5 popular websites and how they looked 10 years ago

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As we’ve seen in this other post, a lot has changed in the past 10 years when it comes to website design. The code has become more advanced, offering better options and usability with the improved CSS3, HTML5, Javascript and jQuery. Ten years ago it was a very different story with the use of Flash and HTML Tables  ruled the websites and CSS was still not widely used.

Now let’s take a look back 10 years ago at some of the most popular websites visited today, and survey how much they’ve changed.


10 Years Ago

Apple has always been the trendsetter when it comes to web design. Looking at their website 10 years ago, Apple took advantage of the gradients and glass effects which were very popular back then on menu navigations. The website had a clean and minimalist style.



Apple’s website today has a very bold look with large fullscreen images and call to action buttons. They have updated their glass menu navigation with a sleeker version using a darker grey. Their typography is now bolder than ever which grabs the viewer’s attention.



10 Years Ago

Argos’s website looked like it was built using tables with each section contained. The website back then had a limited width and was aligned to the left of the page. This trend has since faded away as we go for a centered full width look today.



Today Argos’s website is now centred with a full width allowing for lots of space and better content arrangement. They have an attractive header,  navigation section and slider, while content is now spaced out better on the page with eye catching images and easy to read text.



10 Years Ago

Like Argos.co.uk, Phones4U also had their website aligned to the left with a fixed width. Their content was better arranged into clear and simple neat boxes containing product images and text.



Keeping their basic color scheme Phones4U’s website now is looking better. With a cleaner, more spacious look, content arrangement is neater and well organised.



10 Years Ago

For any ecommerce website a clear navigation bar is essential, Amazon has always kept this in mind. Then the color scheme was minimalist but bold, and left their products speaking for themselves.



Today Amazon have kept the minimalist style but updated the fonts, background images and button effects. The website looks more modern and professional.



10 Years Ago

The BBC website looked rather sterile 10 years ago. The main navigation was grey with the content area again in boxed contained areas coloured blue. The fonts were pretty basic with not a lot of images.



BBC today still has a minimalist look but grabs the eye better with the slideshow, navigation, sidebar and image placements. For a news website the design is pretty simple, but lets the content do most of the talking.


Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.