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12 Popular Websites From the 90s Still Up and Running

From its humble beginnings at CERN, the World Wide Web has come a long way since it was first invented by the respected British scientist, Tim Berners-Lee in 1989.

From plain-looking text-only websites to slow internet speeds and unreliable connections, the World Wide Web has survived and evolved into so much more, so much that we’re now at the cusp of Web3.

In this article, we’ll go down memory lane to the historic moments when there was only one website, then two, then three, until we cover 12 popular websites from the 90s that are still up and running.

Established in September 1954 in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN is the European Organization in charge of nuclear research. It also houses the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

CERN’s website is the first in the world, and therefore, the oldest website online. The site was actually created by Berners-Lee in 1989 while he was working on the Web at CERN. Visit the page to view a live, recreated version of the original CERN website.


As the name implies, the World Wide Web Virtual Library was a virtual information resource on several subjects. As one of the early 90s websites, it is the world’s first index of content anywhere on the World Wide Web.

It was also developed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. To this day, the website is still up and running and retains its original look, although it was last updated in February 2017.

Number three on our list and the third website to come online is Nikhef, the Dutch Institute for Nuclear and Atomic Physics. It came online in February 1992 and to date is among the oldest websites still online.

Don’t let its more modern looks fool you, this website is something of an original and has been here from the start, right after CERN and the Virtual Library paved the way.

Before Google Search, there was ALIWEB, which stands for Archie Like Indexing for the Web. It was developed by Martijn Koster in 1993 and released the following year. It became one of the most popular websites in the 90s.

ALIWEB’s AliLinks links to many websites from its homepage, which it features in its search results page. The site was essentially an early version of a search engine, before the ones we know and love came along. There are still plenty of alternative search engines to choose from.

It appears that the site was last updated in September 2001, so don’t expect to find any current information on there.

Just like ALIWEB, Webcrawler.com was launched in 1994. It was also the first search engine to provide full-text search and is one of the oldest examples of a search engine.

Created by Brian Pinkerton, Webcrawler.com is a more robust search engine than ALIWEB, but still not comparable to the likes of Google and Bing. The website still gives off that unforgettable 90s vibe.

The Exploratorium is a popular museum of art, science, and technology located in Piers 15 and 17 in San Francisco. It was founded by Frank Oppenheimer and was opened in 1969 at the Palace of Fine Arts.

One of the first museums to go online and now one of the oldest websites on the internet, the Exploratorium has undergone a total facelift and now features a modern, intuitive website design.

As of 1993, there were only a handful of websites available worldwide. Later that year, Bloomberg would join the ranks of innovative companies that owned a corporate website.

Founded in 1981, Bloomberg went online in 1993 and to this day, it remains online using its website as one of its outlets to provide financial, software, and other enterprise services.

arXiv, pronounced archive, is an online distribution service that allows you to freely access more than 2 million scholarly articles in the fields of computer science, economics, electrical engineering and systems science, mathematics, physics, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics.

Launched on August 14, 1991, arXiv is one of the oldest websites still online. Powered by Cornell University, arXiv allows authors to submit their academic works for free. Similarly to Wikipedia, it also welcomes donations from members of the public and organizations to help maintain the site.

The Internet Movie Database began as a fan-ran movie database on the “rec.arts.movies” Usenet group. An early 90s website, it is now one of the largest online databases of up-to-date information about films, cast and crew, and so on.

The original IMDb website was launched in 1993 during the early days of the Internet and was hosted by the computer science department of Cardiff University, Wales. IMDb is now an Amazon company and features a modern website design.

Jeff Patterson, Rob Lord, and John Luini, three students of the University of California, Santa Cruz, came together to launch the Internet Underground Music Archive to help independent artists bypass shady record labels.

The site was launched in 1993 and allowed unsigned artists to register, create a profile, and showcase their music for users to stream or download. IUMA was acquired by EMusic but the site’s legacy lives on. The image above is an archived version of the original IUMA website.

Launched in August 1981, MTV was one of the most iconic and popular musical television brands that ruled the airwaves in the 80s and 90s. Its domain was registered as far back as 1993 by VJ Adam Curry.

MTV’s website has been up and running and even more active these days. Using the Wayback Machine, you can step back in time and view mirror images of MTV’s earlier 90s website. You can also use it to view what many 90s websites looked like in the past, and other tools exist to view old versions of websites.

The Clinton administration took the White House online in October 1994. The website, which is the official website of the United States government, is available in both English and in Spanish.

Currently, the White House’s site sports a simple modern look, which is a wide departure from its earlier days, and a testament to just how much the World Wide Web has changed.

The Internet Lives On

Whereas millions of good and even great websites have come and gone, ceremoniously and unceremoniously, these have been here from the net go, sorry, from the get-go


While you enjoy the internet and the World Wide Web as we know it today, always remember that there was a time when there was no internet, then poor internet, and now, great internet connectivity.

Thanks to rapid improvements in internet connectivity and technology, 5G is gaining traction, as well as blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, Web3, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to name a few.

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