Join us on Discord, or our Protoweb User Group on Facebook. Ask one of the admins if you have any questions! See bottom of page for Discord and Facebook links.

Quality #

Quality control is essential on the platform. Websites on the platform are restored with the goal of giving the user an accurate and immersive experience of the early Internet. While we may not always be able to ensure the sites are completely historically accurate, we strive to keep them as close to the original as possible, given the material we have to work with. As such, we not only try to preserve the browsing experience, we want to make sure that Protoweb can be seen as a trustworthy resource, which means that users deserve an unprecedented experience while using the platform. As contributors and digital curators for Protoweb, it is our responsibility to make sure our platform relays a clear assurance to every user, that the content on our platform is safe and easy to browse. This is why we must try our best to keep the quality of content distributed on the service at a reasonably high level.

Restoring Websites #

Contributors, who work on website restoration projects should understand, that publishing broken websites cannot be tolerated. It is somewhat challenging to define exactly where the tolerance for a broken website is, but the general rule of thumb is that the web site should not contain more than about 10% references to missing content to itself, such as broken images, or broken links. The main page (typically index.html on the root of the domain) should not contain any broken links or broken images, and any broken content should be either recreated or hidden. Links to outside domains and other websites are not counted toward this goal. If the website you are archiving is otherwise good, but is missing some images, you may want to recreate the missing content using Google image search, and/or other sources to recreate the experience to the best of your ability. If you have any concerns about the website you are publishing, or if you would like to hear suggestions how to improve a website before publishing it, we welcome you to ask any of us on Discord. We are there to help! Exceptionally well restored websites may be featured on our website and/or social media platforms, and with your permission, credited.

Scope #

Protoweb is a service that attempts to recreate the experience of using the World Wide Web as it existed when it was at it’s infancy (Protoweb = Prototype Web). Pages from the years characterizing the early Internet boom from years 1995 to 1999 should be restored and are generally allowed on Protoweb. A year is picked that best characterizes the website at the peak of its popularity. If such version of a site cannot be restored due to missing or broken assets at, an alternative version can be restored, so most (if not all) functionality of a website can be rebuilt.

We may allow some websites outside the specified timeline if ONE of the following criteria are satisfied:

  • The only good archived copy of a website is available before 1995 or after 1999.
  • The website’s popularity peaked before 1995 or after 1999.

And ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • Restored website is from before 2005.
  • Site has established cultural significance.
  • Site can be easily browsed with web browsers released in 2001 or before.

Language #

Protoweb caters to every language, but right now we are primarily focusing on users with international backgrounds. As this is the case, we favor restoration of websites that can be understood by most people, and prefer English language whenever there is a option. We will consider allowing restoration of websites of other languages as well, if the site was culturally significant, or if the website had an English option in addition to it’s local language.

Prohibited Websites #

Websites that contain unauthorized distribution of copyrighted software, such as warez sites, and web sites that were known to spread malware such as viruses, browser hijackers, spyware, and adware are strictly prohibited. Websites containing adult content, such as nudity, or websites that promote violence are out of scope on our platform. Please note that Protoweb should be considered a family friendly service.

About These Guidelines #

There is a fair amount of discretion Administrators have when it comes to choosing sites for restoration. The content guidelines are written to give clarity on the sites we are aiming for, but it is not a catch-all end all rule written in stone. There are many nuances which unfortunately cannot be all accounted for in documentation. If the potential new project fits the vision of Protoweb, a site may be approved restoration regardless.