World Wide Web’s Twentieth Anniversary

On April 30, 1993, the World Wide Web was born. Today we just call it “the Web”; while other mistakenly call it “the Internet”. The Internet is just the basic tools or platform for delivering the web’s content. (An earlier post stated August 1991 as the birthday, but that version wasn’t publicly accessible. On April 1993, the page was made public.)

And on April 20, 1993, the very first web page was published. Here’s a screenshot:

CERN's first webpage. April 30, 1993.

To mark the anniversary, CERN has republished that page. Though launched in 1993, it was “built” in 1992. Dan Noyes, CERN’s communications group web manager, says this version is the oldest version they can find, but they are looking for an older version.

Back in 1993, the scientists at CERN took out an advertisement in the German Research Network to make the announcement. The researchers invited people to visit the website and test out features like viewing documents, which can be accessed by following links.

“This will give you the very basic line-mode interface. Don’t be disappointed,” the advertisement read.

Mr. Noyes says the line “don’t be disappointed” is crucial because the team knew they had a revolutionary product that looked “rather ordinary.”

By relaunching the first webpage, CERN’s staff hopes to “revive the original spirit in creating the Web”; that is “to give universal access to enthusiasts, in hopes of creating a fair and equal space in the world.”

Few today know, or remember that the first web browsers allowed you to make edits to a page — directly to websites. This is similar to how Wikipedia and some other sites work today.

Visit the first website at: www.info.cern.ch.

You may also be interested reading an earlier post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *