History of Websites

A website is an integration of mutually relevant web pages, graphics, videos or certain digital content that are given address according to a common Uniform Resource Locator (URL), frequently comprising of just the domain identity, i.e. the IP address, and the root directory (‘/’) in an Internet Protocol-based network. A web site is to be harbored on at least one web server, that can be accessed through a computer network, such as, the Internet or a private local area network.

The World Wide Web (WWW) was developed in 1989 by CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee. CERN announced on 30 April 1993 that the World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone.


Other protocols such as file transfer protocol and the gopher protocol, before the emergence of HTML and HTTP, were harnessed to access individual files from a server. These protocols provide a typical directory structure which the user browses and selects files to save. Documents were frequently shown as plain text files without applying format or were programmed in word processor formats.

No doubt the accomplishments of Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland, were got revolutionized. They developed the four integral elements of the World Wide Web: the Web protocol HTTP, HTML, a Web server and a basic browser.

During the Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had established a Next computer, an easy-to-program system, a Unix-based system, the brainchild of Steve Jobs, as the first Web server of the world.

However, at that time, the Web did not look much attractive. Moreover, it was not “World  Wide” at all. Actually, it looked more like a limited intranet for CERN physicists as the information did not travel farther than a couple of buildings around.

By the time Berners-Lee was demonstrating data retrieving through the Internet between Next computers, Kunz was not much excited by this presentation. However, when he witnessed that it was possible to transfer a query from the Next box to CERN’s IBM mainframe and execute the results, Kunz began to get absorbed.

Fetching the document from an incompatible computer gave way to a range of possibilities. Tim was not able to demonstrate as to how well this was going to do because at that time all the world’s Web servers were stationed at CERN.

Consequently they came to use the Internet to set up Kunz’s computer at a distant location, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) having developed a browser there and retrieved a Web page. “We were both shocked at how well it worked,” Kunz recalls.

Kunz and Berners-Lee further deliberated on how to feed heavy data such as Stanford’s meaty bibliographic database of 300,000 physics references on the newly developed Web. Kunz  reached Stanford to materialize the idea by seeking a little help from SLAC librarian Louise  Addis.

The Stanford database is regarded as the Web’s first “killer app” because it provided a convincing reason to materialize the breakthrough.