What 23 famous brands’ terrible websites looked like when they launched in the 1990s

Dominos
This is Domino’s website from 1996. Wayback Machine

In the mid-to-late 1990s, people started expecting their favourite brands to have websites.

Unfortunately, most of the resulting efforts were pretty terrible. There was no winning model to follow, so designers were left stabbing in the dark.

We used the Wayback Machine, which archives old websites, to dig up the some of the most basic sites brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s had when they first launched in the mid-90s.

An earlier version of this article was compiled by Aaron Taube.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”/#mercedes-benz-january-24-1997-1″
title=”Mercedes-Benz: January 24, 1997″
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cddff9105844e018bc163/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
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[slide
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title=”Mercedes-Benz: Now”
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source=”Mercedes Benz”
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credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#mcdonalds-november-10-1996-3″
title=”McDonalds: November 10, 1996″
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e086669bedd216b4bbd0b/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
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credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19961110083459/http://www.mcdonalds.com/”
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[slide
permalink=”/#mcdonalds-now-4″
title=”McDonalds: Now”
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source=”McDonalds”
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[slide
permalink=”/#pepsi-december-19-1996-5″
title=”Pepsi: December 19, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e16016bb3f782486a69ce/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19961219003038/http://www.pepsi.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#pepsi-now-6″
title=”Pepsi: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570ceb3a9105842a008bc11d/image.jpg”
source=”Pepsi”
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credit_href=”http://www.pepsi.com/en-us/d/”
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[slide
permalink=”/#google-november-11-1998-7″
title=”Google: November 11, 1998″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cdcbe52bcd01a008bc01e/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
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credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#google-now-8″
title=”Google: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf16552bcd021008bc052/image.jpg”
source=”Google”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#budweiser-december-27-1996-9″
title=”Budweiser: December 27, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cdbdf52bcd024008bc164/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
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credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#budweiser-now-10″
title=”Budweiser: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf0fb52bcd026008bc20e/image.jpg”
source=”Budweiser”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#apple-december-11-1998-11″
title=”Apple: December 11, 1998″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570ce0579105842b008bc021/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#apple-now-12″
title=”Apple: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf436910584cc5e8bbeee/image.jpg”
source=”Apple”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#ferrari-april-17-1997-13″
title=”Ferrari: April 17, 1997″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cd88b9105841c008bbf9f/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#ferrari-now-14″
title=”Ferrari: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cef2252bcd01d7b8bbdc4/image.jpg”
source=”Ferrari”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#staples-dec-25-1996-15″
title=”Staples: Dec. 25, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e0e9f6bb3f7712c6a69cc/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19961225150602/http://www.staples.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#staples-now-16″
title=”Staples: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf66d52bcd022008bc26f/image.jpg”
source=”STAPLES”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.staples.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#hersheys-november-5-1996-19″
title=”Hershey’s: November 5, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cdae99105844e018bc159/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#hersheys-now-20″
title=”Hershey’s: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf0cf52bcd01f7b8bbd24/image.jpg”
source=”Hersheys”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#coca-cola-jan-15-1998-21″
title=”Coca-Cola: Jan. 15, 1998″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e13d3eab8ea482f6f6929/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19991013095354/http://208.134.241.178/home.html”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#coca-cola-now-22″
title=”Coca-Cola: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cee8d9105844e018bc182/image.jpg”
source=”Coca Cola”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://us.coca-cola.com/home/”
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[slide
permalink=”/#amazon-august-16-1995-23″
title=”Amazon: August 16, 1995″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5256ba246bb3f76338b9fab7/image.jpg”
source=”Businessweek/Twitter”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BWOG3MOCQAACw-0.jpg:large”
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[slide
permalink=”/#amazon-now-24″
title=”Amazon: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf7b791058423008bc00d/image.jpg”
source=”Amazon”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#burger-king-december-26-1996-25″
title=”Burger King: December 26, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e09fa6da8111c6475bc1c/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19961226181251/http://www.burgerking.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#burger-king-now-26″
title=”Burger King: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570ceb8d9105842a008bc11f/image.jpg”
source=”Burger King”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.bk.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#jpmorgan-june-16-1997-27″
title=”JPMorgan: June 16, 1997″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e0db169bedd197e4bbd0b/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
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credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19970616185036/http://www.jpmorgan.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#jpmorgan-now-28″
title=”JPMorgan: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cebfe52bcd066018bc132/image.jpg”
source=”JP Morgan”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.jpmorgan.com/pages/jpmorgan”
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[slide
permalink=”/#home-depot-november-5-1996-29″
title=”Home Depot: November 5, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e12876bb3f74d456a69c8/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19961105232803/http://www.homedepot.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#home-depot-now-30″
title=”Home Depot: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570ced6e9105841d008bc0c6/image.jpg”
source=”Home Depot”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.homedepot.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#chevrolet-october-13-1997-31″
title=”Chevrolet: October 13, 1997″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cd8f652bcd066018bc111/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#chevrolet-now-32″
title=”Chevrolet: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cef7f52bcd066018bc13f/image.jpg”
source=”Chevrolet”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#gap-december-16-1996-33″
title=”Gap: December 16, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cda0652bcd05c658bbfcd/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#gap-now-34″
title=”Gap: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf01952bcd029008bc131/image.jpg”
source=”GAP”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-dallas-cowboys-january-10-1997-35″
title=”The Dallas Cowboys: January 10, 1997″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cda7a91058436008bc07e/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-dallas-cowboys-now-36″
title=”The Dallas Cowboys: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf04852bcd066018bc142/image.jpg”
source=”Dallas Cowboys”
caption=””
credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#ebay-january-16-1999-37″
title=”Ebay: January 16, 1999″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cdcec52bcd025008bc0a8/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
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credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#ebay-now-38″
title=”Ebay: Now”
content=””
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source=”eBay”
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credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#the-new-york-times-november-12-1996-39″
title=”The New York Times: November 12, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cdd7b9105844d018bc00b/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”/#the-new-york-times-now-40″
title=”The New York Times: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf1c652bcd029008bc138/image.jpg”
source=”NYT”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#dominos-pizza-december-19-1996-41″
title=”Domino’s Pizza: December 19, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cde2f9105841d008bc0a3/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#dominos-pizza-now-42″
title=”Domino’s Pizza: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf2989105841c008bbfde/image.jpg”
source=”Dominos”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#yahoo-january-24-1997-43″
title=”Yahoo: January 24, 1997″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570fa58e52bcd023008bca6a/image.jpg”
source=”Wayback Machine”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#yahoo-now-44″
title=”Yahoo: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570cf40b52bcd01a008bc053/image.jpg”
source=”Yahoo”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#jcpenney-december-20-1996-45″
title=”JCPenney: December 20, 1996″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531e0c0269beddde774bbd09/image.jpg”
source=”web.archive.org”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://web.archive.org/web/19961220104505/http://www.jcpenney.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#jcpenney-now-46″
title=”JCPenney: Now”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/570ceab552bcd066018bc12e/image.jpg”
source=”JC Penney”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.jcpenney.com/”
]
[/slideshow]