YOU can still visit the world wide web’s first page – and it’s pretty awful.
It went live just over 30 years ago and doesn’t even have pictures.
The first website is a valuable piece of internet historyCredit: World Wide Web / CERN
This is the NeXT computer used by Sir Tim Berners-Lee for the first World Wide Web serverCredit: Wikimedia Commons: Coolcaesar / CERN Microcosm
The website is living proof of how far the internet has come – when we look at modern apps like TikTok, Facebook and YouTube.
It was originally created at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.
And it ran on a NeXT computer, invented in 1988 and sold for $6,500 apiece – about $14,200 in 2020 money.
The website is aptly called The World Wide Web Project.
And it was created to showcase the project that kickstarted the web as we know it today.
It was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and went live on August 6, 1991.
Berners-Lee, now 66, is a famous British computer scientist who is hailed as inventing the web.
He first proposed the core management system of the web in early 1989.
And in November that year, Berners-Lee, then aged 33, successfully demonstrated HTTP communication.
Three years later, the first website was launched to the world – although very few people were able to access it at the time.
The website still exists, and is packed with information about the project in its early days.
“The WorldWideWeb is a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents,” the top of website reads.
“Everything there is online about W3 is linked directly or indirectly to this document.”
The website includes pointers to info, help for navigating the web, a history of the project, and a list of the people involved.
There’s even a plea for people to help grow the web.
“There are many ways of doing this. The web needs both raw data – fresh hypertext or old plain text files, or smart servers giving views of existing databases,” it reads.
“Maybe you know a system which it would be neat to have on the web.
“If you know something of what’s going on in a particular field, organisation or country, would you like to keep up-to-date an overview of online data?”
We’ve since come a long way – estimates suggest there are now between 1.2billion and 1.7billion websites in the world.
In January 2021, it was estimated that there are 4.66billion active internet users in the world.
And instead of needing huge, clunky and wildly expensive computers, we can now browse on mobile phones – with an estimated 6.378billion users around the globe.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee is hailed as the inventor of the World Wide WebCredit: Wikimedia Commons: Paul Clarke
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