FundRaiser's oldest websites were cutting edge... at the time
The internet has developed so quickly over the past decade that it’s hard to remember how things looked even just a short while ago. With FundRaiser going live with a new website this week, I began to wonder what our earliest websites looked like. I talked to Gene Weinbeck, founder of FundRaiser, and he was happy to share some memories and a few images of earlier websites.
What made you go online at that time?
Gene: I figured it was something that was coming and I wanted to be involved at the very beginning. The internet was cutting edge and I thought it might reach what we now call "early adopters". Back then, the web was not as useful for marketing as were shareware distribution vendors who mailed catalogs, but I thought, how cool to have your own website and email!
Getting on the internet wasn't easy. The only way was to use a modem to dial long distance to New Jersey to connect through a phone company there. Actually, I hadn't even heard of the web-- it was the desire for email that got me onto the internet in the first place. Once there, I stumbled onto this new thing called the World Wide Web. It was all text oriented (no graphics at all), and the concept of clicking on links was new and confusing. It was mostly links to university sites and I don't remember there being any search engines at all, so finding something of interest was difficult. It was pretty crude by today's standards.
What was the next version of the website?
Gene: We moved to our second website in 1996. I used some really fancy buttons, in purple! That was really glamorous. It was a fully functional site, and we were offering all three of our core programs, Professional, Select (called Jr. then) and Basic.
Gene: I did. I’m a nerd, after all. There were no design tools, of course, so it was all built using basic HTML coding. And, by the time FundRaiser had a website, our town had a local internet provider, so the long distance calls were finally a thing of the past.
And the one after that?