30 Best Sites
With their innovative technologies and features that are hard to resist, these sites show what the Web has to offer now and where it is going soon
Sure, you've probably already laughed at some of the clips on YouTube and purchased a bargain at Walmart.com. They're two of the most prominent sites on the Web andas experts told U.S. Newsamong the very best at what they do.
But the 30 sites chosen as this year's Best of the Web selections aren't all famous names. What they do have in common is that each one offers some innovation that makes going online a more valuable and enjoyable experience, whether that's through offering comparisons of the best train ticket prices in Europe, software that makes it easier to share pictures and video online, or just really clever recaps of the latest episode of Survivor.
A quick tour of the best sites in the categories of shopping, entertainment, photo and video, health, and travel shows just how much the Web has grown in the decade or so that it has been available for public use. Once upon a time, we were thrilled that stores such as Amazon.com let us do all our shopping without ever having to leave the comfort of our own homes. Now we can use cutting-edge comparison engines like Dealio.com to search all over the Internet to find the best price for an item without ever having to leave our favorite retailer's website. Where early health websites merely offered textbook summaries of the symptoms of diseases, YourHealthRisk.com calculates the likelihood of a user's developing any one of five major diseases.
With this ability to evolve so quickly, offering generations of improvement in just a few years, it's safe to say that the Web is healthier than ever.
This story appears in the November 20, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.