Relics Of The Web

One of the great things about the World Wide Web is the ability for websites to link to each other, providing a never-ending stream of websites to explore.

This interconnectedness lets surfers quickly discover new content and information, enabling a rich and diverse online experience. It also creates complex and comprehensive resources that draw from various sources, making it easier for surfers to find the necessary information.

Overall, linking websites is a crucial feature of the World Wide Web that has greatly enhanced the accessibility and usefulness of the Internet.


Blogrolls are one of my favourite parts of personal websites.

In the early days of the Web, blogrolls and links pages were a common way for webmasters to build relationships with other websites and share resources. Webmasters would include links to their favourite websites in their blogrolls, which web surfers would browse and discover new websites to explore.

As the competition for web traffic and attention intensified, many website owners shifted their focus towards retaining visitors on their own sites. Unfortunately, blogrolls lost their popularity. Website owners started considering links to other websites as a possible cause of “leakage” that could lead visitors away from their own site.

This led to many webmasters removing blogrolls from their websites or limiting the number of links they included. Blogrolls were replaced with affiliate links where webmasters attempted to convert outgoing clicks into revenue.

Recently, interest in personal websites and blogrolls has become popular again. As more and more people become disillusioned with social media and create their own websites, blogrolls are making a comeback as a way for webmasters to build relationships and share resources with other websites. Webmasters again recognise the value of providing web surfers with new discovery opportunities. Blogrolls and links pages are back and better than ever.

In my own links page, I’ve structured my blogroll at the page’s forefront, curating a selection of links to personal websites. These curated selections focus on webmasters who consistently update their content and offer an RSS feed, and exposes it allowing surfers to stay connected with their latest posts. Additionally, you’ll find a compilation of valuable resources and services that I personally find helpful, alongside unconventional yet fantastic personal websites that diverge from the typical blog format.

Whether you’re just starting out with your own website or a seasoned webmaster, having a blogroll on your website can be a great way to build relationships and community.

When creating your blogroll, provide context to your links to help surfers know what lies behind the link. Don’t just have a list of links on a page.

Keep the Web fresh, maintain your blogroll and links pages and keep them up to date. Consider linking to an archived link on The Wayback Machine if you find dead links.


An 88x31 button is a small image used to link to another website. The buttons are called 88x31 buttons because they are 88 pixels wide and 31 pixels tall. These buttons were commonly used in the early days of the Web to promote websites and to help people navigate from one site to another.

The idea behind an 88x31 button is that it would be placed on a website, and when someone clicks on it, they would be taken to the website to which the button was linked. Website owners often use these buttons to promote their own sites or to link to other websites that they find interesting and valuable.

88x31 buttons were trendy in the late 1990s and early 2000s but have largely been replaced by other methods of linking to websites, such as text links and banner ads. However, they are still used by some websites as a way to provide a small, unobtrusive link to another site.

They were introduced by Netscape, an early web browser, in the late 1990s. They quickly became popular with websites such as Geocities, a popular hosting service for personal websites during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Geocities and similar services allowed users to create homepages and customise them with various features, including 88x31 buttons.

While experiencing a resurgence through platforms like Neocities and communities like the 32 Bit Cafe, the prevailing presence of 88x31 buttons raises a question about their compatibility with today’s digital landscape, characterised by larger monitors and high resolutions.

Considering this, one might question the relevance of 88x31 buttons in the modern Web. Yequarri delves into this in his post “Why Are We Still Using 88x31 Buttons?”, highlighting how these small buttons appear minuscule on today’s expansive computer screens.

I’d like to create and use a 200x40 banner instead. I encourage fellow webmasters to consider similar adaptations for their websites.

If you want to check out the wild world of buttons check out these pages:


A webring is a collection of websites linked together in a circular structure. Webrings were popular in the early days of the Web before search engines became as sophisticated as they are today. Webrings were used to help people find similar websites on a particular topic.

Here’s how they work: A webring comprises a group of related websites with a common theme or topic. Each website in the webring has a unique link that allows the surfer to navigate to the next website in the ring. The visitor can continue to follow the links around the ring, visiting each website until they return to the starting point.

Webrings were created as a way for people to discover new websites on a particular topic and for website owners to promote their sites to a broader audience. Webrings were particularly popular in the late 1990s. They have largely been replaced by search engines and social media as a way to discover new websites.

Check out Ray’s Webring History page for an in-depth history of webrings.

Webrings are making a resurgence, and many new webrings with modern underlying technology are being created. Ray is also maintaining a Webring List, which is the most comprehensive list of webrings that are both active and inactive.

I love a good webring, but I’m not a fan of surfing through a webring and seeing the same sites tha are in all the other webrings. A webring should have a niche and connect websites within that niche together. Otherwise, what’s the point?

A Modern Web

In today’s digitally driven world, where algorithms and corporate interests often steer our online experiences, the resurgence of these relics serves as a reminder of the communal and authentic nature of the early Web. Their return suggests a longing for the intimate, handcrafted browsing experiences of years gone by.

While blogrolls may not adorn every website today, and the tiny 88x31 buttons have dwindled, their legacy lives on through the resurgence of personal websites and the celeb ration of independent content. However, these relics must adapt and evolve with us to remain relevant in the ever-evolving Web landscape.

It’s essential to reimagine their role in today’s digital arena by drawing from the past to navigate the future of the Web as we treasure and reflect on these remnants from the Web’s earlier days. Remember, beyond serving as mere tools for navigation between personal websites, these relics embody connections and the spirit of discovery.

One of the recent additions worth mentioning about building connections in the world of personal websites is Webmentions. Webmentions are an open standard protocol notifying webpages about links, likes, or comments.

I’ve finally got Webmentions up and running here! Now, I can showcase boosts, likes, and mentions from Mastodon and replies from other sites. The real charm lies in enabling others to respond to my posts by sharing them on their websites. That’s the true essence of the Web’s magic.

However, using Webmentions does come with its challenges. The initial setup can be complicated, demanding precise configurations from the sender and receiver to ensure all parts of the mentions are included. There’s a heavy reliance on microformats, so the Mastodon connection has gained popularity and become the default. It simplifies matters for the receiver, requiring correct configurations to harness the frictionless posting Mastodon provides.

My goal for the new year is to advocate and encourage using our websites as communication tools, reducing reliance on social media platforms. After all, that’s what our websites are designed for!"

Let’s continue embracing the old and new, ensuring the Web remains an endlessly fascinating and ever-evolving space for future generations.

View this page on GitHub.