A user on Netscape Navigator from 1997.
Photograph by Ullstein Bild via Getty Images
By Benjamin Snyder
December 14, 2015

There’s a new website, oldweb.today, that lets users search the web like its 1999.

The site allows visitors to select the browser, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, and the year. In less than a minute, the program will open an archived version of the site, allowing users to click around and experience what it was like over 15 years ago, as reported first by Quartz.

Developer Ilya Kremer built the site, along with artist Dragan Espenschied. Rhizome, a digital arts foundation, was also involved in backing the project.

“In the 1990s, browser design took nearly the opposite approach, using iconography associated with travel to convey the feeling of going on a journey,” according to a blog post from the foundation. “This imagery reinforced the idea that the web was a very different kind of space from the ‘real world,’ one where the usual laws and taxes shouldn’t apply.”

It added, “As the browser environment has changed, users’ experiences of the web have been altered in ways that are subtle but significant.”


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