The History of the Web logo

Unraveling the web's story


Features

Main stories, part of the timeline

  • The (Mostly) Complete History of Layout on the Web and Responsive Design

    The (Mostly) Complete History of Layout on the Web and Responsive Design

    The web, as a visual and interactive medium, is still pretty new. Designing for the web has always meant striking a balance between influence from other mediums like print and brand new attitudes. The most revolutionary techniques in web design managed to find that balance, and pushed the web forward in leaps and bounds. Little… Continue reading

  • Plagued by Ads

    Plagued by Ads

    Here’s a message from the creator of the first-ever pop-up ad: It’s obvious now that what we did was a fiasco, so let me remind you that what we wanted to do was something brave and noble. It was my intention to take a look at the history of ads to see how we ended up in… Continue reading

  • How Dreamweaver Got Its Name

    How Dreamweaver Got Its Name

    When Kevin Lynch started going around and talking to web designers, he wrote everything down. He was interested in the hurdles that designers and developers had to overcome, but he was particularly drawn to what they envisioned as the perfect web editing tool. What features, specifically, were they looking for? After a few months of collecting data,… Continue reading

  • An Ode to Geocities

    An Ode to Geocities

    Geocities is likely a site you’ve heard of. It may even have been a site that you used. It’s origin, and the movement it later inspired, is an incredible story of self-expression and serendipity. Continue reading

  • What Happens When Yahoo Acquires You

    What Happens When Yahoo Acquires You

    I could have titled this “A Tale of Two Acquisitions,” but I already used that one. Still, we’re going to take a look at two hugely successful platforms that rapidly rose to the top of their game, only to come crashing back down after their acquisition. An acquisition, I might add, by the same company.… Continue reading

  • A Look Back at the History of CSS

    A Look Back at the History of CSS

    When you think of HTML and CSS, you probably imagine them as a package deal. But for years after Tim Berners-Lee first created the World Wide Web in 1989, there was no such thing as CSS. The original plan for the web offered no way to style a website at all. There’s a now-infamous post… Continue reading

  • Archiving the Web

    Archiving the Web

    Archiving the web is an important mission and the resources it requires is immense. It is thanks to a select few that it gets done at all. Continue reading

  • The Power of the Pixel

    The Power of the Pixel

    A lot can be done with each pixel on a website, but only a few people have tried creating websites one pixel at a time. Continue reading

  • Year of A List Apart

    Year of A List Apart

    I’d really recommend reading a thread on Eric Meyer’s blog from early 2007. In it, he poses a pretty simple question for his regular readers: What do you consider to be some of the most important events in the history of CSS and web design? There are a lot of different answers, and more then a few… Continue reading

  • A Sense of Community: From Newgrounds to MLKSHK

    A Sense of Community: From Newgrounds to MLKSHK

    Communities on the web often formed around common interests and niches. As they grew, their utility began to shift to more mainstream elements Continue reading

  • The Web’s First (And Second) Browser

    The Web’s First (And Second) Browser

    The web’s first browser featured full color, read/write capabilities, and multiple windows. The second browser was a text-only command line tool. Guess which one people actually used? Continue reading

  • The Decade-Long Path to Web Fonts

    The Decade-Long Path to Web Fonts

    The web has a long and storied history with text, typography and fonts. Most content on the web is text. And at the very least, typography accounts for 95% of web design. But this is the story of fonts, that fundamental building block of design. In 2009, the WOFF font format was developed, and subsequently sent to… Continue reading