Kickin’ it 2002-style

It’s not as bad as some older sites but we’re the first to admit that back in 2002, when we started, we had a lot to learn about design. Nothing ever truly disappears on the internet, though, and thanks to archive.org our embarrassing design lives on forever.

Still, if you look at the wide selection of DIY gear we had available back in 2002, it’s pretty impressive. Some of those products are still sold today, and we still proudly partner with Terk, Winegard, and Eagle Aspen as well as thousands of other brands. It certainly was a humble beginning for us, but we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Take a look for yourself…

This is archive.org’s capture of Solid Signal’s web site circa November, 2002. It’s not complete because back at that time we used Flash for some of the content on the site, and Flash doesn’t work in modern browsers. But you can click anywhere in the image to go to the live version and get some idea how it looked and felt. Of course, if you really want to shop, you’ll have to go to SolidSignal.com and shop there. I guarantee it’s a better experience.

It was actually pretty good for the time

Yes you can say that the site was pretty laughable back in 2002, but all great things have to start somewhere. And if you look at some of our competitors, it’s clear we weren’t far behind. Back then, Circuit City was a much bigger operation than Solid Signal. Their web site is also pretty funny to look at by today’s standards. Remember that twenty years ago most folks didn’t have high speed internet. Many were still dialing in and even those folks with something relatively modern were still connecting at under 1 megabit.

In fact, the whole world of online shopping was still pretty new back then. These were the days when Amazon only sold books, and when most folks went to real stores to get the things they wanted. The idea that you could stand in the middle of an empty field, order something on your phone, and have it delivered to your home in under two days… that was science fiction back then.

Looking forward to the future

In 2002, there were no “e-commerce platforms.” Every web site was hand coded and built from scratch. Today, modern shopping sites like Solid Signal rely on bulletproof, industrial-quality database management provided by huge companies. This helps us provide you with the best possible service and the most reliability. It also means that you can expect constant improvements in the way our site looks and feels in the coming years. It’s easier than ever for us to roll that kind of change out without causing problems to the entire site.

So, we’ve come quite a long way in almost 20 years. I promise, it’s nothing compared to where we’re going!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.