The very first site in the world

Posted on Mar 12, 2022      127

As we know, the very first computer networks were created back in the 1960s based on the then existing cable lines and radio transmission channels of the military and government organizations of the United States. The Internet, which today we are all so accustomed to, did not yet exist, and its “prototype” was the ARPAnet network.

In the 1970s, when ARPAnet had as many as 15 nodes, email was born: the protocol was developed in 1971 and the @ symbol was an integral part of the email address. In 1972, Ray Tomlinson created the first email client that came with the TENEX operating system.

The Internet was “born” in 1983, when the unified TCP/IP protocol was adopted on January 1. But so far, it was only a question of creating a global network for transmitting information. As for the WWW service, which today many people identify with the Internet in general, then before its emergence it had to wait another 8 years.

The very first site in the world (and in the history of humanity!) was created in May 1990, by Timothy John Bernays-Lee of the European Center of Nuclear Research (CERN) (who, the year before, had developed the HTTP protocol concept and the unified URL system), and his colleague Robert Cayo. This site had the domain name The URL still exists to this day - but today there is a “memorial” web page dedicated to the history of the “birth” of the WWW service. And a copy of the very first site can be found at:

The interface of the very first site, as you can see, is very simple. The very first browser (also, by the way, created by Bernays-Lee) could not handle computer graphics (much fewer multimedia), so the site was purely text-based. Some of the words in this text ended in serial numbers, written in square brackets: these were hyperlinks. To move them, to enter from the keyboard appropriate numbers - from 1 to 45 (that was the number of links on this very first webpage). And at the bottom was a line with a prompt and the command line (as in MS-DOS), she was present on the screen all the time, and the remaining lines - the actual web-document - you can scroll up and down on the screen.

The server that hosted this site was a NeXT computer with the following hardware specifications (these are the reference characteristics of similar NeXT computers; unfortunately, the exact parameters of the very first web-server are not preserved):

- Processor - Motorola 68030 (32-bit, 24 MHz);

- RAM - 8 to 64 MB ();

- Hard drive - 330 or 660 MB;

- magneto-optical disk - 256 Mb;

- 10Base-2 Ethernet network adapter.

However, Timothy Bernays-Lee originally developed the HTTP protocol and HTML language with the ability to display graphics, format text and highlight links directly in it by simply clicking on them. Even sound and video playback over hyperlinks was already built into these theoretical developments from the beginning. However, the very first graphical browser, Mosaic, did not appear until 1993, when there were already over 100 sites on the World Wide Web.