A webring is a collection of websites linked together in a circular structure.
The point of a webring is to create a virtuous cycle of recommendations between web authors.
One author sends the 'ring' traffic and expose the ideas that they think are interesting in a way that is more seamless than a "you should read this [link]", and hopefully if that stuff is interesting the other author(s) will reciprocate.
To create a webring, you should create an application with a minimum of three endpoints:
- A homepage that provides information about the ring.
- A /next/ page that takes someone to the next site in the ring.
- A /previous/ page that takes someone to the previous site in the ring.
The names for each endpoint can vary by implementation.
The next and previous pages can use the Referrer HTTP header to find the site someone was visiting and then query a database to find the previous or next page in the webring. "Previous" and "Next" are usually defined as the sites who joined the webring before and after a member.
If a visitor gets to the end of a webring, the ring should start over again, taking a visitor to the first site in the webring.
Note: Some webrings opt to send a visitor to a random page when visiting a previous or next endpoint instead of maintaining the sequential order of the ring. This is an implementation detail that you can consider when building a webring.
A webring may or may not choose to list its members in a public directory. The advantage of doing so is that someone can discover many new sites on one page. But, a webring
WebRing was originally created by Sage Weil in 1994, who then sold it in 1997, and then promptly founded DreamHost, a popular web hosting company.
- Just redirects you to a random tilde.club user's page.
- May have login problems.
- http://ben.thatmustbe.us redirects to a different website representing someone named Ben every time the domain is reloaded. (Technically a centrally controlled webring of sorts)
- https://webring.xxiivv.com/ - an attempt to inspire artists & developers to build their own website and share traffic among each other. The ring welcomes personalized websites such as diaries, wikis & portfilios. Code available on Github.
- CLMOOC web ring uses the Draupnir Webring plugin for WordPress
- Bolier Plate Web Ring Eleventy and Netlify template
- Weird Wide Webring - Your site must be unique and weird in some way. It can be the way it looks. It can be the way you write or what you write about. It can be the way it smells. It can be the way your footer is covered in feet, your sidebar has a sidebartender, or blog is spelled "blag". But there must be something. (Join)
- Retronaut Web Ring
- Static Website Webring (run by capjamesg)
- Recurse Center Webring
- Yesterweb Webring a growing community of oldschool website with aesthetics.
- Offers a special page to browse through the ring members: Surf the Yesterweb
- Nerds of the 90s
- a webring created on instagram
- webri.ng A webring host supporting the small-web.
Articles and Related Links
- 2018-08-13 : Coroner’s Report: Webrings are Dead, Part II
- 2020-11-20 : What the heck is a webring, and how does it work?
- openring a tool for generating a webring from RSS feeds for static site generators, so you can link to other blogs you like on your own blog. Also functions very much like a related reading tool/presentation. (Example from the wild: https://drewdevault.com/2021/07/04/Is-GitHub-a-derivative-work.html)
- a Webring Kit to create your own webring
- related reading
- collection of webrings: https://sadgrl.online/cyberspace/webrings.html
- https://fediverse-webring-enthusiasts.glitch.me/, a Glitch project for the fediverse. A requisite example posted on Mastodon: https://wptoots.social/@tomfinley/109457760397078161