2011 was a huge year for riogrande.com, and 2012 promises to be just as big. We rebuilt our site into the best place to shop online for jewelry-making tools and supplies AND the best place to learn how to overcome any tricky bench technique you might encounter. As we were reworking pretty much every online feature of our site, we came across some screen captures of our website in it’s formative years. Take a look at our website timeline below and have a laugh with us! You’ll see our first stab at the internet, then follow along into those awkward teenage years of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Of course, just because we’re all grown up today doesn’t mean we can’t make our website even better! Please tell us how we can improve riogrande.com by filling out a brief survey about our website functionality and features. Participate and you will enter to win $100 in Rio Grande credit! We’ll pick a winner on January 17th, so give us your thoughts and good luck!

And the timeline begins…

1996

Best feature : “This site has been optimized for Netscape Navigator.” Whatever happened to Netscape, anyway?

1996

1998

Best feature: “Online Order Form” and “New Addition, Precious Metal Clay.” Wait, we had a website for two years before you could even order online? What was the point before?

1998

1999

Best feature: “Catalog Express” and “www2.riogrande.com,” which to my best guess is a subdomain we used to manage the giant influx of online shoppers. Perhaps this internet will stick around after all…?

1999 2002

Best feature: MSDS sheets offered online and finally, a search bar! Like most sites, the search bar is now the favorite place for our customers to start when shopping online.

2002

2006

Best feature: Member logins arrive along with Live Chat – the same live chat we use today. Try it sometime if you  haven’t – you’ll chat with the same great customer service people from our phone lines.

2006

2009

2009

2011 –Before improvements

2011

2011 –After improvements!

2011

Be sure to tell us how riogrande.com serves you by commenting here AND filling out the website survey! Remember, you could win $100 in Rio Grande credit!