By Jessica Norton
Remember when you would rush home after school, jump onto your family's desktop computer, log in to AOL Instant Messenger, change your buddy icon, and feed your Neopet? It was a time before news came in 140 characters and we actually had to remember our friends birthdays.
The Wayback Machine (powered by Archive.org, an incredible digital online library) lets you access defunct, outdated websites so you can relive all of your early ~cyber web~ adventures. Since social-networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist yet, the official websites of our favorite pop artists provided a space for us to listen to music snippets, read bios and chat with other fans!
Check out some of the amazingly HTML coded, neon colored, flash-heavy websites from the late 1990s into the early 2000s:
The bubbly and innocent Brit we all knew at the beginning of her career is embodied in this floral, pastel webpage screen shot from March 2000. Footage from her appearance on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch"? Yes, please!
"If we get together, Yo it's gonna be the bomb / Hit me on baby, Aaron Carter dot com," Aaron sings in "Not Too Young, Not Too Old," a duet with his big bro Nick Carter on the Oh Aaron album. In 2002 Aaron transitioned into the next phase of his pop stardom and released Another Earthquake.
Hilary Duff's first official website launched in 2002, the same year Lizzie McGuire premiered on the Disney Channel.
MTV News' layout has come a long way since its lime green text days in December of 1998.
Back in 2001, before Jesse McCartney was a solo heartthrob singing "Beautiful Soul," he was in boy band called Dream Street performing in suburban malls and signing compact discs at FYE. (I checked the site multiple times a week to see if they were coming to my local shopping center.)
One of the other reigning, golden blonde teen queens of the year 2000. Mandy Moore's sickeningly sweet song "Candy" was on repeat on our portable walkman's and computer speakers.
The message board definitely featured thoughtful debates from Baha Men fans trying to figure "Who let the dogs out?" Which was also a popular chant and sing-a-long during the year 2002 (and today, tbh.)
The Genie went digital in February 2000. I have to admit, I was more of a Britney fan... but I still logged on to check out Christina Aguilera's backstage photos and music videos.
The original line up of Destiny's Child (as shown in this June 1998 website screen shot) included LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett. The two members left the group after noticing management showed unfair favoritism towards Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé Knowles. Michelle Williams joined the group as their replacement in 2000.
In 1997, the Backstreet Boys became one of the first boy bands to grace cyberspace -- check this screenshot from January 16 of that year. Nick Carter is forever bae.
A go-to website that we didn't necessarily need our "parents' permission" to log on to, as this screenshot from April 29, 1999 shows. If the Rugrats Go Wild Animal Rescue game was still accessible on the website, my addiction would be just as strong as it was back in the day.
Five years after New Kids On the Block disbanded, the Web page kept fans up to date with their solo tour dates, VHS tape releases, and television appearances. Joey McIntyre and Britney Spears' Disney Channel concert is '90s pop gold.
Saturday mornings meant watching "S Club 7 in Miami" on ABC Family and going online to listen to their media player, which featured 30-second clips of their year 2000 feel-good jams, "Bring It All Back," "Reach" and "Don't Stop Movin'." They reunited last October and announced a 2015 tour (only in the U.K. though, what a bummer).
In 1997, Green Day digitized their Bay Area punk vibes into a dark black webpage that featured guitar tabs (because who didn't want to learn how to play "Time Of Your Life"?), quotes, and their "Idiot Club," which is now known as their fan club, Idiot Nation. This screenshot from March 27, 1997, takes us right back to that time.
[All screenshots courtesy of Archive.org.]