First URL active once more

When the first website was born, it was probably quite lonely. And with few people having access to browsers - or to web servers so that they could in turn publish their own content - it must have taken a visionary leap of faith at the time to see why it was so exciting. The early WWW team, led by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, had such vision and belief. The fact that they called their technology the World Wide Web hints at the fact that they knew they had something special, something big.

In 1993 the WWW team wrote an advert for the web that appeared in Tagung Deutsches ForschungsNetz. They wrote:

"To find out about WWW:

telnet [a command you would type into your network-enabled computer]

This will give you the very basic line-mode interface. Don't be disappointed: use it to find out how to install it or more advanced graphical interface browsers on your local system."

I think the 'don't be disappointed' is crucial here: the WWW team knew that they had something revolutionary that could look rather ordinary, even disappointing. But they had an idea of what they were building.

The first URL was:

For many years, this URL has been dormant, inactive. It simply redirected to the web host root of

We just put the files back online, using the archive that is hosted on the W3C site. This is a 1992 copy of the first website. This may be the earliest copy that we can find, but we're going to keep looking for earlier ones. 

Take five minutes to browse the first website. Don't be disappointed...


Great stuff. It's crazy that 48 copies of the 600 year-old Gutenberg bible exist, yet not one copy of a website made just twenty-odd years ago survives. History will look back at us and roll its eyes. Good luck with your search for earlier versions of the site.

I've had March 1989 in my timeline since seeing
Origins of the WWW
The World-Wide Web began in March 1989 at CERN.

Maybe someone has access to the quoted source for that:
RCH Liam Relihan, Tony Cahill & Michael G. Hinchey, "Untangling the World-Wide Web." URL: January 2005.

I'm beginning to think that refers to the idea of the web, not an actual server online.

"The matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the sixth version." ;-P

Do appreciate this sort of effort tho, because without reviving some of the archives, these early digital events might as well not have happened (end of history etc etc).

It's too bad telnet to that server does not seem to be working. That would have been so freaking cool.

Good idea. It ran the line mode browser ('www' the command line browser, developed by Nicola Pellow) as a captive anonymous login, starting with an explanatory page with a menu of starting places as its home page.

One would have to check a new version of www for security issues before running it but it would be a good idea.

We had a meeting at cern at this time and installed a desy web remotely. The header of my personal page still contains the credation date:

<TITLE>Info &uuml;ber Thomas Finnern</TITLE>
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Info &uuml;ber Thomas Finnern">
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="Thomas Finnern">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Thomas Finnern , Th. Finnern , Finnern , thf, aes, aloha">
<!-- Created by: Thomas Finnern, 10-Mar-1993 -->
<!-- Changed by: Thomas Finnern, see bottom line -->

<BODY BGPROPERTIES="fixed" BGCOLOR="white" TEXT="black" LINK="blue" VLINK="blue" ALINK="lime">

Wow, in 1992 I was graduating college, working on some technical writing assignments. I then worked for a company right out of college that built a website in 1994, not too long after this first web page was posted. This definitely makes me feel really, really old. Although I'm not.

Reminds me when I just got started getting online. Around 1994 for school stuff. 1996 already had my dial up at home and started working as a part-time web designer in 1997. All my old designs looked like this plus a few images here and there. *LOL*

happy cheers - congratulations

from CHILE

Wow I was really excited to see this and I must have hit the refresh button like 1000 times just so the page would finally load. Well worth the wait. Its always inspiring when you look back into the past of something you may have did or been apart of.

I had a "computer class" around that same time (but high school) where we had to build a website, too. There was about 10 of us. Only one group could use "the one with the web" at a time, with the rest of us playing SIM City. Thanks for the memory.

I hope the W3 remains true to it's revolutionary foundations, and allows the humankind to become aware and enlightened to a new level.

I introduced the WWW to a group of interactive computer specialists (think CD-ROMs) in the summer of '93, and started a web design company later that fall (my bad pun is love at first site).
One of my first customers, in January '94, was Tektronix (later Xerox) color printer division. I remember how glad we all were when tables were introduced, so everything didn't have to be left-justified!

I wonder how much more traffic is coming to the original website than when it was first published. I'd love to see those stats...

Questa è la prima volta che vedo la Prima Pagina, per me è stata una esperienza veramente emozionante, spero che rimanga sempre online per ricordare a tutti l'INIZIO. Nella rete c'è di tutto, il bello e il brutto, ma certamente c'è l'umanità come mai è stata possibile prima. Grazie per quanto è stato fatto e per quanto insieme si farà in futuro.

Inspiring! I'm truly moved. Thank you CERN! This is one of the best projects ever!

This is truly inspiring! Thank you... Great gift to the world. Greets from Amsterdam

Surprising that HTML does not validate on w3c validator:

line 1 - Error: no document type declaration; will parse without validation
line 5 column 5 - Error: document type does not allow element "BODY" here
line 71 column 27 - Error: end tag for element "A" which is not open

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