On this day 25 years ago the world’s first website went live to the public. The site, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was a basic text page with hyperlinked words that connected to other pages.
Berners-Lee used the public launch to outline his plan for the service, which would come to dominate life in the twenty-first century.
“The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system,” said Berners-Lee on the world’s first public website. “The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone.”
Berners-Lee wanted the World Wide Web to be a place where people could share information across the world through documents and links navigated with a simple search function.
The first step to making that a reality occurred on August 6, 1991, and was hailed with little fanfare when Berners Lee launched the first web page from his NeXT computer at CERN’s headquarters in Geneva.
Housed at http://info.cern.ch, the founding website contained basic instructions for how the web worked, including how to access documents and set up your own server. CERN reinstated the page at its original address in 2013.
The next phase
A quarter of a century later, the web is dominated by social networks, search engines and online shopping sites. It has evolved beyond static web pages, and is now made up of interactive sites coded in new languages, and packed with photos, videos and moving parts.
From here, we can expect the web to continue to leak from the computer screen into the real world, with the rise of the internet of things, biometirc logins and superfast connection speeds hailing a new era for the World Wide Web.