There are millions of web pages now, but none of them existed 20 years ago.
The first web page went live on August 6, 1991. It was dedicated to information on the World Wide Web project and was made by Tim Berners-Lee. It ran on a NeXT computer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN.
Even if you can’t name the inventor of the World Wide Web (It’s Tim Berners-Lee!), you’ll probably want to celebrate one of the information network’s most important milestones. On August 6, 1991 — 21 years ago — Berners-Lee published the world’s first website from a lab in the Swiss Alps.
So Happy 21st Birthday, WWW! Have a drink on us. As our friends over at HuffPost UK point out, the world’s first website can still be visited today, more than two decades after its creation.
The site, originally found at the clunky URL “http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html,” was updated frequently after launching; therefore, images of its earliest versions were never saved. Nevertheless, a later copy from 1992 is still preserved and welcoming visitors.
Another page within the site directed readers to everything that was then available online, such as a page each devoted to law, the Bible, song lyrics and politics. The site requested that people “mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of online information not in these lists.”
Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web to create a depot of publicly available information that could be accessed over the Internet, wrote on his “executive summary” page, “The project is based on the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups. Originally aimed at the High Energy Physics community, it has spread to other areas and attracted much interest in user support, resource discovery and collaborative work areas.”