A Brief History of KnowThis.com

The beginnings of KnowThis.com started over 20 years ago when the internet as we now know it was just beginning to be utilized as a useful aid for information seekers. Over these many years, KnowThis.com, like many well-established websites, has undergone many changes. In the next few pages we offer a look back on the history of KnowThis.com. We present screenshots showing how this site appeared and we discuss a few of the changes that have been made.

First Site Launched February 1998

Below is the first front page of the forerunner to KnowThis.com. The original layout was a links-style site intended to direct visitors to other sites around the internet. The site was housed at West Chester University in Pennsylvania on the school’s library server. (Image Date: February 1998)

Moving to KnowThis.com Domain

In October 1998 the project moved off the university server and under the domain name KnowThis.com. By this time the site had been chosen by CERN, originators of the World Wide Web Consortium, to be the Marketing specialty area within the World Wide Web Virtual Library. For the next two years the site would be called the Marketing Virtual Library. (Image Date: December 1998)

Focus on KnowThis.com Name

In 1999 the decision was made to use the KnowThis.com name as the key brand name for the site, though the Marketing Virtual Library name would still be emphasized for several more years. (Image Date: November 2000)

Site in Early 2000s

For the next few years the KnowThis.com name shared equal billing with the Marketing Virtual Library name as shown in this image from 2003. (Image Date: December 2003)

Major Change to Site

In 2004, KnowThis.com saw its most dramatic change. First, in May of that year, the website moved from the static HTML style it used from the beginning to a dynamic website where programming language and databases created webpages on-the-fly. Today the dynamic website is the standard design for a large majority of websites. Second, also in May two new features, Marketing Tutorials and Latest Marketing Stories (then called Latest Articles) were added. Finally, in July of 2004 likely our biggest change occurred. when the site began accepting advertisements. (Image Date: June 2004)

The Site in 2008

This shows the site as it looked in 2008. This design was relatively short lived. It was becoming clear at this point that graphics and images were needed to add value to a website. (Image Date: January 2008)

The 2010 Site Redesign

The need for a major redesign to emphasizes graphics and images lead to this design in 2010. This site image shows how KnowThis.com now emphasizing the Blog component as a key feature of the site. While the Marketing Tutorials were still the most visited part of the site, the Blog would allow the content found in the tutorials to be explained in terms of current events and news stories. (Image Date: December 2010)

2016 Move to Responsive Site Design

In 2016, in response to the growing importance of mobile devices, another site redesign was introduced. This change incorporated a responsive web design enabling the site to automatically adjust to a visitor’s screen size. Below is how the site looked on larger computer screens and below that how it responded to tablet-size screens. (Image Date: March 2017)

2022 Shift to Mobile-Friendly Design

In 2022, KnowThis.com undertook its most significant redesign since 2004 when the site shifted from a multi-column format to a single column format. This was done primarily to address the increasing use of tablets and mobile phones that access the website. Additionally, to improve site usability for all visitors, KnowThis.com now includes all tutorials on a single page rather than requiring visitors to click in order to access additional part of a tutorial. (Image Date: November 2022)