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The Web@20: Happy Birthday WWW!

Author: sales@purpleolivepublicity.com Date: 2011 Time: 13:16

Those keen on the English football season starting again may have been excited about August 6th 2011, but it also marked a special day in the history of something we take for granted. Yes, the WWW was 20 years old…

The Web@20: Happy Birthday WWW!


August 6th 1991 is quite possibly one of the most significant landmark dates in contemporary human history, yet the yearly anniversary of that day is largely overlooked by the masses. Try to imagine a world where the Internet doesn’t exist, a time when sending and reading emails was an unknown concept, when online shopping wasn’t an option, or when using a PC was confined to mucking around with spreadsheets. It’s virtually impossible, because the fact is that the Internet is so ingrained in our consciousness, work and social routines that it’s actually pretty scary. Where would we be without it? Not reading this blog, that’s for certain.

So with that context established, August 6th 1991 – the day identified as being when the very first website EVER went live, suddenly becomes rather significant.

The world’s first web server, set up at the CERN research centre by a certain Mr. Tim Berners-Lee. Recognised as the father of the ‘World-Wide Web’ as it was christened, Berners-Lee and co-founder Robert Cailliau posted the first public site at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html after initially developing the protocol as a way of exchanging electronic documents between researchers at CERN. Although this first site was extremely crude and meagre in design, few could have predicted how the technology would be taken and evolved to reach the level of coverage and sophistication we enjoy today.

By allowing the technology to be embraced by the wider world without charging a royalty for the work, Berners-Lee sacrificed personal fortune but ensured the platform would fulfill the staggering potential it has over the last 20 years.

“I’m sure that not even Tim Berners-Lee himself could have predicted that in a mere 20 years, the use of the internet would have exploded so dramatically, with billions and billions of websites now accessible”, says Chris Winstanley of BaseKit. “Now, even as new tools become available to allow people to access the Internet in different ways, the website is the heart of the Internet.”

We’re sure you’ll join us in saluting the 20th anniversary of the website this month and we’d like to encourage your comments regarding this incredible landmark in technological history. Happy Birthday WWW!