In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a software engineer at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, had an idea to connect scientists from all over the world. He wanted to create a series of automated information-sharing protocols – the world wide web.
Two years later, he published the world’s first web page. It might not have looked like much by today’s standards. But it was a pivotal moment.
By the end of 1992, there were about 10 web pages. That grew to about 3,000 in 1994, after CERN publicly shared the software code behind the technology. The 20 years that followed saw the web become a worldwide phenomenon – and the number of websites surpass 1 billion.
Today, that number is 1.7 billion and rising, although only around 200 million of them are active.