The Web turned 25 in 2014. Though young, the Web has a rich history that we do not attempt to treat on this site. We include here a few key moments from the early days of the Web, as well as links to other valuable Web history resources.

  • March 1989: “Information Management: A Proposal” written by Tim Berners-Lee (TBL) and circulated for comments at CERN.
  • October 1990: TBL starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep development environment. He makes up “WorldWideWeb” as a name for the program and project.
  • August 1991: Web software made available on the Internet via FTP.
  • May 1992: Pei Wei’s “Viola” GUI browser for X test version
  • February 1993: National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen’s “Mosaic for X”
  • April 1993: CERN’s declares that WWW technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN.
  • May 1994: First International WWW Conference, CERN, Geneva.
  • October 1994: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) founded

Why did the Web succeed?

Some key principles that have allowed the Web to flourish:

  • It is universal. It will work with any device, any operating system, and type of information, any language, any culture, and form of connectivity, and for people with disabilities.  A hypertext link can be made to anything.
  • It is royalty-free. One does not need to pay royalties to implement W3C’s Web standards.
  • It is decentralised. Anyone can create a site - with no need to ask for permission.
  • It is built on open standards and collaboration.

Learn even more