Back in the 2010s, there was a site called StumbleUpon. With one click, you could get a random website from their collection of million of sites. Like Tik Tok, you could just click yourself through thousands of websites without having to search for something specific, and discover the absolutely best the internet offered at that time. It was addicting, and many of their former users explored the internet with it for years.
In the sites’ last days, it was filled with advertisement and had to fight hard to overcome the spam that was pushed to it. Once the star of the internet, it began to fall and more people started using other platforms to find interesting stuff: Digg, Reddit and Facebook, to name a few. In 2018, the site was shut down and replaced by Mix.com.
Up to this day, many of the StumbleUpon users miss the site. Thankfully, there are more than enough alternatives that make exploring the internet fun again without relying on the most viral content. Here is my collection of the best StumbleUpon alternatives.
As mentioned above, Mix is the official successor of StumbleUpon. You can save and share your favorite websites for others to discover directly or to curated lists. You can compare it a little to the explore feature of Pocket. Instead of offering a regular website to explore stuff, you can use Mix via their mobile apps or browser extensions.
While StumbleUpon focused more on the discovery experience, Digg made the social part the core of its site. Sharing and talking about websites made the site popular. I remember that the site has gone through some bad times while the company behind it struggled, but the site seems to be quite stable now. Today it focuses on viral content from all around the web and is still a viable alternative to StumbleUpon.
Back in 2019 I decided to make my hands dirty with a new project and a website to discover the vast wildlands of the internet seemed to be the perfect chance to do so: that’s how Cloudhiker was born. It strives to revive the famous discovery experience of the old Web 2.0 days. You will be presented a completely random website out of a hand-curated set of sites. If possible, the website will directly be shown to you so you can explore and interact with it. You won’t find any clickbait Buzzfeed stuff or low-effort blog articles here, but websites that are really exciting, weird, astonishing, or dedicated to learning. Some will make you laugh, some will make you think. And some can help you with your work by providing exceptionally helpful tools.
Jumpstick is probably one of the best alternatives to StumbleUpon as it closely reassembles the popular one-click exploration experience. Instead of offering you random websites, you can choose topics to narrow down your interests: from camping and farming over hiking and pets to psychology and yoga.
I thought about adding Reddit to this list for a while, and then decided to narrow down my recommendation for a great StumbleUpon alternative to a single subreddit. While Reddit itself is great for exploring all sorts of content, only the /r/InternetIsBeautiful subreddit gives you the discovery feeling that made StumbleUpon special. Users are asked to share awesome, usually minimal and single-purpose websites and webtools.
The Useless Web
If you ever want to take yourself for a crazy trip through the most weird websites out there, The Useless Web got you covered. I can remember using it years ago for the first time and landed on a website that just screams “Heeeey” “Hoooo” to you over and over again. Well, just… go try it out on your own.
Similar to Jumpstick, Viralwalk is a superb StumbleUpon alternative. Interestingly, besides the “normal stumbling” through websites, they made a pretty cool feature called Flows. You are presented a set of websites with their titles and some screenshots and if you like of these, click it and get redirected. Go try it out.
Gimme Serendipity is one of the special alternatives for StumbleUpon. Instead of the regular “Click button for next website” button, you rate websites and get a new site based on your past ratings. They randomize the recommendation scores so that users have the chance to discover photos that they would have not otherwise found on those networks. An interesting approach worth following in the next time.
I am honest: I wasted way too much time on the Bored Button. This StumbleUpon replacement has so much great content to offer, and the user experience is very close to StumbleUpon. The design is stripped down to the bare minimum, so it doesn’t get into your way. There are no likes, no collections or albums to add sites to. You don’t even have user accounts. But, that is probably what makes exploring so great with the Bored button.
Sharkle is another pretty minimalist alternative with a stronger focus on art, 3D rendering, interactive scenes and cool tools like online sculpting. There are a lot of examples coming from Codepen, but you can also find other stuff in there.
Well, it’s not really like StumbleUpon. URL Roulette only gives you a new website if you feed it with another in exchange. As it claims, you actually get the URL of the user before you. No wonder, that Youtube is actually the most passed website. An interesting concept anyway.
There is not much to say about Discuuver. Click the button, get a new website. While most other sites provide a way to submit your own sites, Discuuver seems to be completely self-curated. I suspect that the site is only sparsely maintained, their last Twitter post is from 2017. However, there’s some superb content in there.
The following sites are great to discover interesting content, although they offer a similar experience than StumbleUpon, or focus on a specific niche, like Web 1.0 websites.
- Websurfer was made by sadgrl.online and is a pretty unique alternative to StumbleUpon. The cool design gives you some early-web vibes. I have added it to the notable mentions because you can click through all the available sites in like 2 hours.
- Wiby is not directly dedicated to exploration, but a search engine for old Web 1.0 websites, like from the 90s. However, it has a “surprise me” button that takes you to a random website stored in their collection.
- Similar to Wiby, The old Net is dedicated to old websites from the Geocities era. While there’s no “random website” button, it’s still fun to browse through their archives.
- Bored a lot is one of those places on the internet you visit when you really have a hard time entertaining yourself, maybe on a late sunday evening. It has a wide range of categories to choose from, but no StumbleUpon-like discovery feature.
- Useful Interweb is a popular Tumblr blog that posts a few new websites each day. There’s no “random” button, instead you can go through their blog archive and click some links instead. I have found some fantastic websites there.
- Dark Roasted Blend is similar to Useful Interweb: a blog dedicated to share links to the awesomeness of the internet on a regular basis. Great stuff to click through.
- Another great StumbleUpon alternative is Web Shuffle. I’ve only put it to the notable mentions because the redirect feature to new websites is sometimes a bit wonky, and I lost track of the Web Shuffle website a few times.
- The last site with a blog-like experience: Pointless Sites.
- Refind is not a place to discover great content on your own. It’s a daily newsletter with links to the most important or viral stuff.
Besides those websites, there are some alternatives to StumbleUpon that I found fascinating, but the websites are currently unavailable. I post the links in the hope, that you find them being online again when you read this post.
- The Bored Hoard
If you noticed that a great alternative is missing, please let me know, and I’ll update the post. You can find my contact at the bottom of the page.