Happy 25th birthday to the first public website

The first website
The first website.

We've just passed a very notable landmark in the history of the internet: the first public website went online on the 6th of August, 1991. In fact you can still visit it, but you won't find any spinning GIFs or Facebook Like buttons - just text and hyperlinks.

Berners-Lee first dreamed up the idea of the web in 1989: it would use the global internet (itself still a fledgling platform) to host pages that anyone could access. It seems old hat now but it was hugely innovative for its time.

By October 1990, Berners-Lee had written the code for the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that websites are based on, the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) standard that enables data communication over the web, and the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) address that gives each site its own URL.

Sites for sore eyes

While the first website went up at the end of 1990, it wasn't until 6 August the following year that Berners-Lee publicly shared his creation outside of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) where he worked. The rest, as they say, is history.

As the World Wide Web was so new, some explanation was needed: the first website included details of what this new invention was, how to access it, and how interested programmers could contribute to it.

It's always worth remembering how far these internet technologies have come in a very short space of time - and the noble and ambitious vision that helped create them.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.