The Internet of 20 years ago was nothing like the Internet of today. Because Internet speeds were so slow, graphics took forever to load.
That means everything was mostly text and not very interesting to look at. Click here to see the world's first webpage if you want an idea.
The lack of images meant that banner ads didn't exist at first, but it didn't take advertisers long to try them out.
On October 27, 1996, Wired Magazine started hotwired.com and it featured the Web's first banner ads. Just recently, a group of people got together to recreate one of those ads and the page it linked to.
You aren't going to believe how primitive this ad is.
Here it is:
Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? You will
Yep, that's it. The ad is for AT&T, and tells you flat out to click on it. After all, no one had seen a banner ad before or knew what to do with one.
I like the overuse of colors, obviously meant to make it stand out from the blah design of the webpage it was on.
Of course, the ad was only half of it. Here's a recreation of the page you would have gotten if you'd clicked on it back in 1994.
And yes, in 1994 that gray box would have filled the average computer screen. I'm betting you're seeing a lot of white space around it on your monitor.
Click through some of the links to see the cutting-edge webpages of the day. From an art museum "tour" to AT&T's colorful home page, you're going to get a kick out of it.
Of course, the site is still being built, so many of the links don't go very far. Still, it's a great look at a slice of the Web 20 years ago, and will make you appreciate how far we've come.