can’t forget those deliciously enticing taco icons on the left-hand side.


10. The Klingon Language Institute

Of course the Star Trek fanatics of the ‘80s and ‘90s would be the some of the first people to figure out how to populate the Web. Looks like this site has lived long and prospered. It even gets steady traffic to this day.


11. InstaNet

Another classic. This relic even links to “The Famous Yahoo Server.”


If you’ve got time to kill, you can use this tool to access a ton of preserved websites. You never know what hidden gems you’re going to unearth from the past.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a business blogger with an interest in workplace productivity and Web design. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter to read all of her latest articles.

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