I've been going through old archives of Geocities pages and I'm slowly becoming obsessed with the general aesthetic. I never had the chance to make my own back in the day as internet was a luxury commodity for my family but I would love to be able to make my own backgrounds and gifs that loosely follow the same strange mix of grainy quality, 2.5D models and cartoony whatevers.

I'm wondering if anyone here had a page going and, if they had any original content on there, remembers which software they used?enter image description here (Image source https://www.cameronsworld.net/)

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    Most of it was "bad" due to software limitations... everything 8 bit, web safe colors, and dithered...
    – Scott
    Jun 1 '20 at 6:06
  • Back then there was only one setting for gif 128 with dither. I remeber that the Ferrari horse was a part of Corel Photo-Paint "freebies". Jun 1 '20 at 8:03
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    Is this a fake geocities page? I'm not seeing a counter anywhere :)
    – Joonas
    Jun 1 '20 at 8:30
  • This question is too broad as how you create different images seen on that page vary widely. Jun 1 '20 at 12:15

This has nothing to do with Geocities as such. When people began making websites in the early days of the web, it was a very different environment. There was no high speed broadband, only very slow dial-up modem connections.

Because of that, images file sizes on web pages had to be kept as small as possible so that they would load in a reasonable amount of time. To do that, image files were compressed using software like Photoshop, to make GIFs with limited colour palettes and dithering, or jpegs with as much compression as you dared. The result of that is that graphics were not displayed at the quality we now see on the web. They basically looked like crap.

People made artwork then as they do now, using photographs or scans, or they painted/drew it digitally or manipulated it using raster image editing software such as Photoshop, MS Paint, etc.

  • 1
    Good technical reasons but maybe the main reason is just that Geocities was "for everyone", not just for graphic designers. It is entirely possible to create a good looking page even with limited bandwidth.
    – Jongware
    Jun 2 '20 at 7:20
  • You left out that most creating early web sites were doing so on their Commodore 64 without any art or design training :)
    – Scott
    Jun 2 '20 at 20:04

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