10 Website Makeovers That Will Blow Your Mind

Your favorite sites weren’t always the perfectly crafted platforms you use today. Even the biggest had their awkward beginnings. Check out some popular websites like Gizmodo, Hotmail and Mashable when they were just out of the cradle.

1. 1. TechCrunch

TechCrunch / Via techcrunch.com

Founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington, TechCrunch is a group-edited blog that provides news and analysis of tech start-ups. The site’s major redesign was in July 2011, which was received with mixed reviews among users. Some of the most notable changes: The removal of the carousel of featured posts and the switch of social networking icons to a single, unified share button.

2. 2. Hotmail

Hotmail / Via gizmodo.com

Hotmail isn’t what it used to be. As a website long associated with antiquity and failure, this is a service that’s come a long way. Hotmail’s new features, such as scheduled cleanups and Instant Actions, enable you to command your inbox with just a few clicks. And rather than having to highlight messages or dive inside them, Instant Actions gives you a set of customizable icons that appear over each email when you hover, allowing you to simply delete or move any email. Score one for Hotmail!

3. 3. Mashable

The site was launched by Pete Cashmore from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland in July 2005. And with 50+million monthly pageviews, Mashable is considered one of the largest websites in the world. In 2011, the site was redesigned, reducing their navigation menu into one single line and simplifying their sidebar social widget.

4. 4. Twitter

Twitter / Via Twitter: @newtwitter

First started in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, the microblogging website’s true tipping point occurred in 2007 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. The site’s major redesign occurred in 2010, shifting @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists just above your timeline – creating a single, streamlined view for all of your activity.

5. 5. BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Cofounded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed is your one-stop destination for everything and anything that is buzzing around the web. The website’s signature may be the LOL, Cute and Geeky reactions at the top of the homepage, but BuzzFeed didn’t always look like that. Take a look at the super simplistic BuzzFeed homepage circa 2007.

6. 6. MTV

During its existence, MTV.com has served as the ever evolving internet counterpart to the MTV network. The domain name “MTV.com” was first registered by one of the network’s VJs, Adam Curry in 1993. And since its inception, the website has gone through a tremendous series of experiments including entirely video-based layouts, switching to flash and then eventually returning to traditional html.

7. 7. Huffington Post

Huffington Post / Via chriscocca.com

When the American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti was acquired by AOL in February of 2011, readers noticed a little bit of a redesign. Some of the changes included a change in font, style, and organization of the section links in the banners of the home page. The new, more streamlined presentation, also included the removal of some verticals off the main masthead.

8. 8. Gizmodo

Gizmodo / Via gizmodo.com

Gizmodo, the technology weblog about consumer electronics was launched in 2002 and was originally edited by Peter Rojas. In 2011, the site underwent a major redesign which resulted in a large amount of negative feedback by many of the site’s regular users.

9. 9. Facebook

Facebook / Via techland.time.com

Facebook is one site that’s constantly evolving. The most major and significant profile redesign was announced at this year’s Facebook F8 Conference, where Mark Zuckerberg introduced The Facebook timeline, which is unlike any type of profile ever seen on a social network.

10. 10. Tumblr

Tumblr / Via mashable.com

Founded in 2007 by David Karp, Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog. Since its creation, the Tumblr dashboard has undergone minor changes. The most notable change was in June of 2011, when the site changed how users would navigate between blogs and information displayed in the sidebar.

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