History of the World Wide Web

Barbara J. Feldman

Although commonly used as a synonym for the Internet, the World Wide Web (WWW or simply the Web) is a hypertext media service that runs on the Internet. Separate from other Internet services such as email or FTP, the Web is the world of webpages, hyperlinks, search engines, and URL addresses. British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, working at CERN in 1989, wrote a proposal defining the WWW and is credited as its inventor.

  • CERN: Birth of the Web5 stars

    "The web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automatic information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. The first website at CERN -- and in the world -- was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself and was hosted on Berners-Lee's NeXT computer." Visit CERN's history of the Web to view the very first website and click around on the interactive Birth of the WWW timeline.

  • Pew Research Internet Project: World Wide Web Timeline5 stars

    Did you know that the Web might have been called the "Mesh" or the "Mine"? "The World Wide Web begins as a CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) project called ENQUIRE, initiated by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee. Other names considered for the project include ‘The Information Mesh' and ‘The Mine of Information.'" Don't miss this terrific timeline that includes iconic events such as AOL's "You've got mail!" greeting, and the birth of the term "surfing the Internet."

  • Web Directions: Timeline of the History of the World Wide Web5 stars

    From 1910 (with the creation of The Mundaneum, an institution dedicated to gathering and classifying all the world's knowledge) to the retiring of the French information system Minitel in 2012, this interactive timeline features highlights in the history of information science. Fast forward to 1990 to view the data point about the original web browser developed by Berners-Lee.

  • World Wide Web Consortium: Answers for Young People4 stars

    Berners-Lee answers questions from kids. "Q: What made you think of the WWW? A: Well, I found it frustrating that in those days, there was different information on different computers, but you had to log on to different computers to get at it. Also, sometimes you had to learn a different program on each computer. So finding out how things worked was really difficult. Often it was just easier to go and ask people when they were having coffee." While at the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) be sure to look at How it All Started, a slideshow commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Web.

  • World Wide Web Foundation: History of the Web5 stars

    "Believe it or not, Tim Berners-Lee's initial proposal was not immediately accepted. However, Tim persevered. By October of 1990, he had specified the three fundamental technologies that remain the foundation of today's Web (and which you may have seen appear on parts of your Web browser)." These three innovations were HTML (the web's markup language), URI (the web's addressing system), and HTTP (the transfer protocol used to retrieve Web pages.)

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "History of the World Wide Web." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 22 Jul. 2014. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/history-world-wide-web/ >.

  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published July 22, 2014. Last modified July 22, 2014.

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