Hard to believe that the Bissells have had a homepage on the web for 20 years! Rich and I both love technology. When we got married in 1992, he had a Compac computer and I had an Apple IIc. But it wasn’t until 1993 that we first went online with a second-hand Radio Shack computer and a 2400 baud modem.
We first connected to the Internet using Prodigy Internet Service, which was basically just email and Newsgroups. We’ve always loved to stay on the cutting edge of technology, so it wasn’t long before we upgraded to speedy 14.4Kpbs and 28.9Kbps modems.
Around 1994-95 we moved to a Packard Bell computer and AOL with a 56K modem. Now we were really hooked. This was around the time when the World Wide Web really took off. I started networking with parents of kids with special needs via AOL’s user groups. One of my new Internet friends had her own website and I thought that was pretty cool. So, I started to build my own site.
Back in the mid-1990’s there was no easy way to build a website. There was no software and sites like GeoCities were virtually unknown. In fact, most people didn’t even know what a homepage was. I built our first website using raw HTML code and a plain text editor and hosted it on AOLs server.
At that time, the web was very slow and space and even internet time was expensive. AOL charged by the minute and graphics had to be very small in order to load at a reasonable speed.
Here is what our first website looked like in 1995: Bissell Home Page. This was state of the art at the time and the animated mailbox was super cool! Animated graphics (GIFs) were about the only thing that moved on the web at that time.
Our site has continued to evolve. Over the years I’ve used website building software including FrontPage, Dreamweaver and Expression Web. At this time I’m using WordPress content management software. I’ve also moved from many different Internet service providers and hosting companies.
Part of the fun of the Internet and technology in general is that it’s always changing and there are always new things to learn.