On 20th anniversary, world’s first website returns to Web

It was 20 years ago Tuesday that the World Wide Web was opened to all, setting off one of the biggest transformations in technology and altering the way we communicate. To celebrate the occasion, the creator has brought the world’s first website back to life.

Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, launched the world’s first website in the early 1990s. The site only included text and instructions on how to use the World Wide Web, an Internet network that was designed for universities to share research.

On April 30, 1993, the website was updated with a statement announcing that the source code for the World Wide Web would be available for everyone, turning “www” into a ubiquitous line for accessing the Internet.

The website eventually went offline. But on Tuesday, CERN, the Europe-based organization behind the World Wide Web, restored the site to commemorate the anniversary. Users can check out the first website by heading to http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

A blog post explaining the restoration said that clicking on the URL will show a copy of the website from 1992, which looks the same as the site did when it was opened to all 20 years ago. CERN said it will continue looking through its files in hopes of finding an even earlier version of the site.

The restored website is nothing but text, but its significance cannot be denied.

By the end of 1993, there were more than 500 websites, and an estimated 630 million websites now exist on the World Wide Web, according to CERN.

“The fact that they called their technology the World Wide Web hints at the fact that they knew they had something special, something big,” CERN said in a blog post.

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