~ 20 April 2004 ~

We all started somewhere. How did you start out?

There’s something so childhood-photo-ish about diving into one’s personal website archives. But it’s amazing to see how far we’ve really come—or how far we have yet to go.

I’ll go first. Prepare yourself for legendary FrontPage 98 code. No, it’s not It’s v1.0. Ouch… that’s painful to look at. I can’t believe I just showed you that.

Your turn. What was your first website?



Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
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1   Greg ~ 20 April 2004 at 12:10 AM

My first freelance job was for Bosco’s, the largest comic book dealer in Alaska. I had to dig into the archives but found the very first version of the site I created back in 1997. Gotta love those icons. And then again, a year later.

Frontpage all the way baby.

2   angie ~ 20 April 2004 at 05:10 AM

The earliest archive I have of my first site (which launched in ‘96 with horrifying
images created in MS Image Composer) is from mid-1997. Oh, yeah, baby - gradients. When they were in style the first time. Note I use “style” loosely.

My favourite part of that site is the original Amazon logo, and the “best used in X browser” buttons. Ah, the good old days.

The Internet Archive has a snapshot of the site from 1998 when I decided to adopt the “CNet” look. For a vampire site. Too funny.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

3   Chris ~ 20 April 2004 at 06:44 AM

Hehe, I personally enjoy the ‘Are you a Boy Scout?’ link - a link that every website should have :-p

4   Ryan Brill ~ 20 April 2004 at 06:45 AM

Oh boy…

Here’s version 1 of my business site, Infinity Web Design. With the fourth iteration of that site about to be unleashed, I suppose it is nice to look back, to see how far I’ve come.

5   Matt ~ 20 April 2004 at 06:48 AM

I was just reminiscing about my first website last night - bitmap graphics painstakingly created in MS Paint, about 17 frames in a double-nested frameset, “this site best viewed at 800x600”, and links to download the latest v4 browsers.

Ah, was that only last week…

6   francis ~ 20 April 2004 at 08:09 AM

my first was in 1999. Gotta love that Flash.

7   Cameron Moll ~ 20 April 2004 at 08:41 AM

Hilarious, everyone. And Angie, love the fact that your second example was a USA Today Hot Site. Ah, the irony…

8   DarkBlue ~ 20 April 2004 at 08:53 AM

Why, oh why didn’t I keep proper archives? Oh yeah, this is why:

9   Cameron Moll ~ 20 April 2004 at 08:55 AM

Dave Shea adds to the fun over at mezzoblue.

10   Garrett ~ 20 April 2004 at 09:05 AM

Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately), most of the sites I did back in 1996 and 1997 used frames, so the archive doesn’t show them properly.

I will say, though, that one of them was a Katie Holmes fan site. *Shudder*

11   David Barrett ~ 20 April 2004 at 09:06 AM

I love that phrase Ryan.

“What’s YOUR .com?”

12   blake ~ 20 April 2004 at 09:28 AM

Here are screen shots of several projects Cameron and I worked on several years ago here at IDI, if you can believe it.
I don’t know the dates of all of them but they range from 1999-2001

13   Cameron Moll ~ 20 April 2004 at 09:48 AM

Ugh. You had to pull those out, Blake. Give the knife another twist while it’s in, please.


14   patrick ~ 20 April 2004 at 11:26 AM

stout street design, v1

drop shadows, baby!

15   Keith ~ 20 April 2004 at 11:31 AM

I build my first site back in 1995. It was a newsletter (blog? kinda) for the group I worked with at MS. It was built with Frontpage (or whatever it was called back then as well) using lots of sliced up images from a little MS program called Image Composer.

My first personal site came shortly thereafter. It was built with FutureSplash (what is now Flash) and it was based on the Golden Mean. It was all motion and very little contnet. Wish I still had it around….

16   Derek ~ 20 April 2004 at 11:34 AM

It was hand-coded in 1998, but there were frames and FONT tags galore, of course. It’s only in the Internet Archive now, and some of the images are broken, but you’ll get the idea:

Maximizer Technologies, Inc. 1997-98

Here’s an earlier version I worked on, but only a little:

Maximizer 1996

More frames! With scroll bars! And a scrolling marquee in the status bar! Optimized for Netscape 3!

I also preserved a copy of my own site from that same era:

Derek Miller 1998

17   Mike ~ 20 April 2004 at 06:16 PM

My first site is still active, sorta. Way back in early 1999, I built this site with Notepad/FrontPage 98, with the beta version of Paint Shop Pro 5(?) Oh, how far we have come.

18   Jason Santa Maria ~ 20 April 2004 at 08:14 PM

My first site was for an “entertainment” website some friends and I were starting while in school. I completed the site under the guise of a class project. Bwa ha ha. The site is still live, and gets updated regularly about once a year. I haven’t updated it in years, but one of the others in the group still sludges on. The code is astoundingly bad… but hey, I didn’t even write it. This was before I really knew the difference between a <font> and my ass, so I let Fireworks write it all for me. In a more strict country I would have my thumbs cut off for the sheer amount of nested tables. Like a train wreck: Bredstik Entertainment.

19   Jason Santa Maria ~ 20 April 2004 at 08:16 PM

hmmm… that was odd. Let’s try that again: Bredstik Entertainment

20   Aegir ~ 22 April 2004 at 05:59 AM

The first site I did a design for is still going, with the same design. It was for a friend of mine who wanted something space-y to go with this paper he wrote, which I’ve never yet managed to read all the way through… Hedweb This was in 1997 I think, I can’t remember.

Hell, I didn’t write it!

21   Stefan ~ 22 April 2004 at 06:11 AM

Man im sooo proud of this. Cirka 1998 I think. Got paid with a Big Bertha driver, haha.

22   Jason ~ 22 April 2004 at 10:11 AM

Oh man, I like to tell myself that it was better when it launched (5 years ago?) and that since the client now makes updates, that’s why it looks like it does (but let’s just say styles have changed since then)… Please be merciful:
Here it is

23   Richie ~ 24 April 2004 at 12:22 PM

Bad bad memories of working in for the local rag when i lived in Yorkshire…

in my wisdom i used FONT tags to apply CSS styles. Handcoded it all with Homesite I think, then had the nightmare of updating the thing manually before me and the company fell out.

I give you, the eternally dull Guide to Local Walks in and around Scarbough

*hides head in shame*

24   richie ~ 24 April 2004 at 12:24 PM

hmm. link fubared somehow. obviously the site is reluctant to be shown! heres the url

25   Sean ~ 25 April 2004 at 01:48 PM

I had just finished my first HTML class and took on helping my friend with his website for the Volkswagen Enthusiasts Club of Colorado.

The design has since been replaced, and as much as I cringe when I look at it, I can’t help but feel a little love for it. The site is kind of like the first girl you ever kissed, it was probably awkward and you tried too hard, but it opened up a whole new world.


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