World Wide Web Celebrates its 20th Birthday: More Than 19.68 Billion Pages


world-wide-webIt began as a simple page of links that allowed a group of scientists to share data in the confines of their laboratories. But in the 20 years since, it has become an inextricable part of the lives of billions of people.

The World Wide Web (WWW) was born on August 6, 1991, when the first web page was launched on the internet by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The London-born physicist and computer scientist was working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva when he sought to find a better way for his colleagues to link up.

He first proposed the WWW in 1989 and posted a prophetic summary of the project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, saying: ‘The WWW project aims to allow all links to be made to any information anywhere.’

The first website – – was hosted at the rather cryptic URL

When it went live, Sir Berners-Lee, 56, said: ‘We are very interested in spreading the web to other areas and having gateway servers for other data. Collaborators welcome.’

And collaborate they did. By 1992, there were 50 web servers around the world and, as of Friday, there were 19.68billion pages – more than three times the world’s population.

In between, it has been the platform for the boom and bust of dot-com businesses in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the inexorable rise of social networking, Google and YouTube, and the more sinister art of cyber crime.

Domain names that now form the base of the web network, pre-date the first web site by six years.

The first commercial domain name,, was registered on March 15, 1985.

The phrase ‘surfing the internet’ was coined by author Jean Armour Polly in June 1992.

Archie was the first tool to search the internet.

In 2008, mobile access to the web exceeded desktop computer-based access for the first time.

According to, the web now contains of least 19.68 billion pages – more than three times the world’s population.

The WWW should not be confused with the internet. They are related, but not the same.

The term internet, coined in 1974, refers to the vast networking infrastructure that connects millions of computers, while the WWW is the method of accessing information over the internet through web pages.

Berners-Lee isn’t credited with connecting up all the computers – he developed three technologies that made it possible for users to better find and share information among these connected systems.

The first development were uniform resource locators (URLs), which are like mailing addresses for information.

The second is HyperText Markup Language (HTML), which is the code a web browser needs to show the text, graphics and hyperlinking systems.

His third invention was the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that enables requests and file transmissions to occur between Web browsers and web servers.

{Daily Mail/ Newscenter}


  1. MeInyana DYoma on the WWW (comment no. 3 continued):
    Shown are architectural renderings of Bais HaMiksash HaShlishi TVBB”A, according to Shitas RASHI [Yechezkel 40 – 43], as explained by the Tosafos Yom Tov in his Sefer “Tzuras HaBayis.” The renderings — keyed to the Psukim in Sefer Yechezkel — are “virtual photos” of a three-dimensional model I was Zoche to make with professional software.

    This content appeared for several years at the former Web site of Machon Lev (Jerusalem College of Technology). Baruch HASHEM, it is still available to the Olam through Web Archive.

    If there is any difficulty viewing it, please send a comment. I can provide a copy to display here.

    Yehi Ratzon SheNizke LeVias Goel Tzedek ULeVinyan Bais HaMikdash — announced here — BiMeheira VeYameinu Amen.

  2. 1. Comment from oy_vey
    Time August 7, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Why is Matzav posting about something that is assur?


    Why are you not only reading “something that is assur” but also posting comments on “something that is assur”?

    OK, let’s be ‘dan lkaf zchus’ and say that reading the world wide web is only a passive aveira. But writing to complain is not only a positive aveira but also an act of stupidity.