Design, UI, UX, Inspiration

20 Examples of 90s Website Design That Defined an Era

A collection of iconic websites from the 90s for inspiration and nostalgia

Traveling back to the digital frontier of the ’90s unveils a fascinating world of website design—nostalgic, charming, and utterly distinctive. The allure of 90s website design lies in its raw, unrefined aesthetic that encapsulates the essence of an era transitioning into the digital age. These websites were vibrant expressions of creativity and the evolving online landscape.

Typical 90s websites flaunted specific design elements that defined their era. Think flashy animated GIFs, vibrant colors clashing against a sea of text, and pixelated graphics reminiscent of early video games. Embracing embossed buttons, neon backgrounds, and underlined blue links, these sites were a melting pot of experimentation, creating an eclectic, sometimes chaotic, visual tapestry.

With this being said, we collected 20 unique 90s websites. With our metaphorical time machine, we’ve hunted down these relics, each a captivating snapshot of an era when the internet was an uncharted frontier, bursting with creativity and a dash of quirky charm. So let’s discover the essence of 90s web design together through these digital time capsules.

1. Amazon 1999 Website Digital Department Store

Amazon Website back in 1999

The 1999 Amazon website reflects a classic 90s design with its bustling layout—overflowing with images and links. Its structure, resembling a digital department store, boasts main top navigation for essential functions like the cart, account, and help center. Categories like books, videos, games, and electronics are neatly arranged in top tabs, while a sidebar hosts search options and browsing links. Despite the clutter, this vintage design exudes a sense of modernity for its time.

Amazon Current Website

Fast forward to today’s Amazon site, and you’ll notice a significant shift. The current interface embraces a cleaner aesthetic, strategically concealing the sidebar’s categories within a sleek hamburger menu. While retaining the main top navigation, now augmented with an added search bar, the latest rendition marks a notable departure from previous Amazon versions, displaying a strikingly redesigned appearance, especially compared to iterations up until 2020.

2. Adobe 1996 Website Creative Hub

Adobe Website back in 1996

In 1996, Adobe’s website was a straightforward hub, a simple yet effective interface showcasing the brand’s offerings. Its homepage boasted a logo and a concise top navigation, offering direct links to essential pages like the site map, index, search, and purchase. The subnavigation swiftly guided visitors to what was new, Adobe’s entire product lineup, solutions, and support. The product pages were minimalistic HTML catalogs, displaying product names, brief descriptions, and purchase links—eschewing flashy elements for a straightforward, 90s-style vibe.

Adobe Current Website

Fast forward to the present-day Adobe website, and it’s an entirely different landscape. Gone is the recognizable layout of its ’96 predecessor. The top navigation now hosts a mega menu, directing users to various product categories, trials, subscriptions, and contacts. The homepage leads with a prominent commercial hero image, highlighting the latest offerings, while the site’s overall design exudes a polished corporate aesthetic.

The shift in focus is palpable—the current Adobe site emphasizes the Creative Cloud rather than individual products. Instead of the standalone software approach of yesteryears, the spotlight now falls on the subscription-based model, bundling an array of products under the Creative Cloud umbrella.

3. Apple 1998 Website Think Different

Apple Website back in 1998

In 1998, Apple’s website echoed its iconic “Think Different” slogan, boldly displayed atop a black bar embellished with the rainbow-colored Apple logo—a vibrant ode to creativity. Despite being a quintessential 90s site, Apple showcased hints of the minimalistic approach they would later embrace. The design, relatively clean for its time, embraced ample white space, concise descriptions, and essential product imagery. Navigating the site felt effortless, steering clear of overwhelming visuals and an excess of choices—a trait uncommon among many 90s websites.

Apple Current Website

Fast forward to the current iteration, and Apple maintains its distinct minimalist allure, a direct extension of its earlier design philosophy. The top bar, now serving as both the logo and main navigation, remains dark, hosting links to all available products without additional sub-navigation—a hallmark of simplicity. Unlike typical hero sections promoting specific products, the current site embodies a concept—an idea reminiscent of the “Think Different” era. The invitation “There’s still time to work wonders” acts as a call to action, encouraging visitors to explore the store, and keeping alive the spirit of creativity and innovation.

4. Ask Jeeves 1999 Search Engine

Ask Jeeves Website back in 1999

In 1999, Ask Jeeves welcomed users with a vibrant yellow and purple website, paying homage to its namesake, the legendary butler Jeeves. The site featured a caricature of the character, a retro-style logo, and two inputs—one for posing questions and another displaying the most recent queries. A sidebar adorned with suggested topics added to the interactive experience, complemented by a playful game, enhancing user engagement and enjoyment.

Ask Jeeves Current Website

Fast forward to the present, and Ask, following its acquisition by IAC in 2005, shed its “Jeeves” moniker to become simply “Ask.” The current website adopts a more classic media outlet design, characterized by prominently featured articles, topic sections, and a search bar situated at the top for easy access. This shift in design signifies a move away from the whimsical and game-centric approach of its predecessor, focusing more on content curation and straightforward access to information.

5. Disney Official 1997 Website

Disney Website back in 1997

Knowing how the Disney brand went from a powerhouse to absolute power in the history of media and entertainment, it’s very curious to sneak a peek at its 1997 website. In 1997, the Disney website was a quaint HTML-based platform, reflecting the era’s design trends with its cluttered layout, banners, and a surplus of links. The homepage doubled as a promotional space for showcasing the latest movies, cramming in text and images while essential links to inner pages were tucked away in a sidebar—a retro touch complete with its scrollbar. It exuded a quintessential 90s charm, embodying the web aesthetic of that time.

Disney Current Website

Fast forward to the present, and Disney’s website has bid adieu to the nostalgic clutter of the 90s, transitioning to a realm of sophistication and modernity. The current version has a sleek, clean design, adorned with large, captivating images of the latest movies. The shift reflects a departure from the retro clutter, embracing a more refined and visually engaging approach, aligning with contemporary web design standards.

6. Google 1998 Website Staying True

Google Website back in 1998

Google’s 1998 design remains remarkably loyal to its current iteration—a fascinating testament to its consistency over the years. The vintage version bears a striking resemblance to today’s site. The old logo, with subtle 3D effects from shading, stands as a notable difference.

Google Current Website

The predominant layout, a simple white page, houses HTML elements like the search input—an unembellished setup mirroring the functionality of present-day Google. In essence, the fundamental structure and purpose remain largely unchanged, highlighting Google’s steadfast commitment to its original simplicity and efficiency since its inception.

7. Lego 1996 Official Website Not That Different

Lego Website back in 1996

In 1996, the official Lego website might appear worlds apart from its present version at first glance, but upon closer inspection, its core structure mirrors the current site remarkably. With a playful backdrop resembling building blocks, a slightly chaotic main menu, and vibrant, colorful fonts, the 90s rendition exuded the same spirit of fun and creativity.

Lego Current Website

Delving deeper, the structure remains remarkably consistent. The top placement of the main menu persists, albeit in a much more organized and structured format in today’s rendition. Beneath the hero section, images of Lego characters serving as links echo from the past to the present, maintaining that joyful, playful vibe synonymous with the Lego brand.

It’s heartwarming to witness Lego’s unwavering dedication to its essence over the years, continuing to infuse our lives with that delightful, chaotic joy that defines the brand.

8. Microsoft 1994 Website Always Technical

Microsoft Website back in 1994

In 1994, Microsoft’s website, called “Microsoft’s World Wide Web Server,” offered a wealth of resources. It housed databases, knowledge bases, workstation details, new product insights, news, sales info, and even welcomed user feedback. There was also a thoughtful text menu link for users with image-restricted browsers or limited internet access—a common concern back then.

Microsoft Current Website

Today, Microsoft’s site maintains its corporate identity but has evolved. While the 90s version leaned into technicalities, today’s site focuses more on sales and promotion. It’s data-rich, catering to various needs but prioritizes pitching products and services. This shift reflects changing user preferences over the years.

9. NASA 1997 Official Government Website

NASA Website back in 1997

Here we have an official US government website of NASA in 1997. It sported a small-resolution design that centered content within a fraction of the screen. The homepage featured a trendy, grainy background with the NASA logo below the content. The central content was encased in a grainy, dark metallic box, resembling a space shuttle exterior, with the embossed NASA logo. Links were neatly arranged within this shape, each featuring an icon corresponding to the link’s topic. Users could explore various aspects such as NASA centers, galleries, aeronautics, missions to planet Earth, space science, and more.

NASA Current Website

In stark contrast, the current NASA website boasts a full-width layout, characterized by a clean, white design and high-quality, expansive images. The structure has completely evolved, adopting a standard top navigation style with dropdown menus for different categories. This modern iteration presents information in a more streamlined and accessible format, a far cry from the compact and stylized layout of its 90s predecessor.

10. Nintendo Official 1998 Gaming Website

Nintendo Website back in 1998

Nothing brings more happy nostalgia than retro 8-bit games we used to play for hours on our Nintendo consoles. Cue, let’s remember the old Nintendo website from 1998. It epitomized the fun, well-structured 90s design while embracing the charming clutter and abundance of small 8-bit images. Despite the nostalgic 8-bit charm, the site remained remarkably organized, featuring trendy headers, futuristic shapes, and sidebar menus that facilitated easy browsing. It was a content-rich hub, offering dedicated pages for consoles, games, news, and shops, each section boasting bulleted lists of links for thorough exploration.

Nintendo Current Website

Regrettably, the current Nintendo website has shed much of its 8-bit allure. It now embodies a polished, modern look, blending seamlessly with typical contemporary designs. Featuring clean aesthetics, large images, and a standard top navigation menu, the site has departed from the distinctive 8-bit feel that defined its earlier iteration. The transformation reflects a shift toward the sleek, uniform appearance prevalent in today’s web design landscape, albeit at the cost of the nostalgic 8-bit charm.

11. Pepsi World 1998 Futuristic Website

Pepsi Website back in 1998

Next, we have Pepsi World from 1998. If this looks like something that came out of the 1995 movie Hacker, you’ll be absolutely right. In 1998, Pepsi World’s website resembled a vision from the 1995 movie “Hackers,” embracing a super futuristic design akin to how the ’90s imagined entering the Matrix. It boasted a visually striking layout—distorted green lines forming patterns against a black background, resembling a spaceship’s control dashboard. The site featured over-the-top space visuals and a prominent 3D “Enter” button, providing an immersive experience. With the addition of the Shockwave plugin, users could enjoy music and animations, enhancing the futuristic ambiance.

Pepsi Current Website

Fast forward to the current Pepsi website, and while it retains colors and a fun vibe, it’s far more modern and corporate in appearance. The captivating, Matrix-like visuals have given way to a sleeker, contemporary design. There’s no more sensation of entering the Matrix; instead, the site aligns with a more polished and corporate aesthetic, moving away from the extravagant ’90s space-age theme.

12. The White House Official 1995 Website

White House Website back in 1995

Another official US government website in this selection, this time focusing on the White House. In 1995, the White House website offered users a virtual tour, acting as a guide to the President’s residence and family. It featured galleries, a guest book, and museum-like elements, providing an interactive and informative platform for exploration. The site maintained a clean interface, employing minimal text, low-quality small images, and pictures doubling as icons, though with less precision in aligning elements.

The White House Current Website

Sadly, the current White House website bears little resemblance to its predecessor. It has deviated from its museum-like focus, transforming into what resembles a typical media outlet website, predominantly showcasing political news. The design aligns closely with mainstream media newspapers and television websites, departing from the unique museum-esque charm of its earlier iteration.

13. WinZip 1996 Software Website

WinZip Website back in 1996

In 1996, WinZip’s website debuted, featuring the latest version, 6.2, in a bold comic book-style expression bubble, grabbing attention in the top right corner. The design exuded a futuristic vibe with a space-themed background, linking navigation elements within 3D planets on the homepage. The site evoked the epic, high-tech aura typical of ’90s hacker culture, complete with a sense of adventure and exploration.

WinZip Current Website

Fast forward to the current era, WinZip’s website has evolved into a more formal and professional presentation. It now boasts a clean corporate design, featuring a white backdrop, block grid hero section, and organized columned content. Gone are the space-themed visuals, replaced by a stock photo showcasing a tech-savvy individual engrossed in their laptop. This transition signifies a shift away from the daring, adventurous ’90s aesthetic toward a more conventional, business-oriented approach.

14. Cartoon Network 1999 Official Website

Cartoon Network Website back in 1999

Back in the ’90s, Cartoon Network ruled as the go-to spot for epic cartoons like Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory, Time Squad, Scooby-Doo, and The Powerpuff Girls. Their website was our treasure trove, bursting with colors, cartoon character images, banners, and a plethora of games in 1999. It was a haven for fans eager to delve into their favorite series.

Cartoon Network Current Website

Fast forward to today, and the good news is, the fun never stopped! While the series might be new, the current Cartoon Network website retains its original charm. It’s a delightful throwback, continuing to offer games, quizzes, and funny skits from the ongoing series. Despite the evolution of shows, the site remains a haven for fans, preserving the joy and excitement that defined its ’90s roots.

15. Antonio Banderas Official Website 1995

Antonio Banderas Official Website back in 1995

Antonio Banderas, a household name then and now, reached the pinnacle of his career in the ’90s with hits like Desperado, Zorro, and Interview with a Vampire. Like many stars, he had an official website catering to fans eager to explore ongoing projects, peruse photo galleries, and delve into details about the actor.

The ’90s website, a classic, boasted a black design with content neatly organized within boxes, even featuring a visitor count—a common element back then. Unfortunately, there’s no current website available for comparison to see how his online presence has evolved.

16. Windows 95 Official Software Website

Windows 95 Website back in 1996

Ah, the official Windows 95 website—a digital gem from the ’90s! This homepage invited users to join a design contest for the operating system, encouraging them to contribute to enhancing the interface. Embracing that quintessential ’90s aesthetic, the site featured a background adorned with a pattern of white clouds, adding a whimsical touch.

The content, front and center, resided within a typical Windows 95 window, cleverly aligning links to resemble the system’s interface icons. It was a nostalgic nod to the operating system’s visual language, inviting users to engage in shaping its future.


This was the last example of 90s website design that we hunted with the time machine. Now let’s proceed with some current websites that embrace the late 90s- early 2000s design and give it its modern twist. 


17. Timesheets Magazine London Interactive 90s Design

Timesheets Magazine London sounds like a blast from the past! With its color palette of metal grey, brick red, and pure black, the website embraces a nostalgic ’90s vibe. It boasts embossed effects, retro fonts, and an interactive animation reminiscent of the era—breaking bricks to reveal content. This design exudes a true throwback to the iconic retro style of the 1990s, offering a unique and immersive experience for visitors exploring London-based artists and creatives.

Visit Website

18. Quentin XYZ Portfolio Website True 90s OS Style

Quentin XYZ delivers a portfolio experience straight out of the ’90s operating systems playbook. Beginning with a BIOS booting animation as its splash page, it invites users to enter fullscreen mode—ushering them into the website’s realm. A preloader follows suit, featuring ’90s synth wave pixel art, the OS name, and a loading bar, setting the nostalgic tone.

Once loaded, visitors are greeted with a homepage reminiscent of an OS desktop. It showcases various apps, displays the current time, and offers a vibrant neon background adorned with large interface icons. Each icon serves as a portal to different code samples and details about the developer, offering an immersive journey through Quentin XYZ’s portfolio in a delightfully retro, ’90s-inspired interface.

Visit Website

19. Captain Marvel Official 90s Design Website

“Captain Marvel” takes a radical departure from the usual Marvel film style, diving headfirst into the ’90s era. In a complete throwback, the movie’s website fully embraces a Geocities-inspired design. It’s a stunning blast from the past, decked out with flashy bling, animated GIFs, embossed buttons, classic underlined blue links, and deliberately cheesy magic-wand-cut graphics.

This homage to the web design of that era beautifully captures its nostalgic charm. Every quirky element and eye-catching feature brings forth the glorious, quirky essence of ’90s web design, transporting visitors back to a time when the internet was a vibrant and visually eclectic playground.

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20. Daiya Droids NFT Site Retro Console 90s Website

The Daiya Droids NFT site is a completed project, representing an NFT collection inspired by Japanese urban culture. Crafted to resemble a simulated computer screen with 8-bit graphics, it embodies a nostalgic digital aesthetic. The site’s design and development were skillfully executed by Fra Mauro, offering visitors an immersive experience that pays homage to both Japanese urban culture and retro computer interfaces.

Visit Website

Alrighty, folks, that’s a wrap!

Our trip through the 90s website design uncovered a treasure trove of digital creativity that defined a whole era. These websites are like colorful paintings showing how the world was changing with computers. The cool thing about 90s web design is how it looked raw and experimental—like it was still figuring out what worked best.

Looking at 20 different examples, we saw a pattern. They all had things like moving pictures, bright colors, flashy stuff, and layouts that didn’t look like what we see now. Even though they might look messy, there’s something special about their charm and how they felt real.

In short, the 90s website design showed how creative and new the internet was. Saying goodbye to this trip, we take with us a big love for how bold, quirky, and cool those old websites were.

Hey, before you go, don’t forget to check out our other awesome articles on UI/UX design! We’ve got loads of tips and inspiration to help you create stunning designs that will blow your mind.

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