First Website Launched 20 Years Ago Today

Today marks the 20th birthday of the first website ever created; on the 6th of August 1991, a team of CERN engineers led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee worked to provide what was the first tangible example of the potential of the World Wide Web.

While no original copy of the website remains, an updated version can be found here while the first web page address (or URL as it was later to be called) was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

Berners-Lee came up with two fundamental pieces, HTML (hypertext markup language) and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and literally built the web by himself using a NeXT computer as a server (ed: the term Hypertext though was first coined back in 1965 by Ted Nelson and is literally text that contains links to other texts).

He also coded the first browser which doubled up as the first HTML editor. Perhaps more importantly, he and fellow collaborator Robert Cailliau came up with the name World Wide Web (rather than Mine of Information or Information Mesh which were apparently in the shortlist).

The rest, as they say, is history; months later, the first universal line mode browser, which could run on any computer or terminal was launched. It was not a GUI-based one, which meant that you had to type in commands instead.

Then in February 1993, the original version of Mosaic, the first real web browser, was released by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Developed by Marc Andreessen - who later went on to produce Netscape - it became the template for most if not all browsers released in the last two decades.