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The Evolution of Web Design from the Late 1980s to the 1990s

The Evolution of Web Design from the Late 1980s to the 1990s

The web design industry has changed dramatically over the years. What once was a relatively static communication medium has become an ever-evolving landscape of interactive experiences. From the early days of Geocities and Angelfire to the modern day of WordPress and Squarespace, web design has come a long way.

Today, we want to delve deeper into the history of web design, particularly before the year 2000, to show you exactly how quickly trends were changing back then, just like it is today!

The Evolution of Web Design from the Late 1980s to the 1990s

Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist in 1989, is credited with the invention of the internet. He was working on a database of software for his client and utilised hypertext to create an index of web pages. This eventually developed into the web pages we know today. The late 1980s are considered the primitive period of web design, where designers would work on black screens with pixels and designs were made up of symbols and tables.

Tim Berners-Lee opened the very first web page on 6 August 1991. This page, created with the assistance of a team, held information about the web and was hosted on a computer at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

The internet was revolutionised in November 1993 when ALIWEB came onto the scene. This search engine was the first of its kind, and it sought to help guide people to the most valuable online content. The website used a colourful background to make the key elements of the page stand out. ALIWEB was highly successful in its goal of providing users with access to helpful information.

Online marketing is a term used to describe any type of marketing that happens over the internet. It originated in 1994 with websites like Hotwire (now called Wired) adding banner ads to their websites. Since then, web design has become increasingly complex, and online marketing has grown in popularity as a way to reach customers.

On top of that, JavaScript was created in the mid-1990s as a tool for web developers to automate certain tasks. It was initially called Mocha, then LiveScript, and finally JavaScript. It was developed to help Netscape website developers add interactive functions to their designs.

Adobe Flash was a revolutionary technology that gave web developers the ability to create more dynamic websites with video, audio, and animation. It was once known as FutureSplash and was widely used by web designers from 1996 to the early 2000s. Flash revolutionised web design by providing a unique way for websites to be visually stimulating and engaging.


As you can see, the internet revolved quite rapidly in its early infancy stage, and some trends have certainly died out while some have stayed on. Regardless, website designs are constantly changing, and what was purely functional back then has now become works of art! This trend is likely to continue as we look for stunning websites that steal our attention right away, all the while offering the functionality we want out of them.

Flying Web Solutions is a company that offers design and development services to help businesses get their dream websites. If you are looking for bespoke web design in Cork City, get in touch with us today!

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