Your Old Crap Website | 90s Web Design

Dredging the internet archives 1996-2001 – Websites then and now

Archive for July, 2010

Jamie Oliver

Posted by monkeon on July 26, 2010

Jamie’s 2000 site had perhaps the most informal welcome that I’ve ever seen on a website…

Easy! How’s it hanging?

He then continues the bizarre tone of the formality and structure of a letter combined with an over-friendliness of a holiday rep trying to sell you a timeshare. This, for example, is the sign off on the kids page…

Ultimately, it isn’t an overly awful site. There’s even a honey milkshake recipe that I plan to make in the hope of having a proustian flash-back to 2000 when I was at university and drank nothing but Jamie Oliver honey milkshakes. It was either that, or Orange Hooch, Mad Dog 20/20 and Metz, I can’t remember now.

That said, the one thing which is truly awful is the splash page.
It’s the most piss-poor animation. You can see it here.

To prove just how rubbish it is, I took a pen, some paper, my camera and made a stop motion version in 5 minutes flat.



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Gay Times

Posted by monkeon on July 19, 2010

In 1996, the pink pound obviously didn’t stretch too far, as the Gay Times website was shared with the lesbian magazine Diva.

I’m not sure if it was an attempt to fit in with 90s laddishness, but I suspect that they might nowadays treat their audience as more diverse than…


Fun on the site was limited to sliding block puzzles. For the ladies, a Gillian Anderson, and for the gentlemen a River Phoenix.

Though, it does seem slightly distasteful to say of someone who has died…

The “vote on our list of horny hunks” feature throws up some very unexpected people.

Some because they are just so 90s and forgotten, for example:

Justin from Elastica, Martin Rossiter, Tim Vincent and Egg from This Life.

Then there is one entry which, whilst he is many things, a “horny hunk” – really?

“Talk about a Red Wedge” Julian Clary, The British Protest Song Awards 1993.

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Lightwater Valley

Posted by monkeon on July 12, 2010

Lightwater Valley’s old website was a joy of Comic Sans, animated GIFs and ever changing page layouts. For example, nowadays you can’t even see their logo it is rendered so small. But in 1997 it was a fabulous flashing monstrosity…

The big mystery that greets us on the homepage is not why did Woman’s Own used to have a Top Theme Park award, but rather what on earth is this?

Another mystery is “Are they two Gladiators? I can’t quite tell with that low resolution, but if they are, what are they doing in the Toadhole?”

Sadly, neither of these images are ever contextualised and so must remain a mystery.

Each ride at the park is given its own page, unique layout and comparing then and now it is sad that they feel the need to market all the rides as high-octane excitement fests.

For example, now The Ladybird says….

Sounds exciting, yeah? But it just used to be slow and cute…

I don’t know if they’ve just increased the wattage and made it go faster.

One joy you can’t see in the above are the ‘animated’ ladybirds surrounding the page…

It’s interesting to see which features have either not survived or are no longer seen as big enough selling points to sport on their website.

This, for example, is no longer mentioned for some reason…

One thing that is still there is The Ultimate. This is their most famous roller-coaster. I’m not sure that this low-resolution image does it justice…

… which is why it is lucky that they have managed to perfectly capture the excitement in the form of an animated GIF.

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Posted by monkeon on July 5, 2010

Madonna’s 2002 site featured two pop ups and some flash. I’m sure a rude joke is possible to me made from those ingredients, but I can’t think of one.

However, it’s not the website which is of interest here, but rather it’s quite how crap she was in getting the domain which is amusing.

Let’s start in 1996. What was on

Scott used to paint pictures of the Madonna. Lots and lots of them.
Indeed, he still does, according to this article.

You’d think Madonna would have enough money to buy the domain off Scott. So 1998 should see the launch of Madonna’s site. Yes?

The images are unfortunately not in the internet archive, but the text reads “ is not affilliated with the Catholic Church, Madonna Hospital, Madonna College or Madonna the singer.”

So, what is the site about:

In fairness, Madonna’s own career had been descending down that route for a while.

Now, hosting a porn site under a celebrity name can not last forever ( didn’t seem to be around long). So, what happened in 2000?

Ah, she’s got her lawyers involved. So, they’re going to have to sell the domain to Madonna in 2001. Right?

No, Madonna – if you want the domain so much, you must take it from the hands of the disabled.

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