World Wide Web turns 32: All the things you might not have known about this impactful creation

Needless to say, this was something that has impacted the world in a big way

Stock image. Photo by James Leynse/Corbis (Getty Images)

Can you imagine what life would be like without the World Wide Web?

More importantly, can you imagine how many facets of life and society have changed as a result of the World Wide Web?

Before Aug. 23, 1991, there probably wasn’t much thought given to that first question.

But ever since, the answers to the second question are seemingly endless.

The World Wide Web was made available to the public 32 years ago, and, needless to say, the world hasn’t been the same.

Who invented the World Wide Web?

It was invented by a computer scientist from the England named Tim Berners-Lee, who actually invented it in 1989 as a way for scientists to share data from experiments, according to the BBC.

It was a way to send data without having to switch computers, and to create common language where hyperlinks could be opened from various networks, the website The Evening Standard reported.

Two years after the World Wide Web was created by Berners-Lee for a lab he was working at in Switzerland, it went public.

Is the World Wide Web the same thing as the internet?

Actually, it is not. The internet was a concept thought of long before the World Wide Web, and it is a network of computers all over the world connected together.

The World Wide Web is a collection of web pages found on the network of computers known as the internet.

Interesting facts you might not have known

Did you know these facts about the World Wide Web?

  • The first website was launched on Aug. 6, 1991, and contained information about the World Wide Web Project. It was launched at the European Organization for Nuclear Research and is still live today. It can be viewed by clicking or tapping here.
  • The first web server in the United States was set up at Stanford University in 1991. It was done by Stanford Libraries as a way to access web assets long-term.
  • The first-ever photo uploaded to a website was one of a comedy band called “Les Horribles Cernettes,” which was comprised of other employees at the lab in Switzerland where Berners-Lee worked, in 1992. A photo was needed by Berners-Lee to test out hosting capabilities for new images.
  • The building blocks used to create websites by Berners-Lee -- HTML, HTTP and URLs, are still in use today.
  • In 1992, there were 10 websites. In 1994, that number jumped to 3,000. When Google made its debut in 1996, there were 2 million websites.
  • Nearly 1.9 billion websites exist today, according to NPR.
  • Only 54% of the world is connected through the World Wide Web today, according to the World Wide Web Foundation.

What are the most-viewed websites today?

As of November 2022, here were the most-viewed websites based on monthly views, according to Statista.

  • Google (88.4 billion views)
  • YouTube (74.8 billion views)
  • Facebook (10.7 billion views)
  • Twitter, now known as X (8.18 billion views)
  • Wikipedia (6.67 billion views)
  • Reddit (4.82 billion views)
  • Instagram (4.46 billion views)
  • (3.34 billion views)
  • Amazon (2.7 billion views)

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.