18 laughably bad websites from Vancouver Internet history

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The Internet has been around for a while now, but we still haven’t gotten used to how bad it used to look.

In one corner of the world wide web is the Internet Archive project, home to the Wayback Machine. This database uses technology we don’t understand to find copies of websites from the past. We voyaged as far back as 1996 and found some pretty disastrous examples of early web design.

Though you can search literally any website, we could hardly venture out of Vancouver before time escaped us. Check out some of these vintage websites of note.

UBC – circa 1996

Got to love the pixelly clip-art in the lower left-hand corner.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


UBC – circa 2000

That use of “default blue” is on fleek. And if you have any questions, you can check out the “email post office”!

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


UBC – circa 2004

Whatever happened to the “Campus Cam”?

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


B.C. Government – circa 1997

A highway from Victoria to Vancouver? This website had ambitious clip-art!

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


B.C. Government – circa 2000

Sorry, Mr. Dosanjh, the internet people hadn’t figured out how to maintain aspect ratio yet.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Government of Canada – circa 1997

Wait… our country used to be named “Contents”?

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Vancouver International Airport – circa 1996

So what time does my flight get in?

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


City of Vancouver – circa 2003

“We wanted the site to illustrate the vast blue oceans that surround our city” – anonymous webmaster

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Vancouver Canucks – circa 1996

We’ve seen enough. We don’t need your “text version”, thank you very much.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


White Spot – circa 1997

Click on any of these Word Art objects to be taken to a legendary place.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


BC Ferries – circa 1999

Let’s hope the section on “Y2K Readiness” isn’t what we think it was for…

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


TransLink – circa 2000

Hey look! Lions Gate Bridge construction was still going on 15 years ago (the bridge deck was completely rebuilt around that time).

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


TransLink – circa 2004

Had developers still not figured out by 2004 how to make a link a colour other than blue?

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Vancouver Aquarium – circa 1997

Who didn’t claim to be this little poster child for the Aquarium while growing up?

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


BC Tel (now TELUS) – circa 1996

Are those lines the beginnings of TELUS’ fibre optic cables?

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Vancouver Sun – circa 1998

Black and beige – that’s a colour-scheme that sells.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Vancouver Sun – circa 2005

We know you’re a newspaper but… that’s a lot of text.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Vancity Buzz – circa 2008

We apologize for whoever had to win that Blackberry Playbook.

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


And just because…

Twitter – circa 2006

We’ve only heard good things about the Oxy-Clean ball. Thanks Twitter!

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine


Facebook – circa 2005

Was Thomas Middleditch the Facebook guy?!

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Image: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

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About the author

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
@jillslattery

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