World-Wide Web (also called WWW or W3) is a hypertext-based information system. Any word in a hypertext document can be specified as a pointer to a different hypertext document where more information pertaining to that word can be found. The reader can open the second document by selecting the word (using different methods depending on the interface; in a mouse based system, a user would probably place the mouse over the word and click the mouse button); only the part of the linked document which contains relevant information will be displayed.

The second document may itself contain links to further documents. The reader need not know where the referenced documents are, because they will be obtained and presented as they are needed.

World-Wide Web uses hypertext over the Internet: the linked documents may be located at different Internet sites. WWW can handle different text formats and different methods of organizing information.

The World-Wide Web also provides access to many of the other tools described in this guide, and is becoming widely used as the major means of access to Internet resources.

Special index documents have been created in the WWW information space and these can be searched for given keyword(s). The result is a new document which contains links to documents selected from the index.

If you were reading this document on a hypertext system, instead of this all too short explanation about hypertext, you would have a selectable pointer to a complete hypertext information web with examples and more pointers to other definitions. For instance, in the first document you might read:

The WorldWideWeb (W3) is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge. It is an initiative started at “CERN”, now with many participants. It has a body of software, and a set of protocols and conventions. W3 uses “hypertext” and multimedia techniques to make the web easy for anyone to roam browse, and contribute to.

Selecting hypertext would display the following explanation for you:

The World Wide Web (WWW) is combination of all resources and users on the Internet that are using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

A broader definition comes from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

“The World Wide Web is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge.”

The Web, as it’s commonly known, is often confused with the Internet. Although the two are intricately connected, they are different things. The internet is, as its name implies, a network — a vast, global network that incorporates a multitude of lesser networks. As such, the internet consists of supporting infrastructure and other technologies. In contrast, the Web is a communications model that, through HTTP, enables the exchange of information over the internet.

Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the Web and the director of the W3C, the organization that oversees its development. Berners-Lee developed hypertext, the method of instant cross-referencing that supports communications on the Web, making it easy to llink content on one web page to content located elsewhere. The introduction of hypertext revolutionized the way people used the internet.

In 1989, Berners-Lee began work on the first World Wide Web server at CERN He called the server “httpd” and dubbed the first client “WWW.” Originally, WWW was just a WYSWYG hypertext browser/editor that ran in the NeXTStep environment. 

The World Wide Web has been widely available since 1991.

History of the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is a global information medium which users can access via computers connected to the Internet. The term is often mistakenly used as a synonym for the Internet itself, but the Web is a service that operates over the Internet, just as email and Usenet also do. 

Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist, invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989, while working at CERN. The Web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world.

CERN is not an isolated laboratory, but rather the focal point for an extensive community that includes more than 17 000 scientists from over 100 countries. Although they typically spend some time on the CERN site, the scientists usually work at universities and national laboratories in their home countries. Reliable communication tools are therefore essential.

The basic idea of the WWW was to merge the evolving technologies of computers, data networks and hypertext into a powerful and easy to use global information system.

What are the main features of World Wide Web?

Features of the World Wide Web

  • HyperText Information System.
  • Cross-Platform.
  • Distributed. Approximately 70 million active sites as of December 2007.
  • Open Standards and Open Source. TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML, CSS. …
  • Web Browser: provides a single interface to many services. …
  • Dynamic, Interactive, Evolving.
  • Web 2.0″

What are the functions of World Wide Web?

It provides space for wide range of information like documents, content and videos. All this information is accessible through internet because of WWW. Uniform Resource Locator(URL) is assigned to individual information page, so that it can be easily accessible through internet.

What are the World Wide Web tools?


  • Cross Platform. There is currently only one browser that is truly cross-platform, and that is Netscape Navigator. …
  • Macintosh. This is really a choice between Netscape Navigator 2.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0. …
  • Unix. …
  • Windows. …
  • Cross-platform. …
  • Macintosh. …
  • Unix. …
  • Windows.

How to get to WORLD-WIDE WEB

Users access the World-Wide Web facilities via a client called a browser, which provides transparent access to the WWW servers. If a local WWW client is not available on your computer, you may use a client at a remote site: this can be an easy way to start using WWW.

Local clients

Use of a local client is encouraged since it will provide better performance and better response time than a remote client.

Public domain clients for accessing WWW servers are available for: Macintosh, MS-DOS, VMS, VM/CMS, MVS, NeXT, Unix, X-Windows. All these platforms support a simple line mode browser. In addition, graphical clients are available for: Macintosh, Windows, X-Windows, NeXT and Unix. See the list of freely available client software in Appendix A.

Remote clients

To access a remote WWW client, telnet to the client site. If you are new to WWW, you should telnet to No login is needed for this, and you will immediately enter the WWW line mode browser.

Some publicly accessible clients have been locally developed. Most remote clients are at sites with WWW servers holding information on specific areas. Telnet to the client site, and at the login: prompt enter www; no password is needed. The following remote client sites are available:

|                                                                  |
|  Site                   Country          Server Specialization   |
|                                                                  |
|          Finland                                  |
|         Israel              Environment          |
|           Switzerland (CERN)  High-energy physics  |
|  USA                 Law                  |
|       USA                 History              |
|           USA                                      |

Using CERN as the entry point you will find information about WWW itself, with an overview of the Web and a catalogue of the databases sorted by subject.

E-mail access

You can obtain WWW files via mail to using a SEND command. The SEND command returns the document with the given WWW address, subject to certain restrictions. Hypertext documents are formatted to 72 character width, with links numbered. A separate list at the end of the file gives the document-addresses of the related documents. A good file to start with would be:

Note that, despite the name listserv in the address of this mailrobot, it is not a LISTSERV server. A note of caution from the WWW developers and maintainers: As the robot gives potential mail access to a *vast* amount of information, we must emphasise that the service should not be abused.

Examples of appropriate use would be:

  • Accessing any information about W3 itself;
  • Accessing any CERN and/or physics-related or network development related information;

Examples of INappropriate use would be:

  • Attempting to retrieve binaries or tar files or anything more than directory listings or short ASCII files from FTP archive sites;
  • Reading Usenet newsgroups which your site doesn’t receive;
  • Repeated automatic use.

There is currently a 1000 line limit on any returned file. We don’t want to overload other people’s mail relays or our server. We reserve the right to withdraw the service at any time. We are currently monitoring all use of the server, so your reading will not initially enjoy privacy.


The line mode browser:

The line mode browser is a simple user interface: references are shown as a number in square brackets next to each referenced word. Type the number and hit the RETURN key to follow a reference. For example, here is the beginning of the Subject Catalogue on the CERN server:


What is the importance of the World Wide Web?

Although it was intended for the ease of work for scientists, it is now useful for everyone using the internet. It facilitated in connecting the world in a way which was beyond imagination before this. Also, it made it easier for people to communicate, get, and share information. It also allowed people to share their thoughts and works through social networking sites, videos, and blogs. The World Wide Web evolved drastically since its inception. The first websites were made using simple pages that were inclusive of words and images when people were not able to create their own webpage. In order to create a webpage, people had to enter the HTML code manually.

Gradually, with the development of the Web, more and more people started communicating and sharing using the World Wide Web. Moreover, the use of blogs and social networking sites increased. The process to create and share content became easier and this phase of the World Wide Web was termed as Web 2.0. Although there was a drastic change in the way people used the Web, the technologies remained the same. Majority of the technologies that ran the earlier web pages are still in use. The World Wide Web still keeps evolving. There is improvisation in the Search Engines with improved understanding and processing of the information. The Web has now found ways to find the content people want and showcase some additional and relevant content that might be relevant to them.

What are the benefits of the World Wide Web?

You might have already found a few or more benefits of the web from the information provided so far. However, we are penning down a few excerpts of the benefits of the World Wide Web:

  1. It is accessible from anywhere around the globe with the availability of the internet.
  2. You can get access to information or make information accessible to the world.
  3. You can connect to people from anywhere by sitting in your home.
  4. You can purchase products online from anywhere sitting in the comfort of your home.
  5. You can create a website for your business and do much more using the Web and the internet.
  6. You can communicate with anyone around the world through texts, chats, and emails.
  7. Online courses can be completed using the World Wide Web.
  8. The online marketing and branding of businesses can be facilitated with the WWW.
  9. It can facilitate establishing professional contacts in huge volumes.
  10. It uses lower costs connecting.
  11. Employees can be recruited online.
  12. It reduces the cost of divulgation and there are no barriers to it.
  13. Information can be distributed to investors.
  14. Public relations can be maintained using the internet and the World Wide Web.
  15. Employees and other collaborations can use intranet communication.
  16. You can use the WWW as an extranet for the integration of Supply Chain and outsourcing.
  17. Payment transactions can be facilitated.
  18. Sales can be managed and followed up.
  19. Online sellers can facilitate sales.
  20. There is unlimited access to information from different sources.
  21. The sources providing the information is continuously updated.
  22. Whoa! Too much of benefits, right? Trust us; these were just the tip of an iceberg.

What are the disadvantages of the World Wide Web?

Does the Web have disadvantages too? Well, yes! There could be many disadvantages of the Web, but, we are listing down a few here:

  1. In some cases, you or someone else can post your public information on the World Wide Web including the name, image, address, age, and other personal details.
  2. The Web is inclusive of all types of content and this could include some inappropriate content as well, as a user, you need to be cautious of such contents.
  3. The more information is shared or used the online, the higher are the risks of data theft and identity theft.
  4. There are instances of cyberbullying which is one of the disadvantages of using the Web.
  5. Device hacking is another prominent disadvantage people face with the WWW.
  6. There is a threat for online virus integration while exchanging information or data which is a threat to the data in the infected device.
  7. There is a use of cookies to collect customer information; which can invite many spams which is not useful for the person.
  8. There is always a chance of spreading fake news.
  9. There is a risk of splinternet which can be referred as the breaking of the web into smaller and regional pieces.

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