The first website appeared on the World Wide Web on April 30 1993. That day marked the official opening of the technology, developed by a British scientist, Tim Berners Lee, working at physics institute CERN. The page has been returned to the internet by CERN to mark the anniversary, though there is one notable improvement.

First Website

First Website Limitations

Anyone who used the internet in the mid-nineties will surely be aware of the limitations that existed back then. Though the first website is completely utilitarian, the words are rendered in Times New Roman and there are no pictures to be found, and back when it was first developed it might have taken minutes to load.

On the People page of the site, there is a remarkable piece of content. While listing the email addresses (email is a technology that predated the web) and the backgrounds of those involved in bringing the World Wide Web into the world, the opening paragraph offers the advice “look them up in the phone book.” Those particular codices of dense information are going by the wayside as the Web continues to dominate.

The advent of the Web was constructed not just by those that wrote the original hypertext architecture, but by those who wrote programs able to read it with relative ease. The Mosaic browser, released in 1993, was the first graphical Web interface, and it was soon made obsolete by Netscape, which begat Internet Explorer, which begat Google Chrome, which begat all manner of browsers and skimmers that sit neatly on smart phones and tablets.

The World Wide Web was opened up to public use on April 30 1993. Since then it has done nothing but stretch further into the lives of those using it, and increase its population in exponential terms. Soon the entirety of humanity, bar those opting out, will have some kind of access to the technology. Whether or not this is what Berners Lee envisioned when he began his work is difficult to tell.

The web was originally developed as a simple way for CERN scientists to easily share information between each other. In the original documents, the intention is clearly stated that within a short space of time “authorship becomes universal.” Perhaps the Web was never meant to grow this large, but it was designed with the potential to do so.