Back to the Web of the 90s

May 31, 2020

Over the past months, I have been reading more and more posts where people are saying they miss the vibe of the 90s web. Even though I wasn’t alive to see how that web was, I still remember the website of my high school filled with overly saturated colors, GIFs and iframes. Not only that characterizes some of the pages of the early web, but also the pixelation and the footers saying to use X or Y browser.

Best viewed with Netscape

Best viewed with Internet Explorer

We know those kinds of websites are a mirage nowadays, but some of them are still accessible via the Internet Archive. There is one really interesting service called Neocities, which I talked about in the past, that aims to bring the glory of the Geocities to today’s web.

It’s amazing to see how those “retro” websites emanate personality: from the simplest GIF to the hyper customized text, from the guestbooks to the easter eggs. Those were mostly written by hand with no automatic generation. It’s just a completely different feeling from what we have right now.

I barely remember when I first created this website, but I believe it was by hand, and it must’ve been fun. Shortly after, I moved to Hugo, a static website generator, and I’ve never looked back. Although Hugo allows us to create websites with ease, we still have tons of customization power because it just does exactly what we want to.

On his essay, Parimal talks about how today’s websites are mainly built towards product selling or marketing. It’s a really good post and I recommend you all to read it.

With all of thing being said, I have been tweaking my website. “Again?”, you ask. “Yes, again”, I say. My website has changed a lot over the few years since it exists (5 years I believe), but mostly on the past months, probably due to my discovery of the IndieWeb and the pandemic we’re living right now.

My idea for this website is to make it a hub of my online identity and that’s what I’ve been building over the past months: from the now page to the watches page, everything tries to show a bit more of me and what I like.

To bring more of the 90s vibe to this website - I hope - I decided to add more emojis and GIFs everywhere. The emojis are actually just a comeback because I already used them immensely in the past. I’m actually using Twemoji from Twitter to make the emojis look the same cross-platform. I’m self-hosting everything though so I don’t need to rely on external CDNs. However, let me know what you think.

In addition to just adding emojis and GIFs, I decided to make my home page more personal instead of just a listing of my most recent posts. It now features a brief description of myself, a summary of what I am doing right now, links for featured posts, links to other pages - hence removing the “More” page - and, last but not the least, a link to my guestbook.

With this update, I’m hoping to make this website more alive. Even though the mobile version hasn’t changed that much - mainly due to the device’s screen size -, the desktop version is much richer and entertaining, hopefully. I’m trying to join the old with some modern, yet interesting, features such as webmentions.

A more subtle change I made was to change the dates on this website to use the Holocene Calendar which adds exactly 10 000 years to the current year, being the first year placed in the beginning of the Holocene era.

Writing on a guestbook

Let’s bring the web more personality, more presence, more uniqueness. Let’s be the painters ๐ŸŽจ of our own identity.

Feel free to check out my guestbook and leave a comment! You can just say “hi” if you want, I’ll deeply appreciate it ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Do you have suggestions, leave a comment too!

Do you remember the old days of the web? Where everyone had their own website, made by hand, emanating personality. We should bring that back!

Interactions (29)
Henrique Dias Henrique Dias said: I have been running this website since 2014. Since then, a lot has changed. My repository shows over 5000 commits and thatโ€™s just the changes after I migrated to a static website. Once in a while, I publish updates under the tag meta. This website was started in 2014, when I was 14. The first post wโ€ฆ โ€” 19 Feb 2021 09:45
Johan Bovรฉ Johan Bovรฉ liked this post. โ€” 02 Feb 2021 22:05
Kev Quirk Kev Quirk said: @asko I know, right! โ€” 09 Aug 2020 08:29
Asko Nรตmm Asko Nรตmm said: @kev Oh sweet sweet baby jesus those are delicious! โ€” 09 Aug 2020 08:18
Nyabazar_education Nyabazar_education liked this post. โ€” 12 Jul 2020 11:05
Anonymous Anonymous said: and other sites............. I'm workin' on it after a techno hiatus not of my own choice. Still kickin' it.. Stay tooned. โ€” 30 Jun 2020 00:13
nemo nemo said: @kev hah cool i also use a thinkpad with PopOS๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ‘ โ€” 13 Jun 2020 23:54
PhaseRune ๐ŸŽฎ PhaseRune ๐ŸŽฎ said: @kev Dash to panel is legit. It is a subtle tweak that really just unlocks the desktop for me. Nice Screenshot! โ€” 13 Jun 2020 23:50
Kev Quirk Kev Quirk said: @hund I do usually too, but I only see the background for like 10 seconds before itโ€™s littered with windows. My normal background is this... โ€” 13 Jun 2020 14:22
Hund Hund said: @kev The wallpaper is cool, but it would drive me nuts! :D I like calm wallpapers myself. โ€” 13 Jun 2020 13:49
Anirudh Oppiliappan Anirudh Oppiliappan said: @nonetrix @kev Here ya go: โ€” 13 Jun 2020 12:55
banned for being cat banned for being cat said: @x @kev download? โ€” 13 Jun 2020 12:51
Anirudh Oppiliappan Anirudh Oppiliappan said: @kev Here's mine. I really like this wallpaper. โ€” 13 Jun 2020 12:15
desmondrivet desmondrivet said: Looks good! I keep thinking of the Bojack Horseman end song when I see this title :) โ€” 01 Jun 2020 13:22
Jan Boddez Jan Boddez said: In reply to Love the animated GIFs! The background! One thing: my feed reader has a hard time handling the relative image URLs in your RSS โ€ฆ (Hint: [I only know about this link because I rโ€ฆ โ€” 01 Jun 2020 13:20
Nathan Nathan liked this post. โ€” 01 Jun 2020 07:58
Henrique Dias Henrique Dias said: @DiogoRedin thank you very much! ๐Ÿ˜ โ€” 01 Jun 2020 07:39
Abdessalam Abdessalam liked this post. โ€” 01 Jun 2020 05:43
Jan-Lukas Else Jan-Lukas Else said: Thatโ€™s an awesome approach to combine the 90s web with the IndieWeb, Henrique. I really like your new 90s web-inspired website style, well done! โ€” 01 Jun 2020 05:43
Abdessalam Abdessalam reposted this. โ€” 01 Jun 2020 05:09
Eric Ronne Eric Ronne liked this post. โ€” 01 Jun 2020 04:08
Unknown Unknown said: [deleted] โ€” 01 Jun 2020 00:34
Diogo Redin Diogo Redin liked this post. โ€” 31 May 2020 23:58
Henrique Dias Henrique Dias liked this post. โ€” 31 May 2020 23:58
Malik Malik liked this post. โ€” 31 May 2020 23:57
fossuser fossuser said: Haha I like it - I can see the inspiration from Are you still using Hugo to generate the site? I like how both your site and have a retro style to them, but without hurting readability. I remember a lot of old 90s websites being really hard to read. โ€” 31 May 2020 23:24
Malik Malik reposted this. โ€” 31 May 2020 23:10
Diogo Redin Diogo Redin said: Outstanding work ๐Ÿ‘ Love how all the little details add up to a great experience. โ€” 31 May 2020 21:51
Show HN Daily Show HN Daily said: Back to the 90s.โ€ฆ โ€” 31 May 2020 21:40