In the 90s, if your brand was big and important, you could show off by having a welcome page. Characterized by little text, pretty images and a big “enter here” button – these welcome pages were horrible for search engines – but because you don’t need to be searched for if you are “Coca Cola”, you could get away with it.
Today, 0f course, if you want to be found on the internet, welcome pages are a big no no. Search Engines hate them, and your Google Ranking will be punished.
Thanks to the wayback machine, here are 20 of the top welcome and landing pages from the big brands of the 90s, in no particular order.
20. Coca Cola.
Designed by their ad agency, it looks nice, but fails SEO.
Pictures, pictures, pictures – but no text. At least it had a menu
Made by my little brother for a primary school computer project, Technically not a welcome page.
It’s a, errr Sony. It’s probably the best example from this period of “good looks” and usable content for Search Engines.
Qantas choosing a combination approach: with the initial page view being quite pretty, but filled with text beneath, to enhance SEO.
The 80s icon, together with Jagwire (a cable company) trying to keep up appearances in the 90s.
Do you remember when a screen resolution of 640×480 was the norm? HP remembers.
The classic welcome page approach from Sega, little information for users on this screen. Luckily they had heaps of gold rings to spend on upgrading it in the years ahead.
12. The BBC
Compared to today, the BBC’s front page is stark and nakedly minimalist.
Surprisingly, the tech giant did not feel the need to have much branding on their welcome page, although they do have lead stories.(some images are missing from this page)
10. US Robotics
My 56K US Robotics modem helped me play online, although I could never get enough speed out of my phone line.
Umbro was a really big brand in the 90s, but they weren’t big enough to finish their website. “Under Construction” is web developer speak for, “I’ll get to it one day”. To be fair, they eventually did.
I loved my Casio watch in year 7, and the coolest kid in school had a Calculator watch, by Casio. At least the Casio welcome page was colourful.
The Nokia 5110 was the ultimate phone of choice in the late 90s. Tough and almost unbreakable. Nokia’s website lacks content of course, but at least it has shiny colored buttons.
Reebok pumps. Every junior high schooler’s dream shoe in the mid 90s. They looked nice, but weren’t of much help. Just like their website.
Iomega created the ultimate floppy disk. Instead of the usual storage of a few megabytes of data – these could hold anywhere between 100 mg and eventually 750 mg.
04. No Fear
Granted on a 640×480 resolution screen, the no fear welcome page would have been quite pretty. But Google spiders do not and did not like flash, even in the mid 90s.
Owch, my eyes hurt. Flash websites are a big SEO no no. Pepsi obviously didn’t care.
Tekken, Soul Calibre, Pac Man, Ridge Racer and Time Crisis ruled the arcade world… And at least their web page had some text to go with those lovely images.
Some golden memories in there. I’m glad the humble website has changed so much!