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The World’s First ‘Live’ Website Celebrates its 20th Birthday

On the 6th August of 1991, the British engineer and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee put the world’s first website ‘live’.

Since then, two decades have passed and many changes have revolutionised the appearance and usages of the World Wide Web. Read More: How Technology Has Changed the World.

The history of the internet, however, started much earlier. In 1980, Tim Berners-Lee built ENQUIRE, a database and software project which described a more elaborate information management system than was available at that time. In November 1990, Berners-Lee published a more formal proposal to build a “Hypertext project” called “World Wide Web”, also known as W3. His idea was to create a “web” of “hypertext documents” to be viewed by “browsers” using client–server architecture.

Finally, on 6th August, 1991, the British engineer posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. This was a very significant date, marking the beginning of the Web as a publicly available service. The first photo on the web was also uploaded by Berners-Lee one year later, in 1992.

The Web: 20 Years On

During the last 20 years, the internet has become an essential tool for business and personal needs. Thanks to the work of Berners-Lee and others, businesses are now able to provide information and promote their goods and services online in order to sell to a truly global market. According to a recent report from TouchLocal, 92% of UK Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) now have a website. This also democratised the business world by dissolving the differences between SME and ‘big business’ IT. Now, SMEs no longer need to put up with sub-standard systems because of budget constraints.

The WWW also improved radically communication. Within a few years, tools such as email offered a completely different system for communication – can you imagine a day without sending an email or surfing the web? Social Networks have also created a new way of communicating and relating to each other, too.  LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have millions of users worldwide.

Today’s cloud technology also allows businesses to work from any location with no reduction in their applications, as if they were in the office. This flexibility also permits people and businesses to speed up how they operate saving valuable time.

In 20 years, the Internet world has revolutionised our way of working and interacting with each other. Considering how fast technology develops, what the future holds for the development of the web is hard to predict and the possibilities are endless. But one thing is certain – expect constant change and the development of new ideas.

What do you think the future holds for the internet? Share your thoughts with others below.


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