To commemorate the closing of internet dinosaur and free web hosting service Geocities today, October 26, geeky web comic XKCD “redesigned” its site to match the horrible aesthetic (or lack thereof) rampant during the ’90s. Low-fi images (including the requisite “under construction” sign), web-safe colors,
<marquee>, a hit counter, and a “best viewed in Netscape Navigator” disclaimer—it’s all in there. I think the only thing missing is an actual comic about Geocities itself.
Is it safe to say we are finally rid of those horrible-looking and horribly-functioning things now that Geocities is gone? We will always have that side of the spectrum. But it’s a good reminder of how far we’ve come:
- IE6 is now the most outdated browser instead of the most modern. (That doesn’t make its continued existence a good thing though.)
- If you disable images and stylesheets, webpages will make sense.
- Descriptive hyperlinks matter (mostly to curry favor with Google, but still).
- Despite Yahoo!’s terrifying propensity to run its acquisitions to the ground (worried about Flickr and Delicious yet?), it’s easier and cheaper than ever to run your own website.
Still, the timeless adage remains: back up and be prepared! You never know when life will go Geocities on you.