The Simple Web

For many, the joy of the early web has somewhat lessened. Huge pages full of javascript, where every pixel exists to be monetised, maybe have their place. But for those of us that need a break from all that, there's still a world out there to enjoy, ad free.

I remember those early days. When a lot of sites existed to teach, entertain and encourage debate. Small communities formed around interests. Exploration was fun, not addiction.

What I mean by the small, simple web is hard to define. Essentially, I mean things that are:

  • Not designed for commercial purposes
  • Not designed to track users
  • Based on honest, genuine interest and purpose
  • With what we'd now call UI/UX, functional and minimal
  • Freely open and available for anyone to access

I'll continue to expand this page with resources to soothe the digital soul as I can, and I hope you find it useful (and fun!).

Search Engines

  • - search old-style, individual websites. I particularly love the random page feature.
  • million short - a search engine letting you exclude the top X number of websites, more-than-likely giving you a site not fully of clickbait.


  • gopher - still around, the plain-text protocol that allows easy reading (and writing) to share whatever you like. Phlogs are gaining in popularity (the gopher equivalent of a blog).
  • gemini - an early-stage protocol similar to gopher, but with some interesting thoughts around using TLS. Thriving community!
  • indieseek - a human edited, Indieweb directory
  • subreply - a sort of text-only Twitter with gorgeous, minimal interface
  • tildes - a ... classier type of Reddit?


  • List of Lists - a directory of software (mostly Windows)
  • - one of the oldest websites on the net. "Purveyors of fine freeware since 1972. On the net since 1991."
  • fraidycat - a fun, simple RSS reader that emphasises following friends and indepedent blogs


  • - a huge collection of text files posted on the web (and pre-web) covering so many subjects.



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Politics, The Simple Life, Programming, Small Internet