World Wide Web: A Brief History

It’s no denying, that the web is a magnificent place where you can connect to people from across the globe. It keeps you up-to-date with your friends and families, and crafts never before seen cataclysms in your lifetime. It has unquestionably come a long way since its unassuming commencement back in the early 1980’s.


Although many people refer to the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet to be the same thing as the end result is the common acuity of the everyday users, they are actually very different. Internet is the network which allows computers to communicate and connect with each other globally. The series of languages which allow information to travel between computers are called protocols. For instance, IMAP, POP3 and SMTP are common protocols for transferring emails on the internet. Similarly, the World Wide Web is another layer which uses different protocols.

  • Hypertext markup language (HTML) – the languages which we write on our web pages.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – This is the most common protocol which requests the ‘HTML’ document from the server and serves it to the browser. It is favoured for its simplicity and speed.
  • Uniform resource locator (URLS) – this one works like the address which indicates where any given text exists on the web. It can be defined as <protocol>://<node>/<location>

Before the WWW, the Internet would only provide screens full of text with one font type and one font size. Although, it was pretty decent for exchanging and accessing information, visually it looked very boring. In order to make this more appealing, GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) developed by companies like AOL and Compuserve, added a bit of colour and layout but they were still very uninteresting. It was Tim Berners Lee who created the World Wide Web and made it all promising. It was first tried at the CERN laboratories in Switzerland in December 1990. It was with the www the internet found a new enterprise. Not only did it change the appearance, it made possible for sound and pictures to be displayed and exchanged. By 1991, the browser and web server software was available and by 1992 a few maiden sites occurred in places like University of Illinois, where Mark Andreesen had first come to the picture. There were about 26 sites by the end of 1992.

The first browser which became widely accessible to take advantage of this was Mosaic, in 1993. But, Mosaic was very slow and didn’t handle downloading pictures very well making the experience with WWW pretty crummy. The browser however really did begin to change everything. There were a million browser copies in practice by the end of 1994. In the same year, Netscape Corporation which controls the development of Word Wide Web ideals was founded by Marc Andreesen and in 2009, Sir Tim founded the World Wide Web Foundation. The Web Foundation is moving towards the Open Web as a means to construct an objective and booming society by connecting everyone and enhancing participation.

The first search engines started to appear in the mid-1990s and it didn’t take Google long enough to come on the scene and inaugurate a leading place in the market. Initially, the web was mainly used for exhibiting data. Online shopping came a little bit later. The first outsized marketable site was Amazon, a company which in its preliminary days concerted exclusively on book markets. The concept of Amazon was developed in 1994; a year in which some people claimed that the World Wide Web had grown by an astonishing 2300 %!  By 1998 there were 750,000 commercial sites on the World Wide Web and we had started noticing how the Internet would create substantial changes in the existing industries.

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by techtalks @TechTalks October 6, 2016 5:04 AM UTC


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