List of websites founded before 1995

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The following is a partial list of websites founded before 1995. Of the thousands of websites founded prior to 1995, those appearing here are noteworthy for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They have existed continuously through the present (albeit in some cases with different names)
  • They made formative contributions to the history of the world wide web
  • They helped shape certain modern Web content, such as webcomics and weblogs

1991[edit]

CERN
The link is a snapshot of the CERN site, the first website, as of November 1992. The Web was publicly announced (via a posting to the Usenet newsgroup alt.hypertext) on August 6, 1991.
World Wide Web Virtual Library
Originally Tim Berners-Lee's web catalog at CERN.
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Paul Kunz from SLAC visited Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in September 1991. He was impressed by the WWW project and brought a copy of the software back to Stanford. SLAC launched the first web server in North America on December 12, 1991.[1]
ACME Laboratories
A free software site, created by Jeffrey Poskanzer, who created the compact web server thttpd. It is still active today.

1992[edit]

National Center for Supercomputing Applications
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications site was an early home to the NCSA Mosaic web browser, as well as documentation on the web and a "What's New?" list which many people used as an early web directory.
Fermilab
Second web server in North America, following in the trend of high-energy physics laboratories.
SunSITE
Early, comprehensive archiving project. Project as a whole started in 1992 and was quick to move to the web.
Ohio State University Department of Computer and Information Science
Early development of gateway programs, and mass conversion of existing documents, including RFCs, TeXinfo, UNIX man pages, and the Usenet FAQs.

1993[edit]

By the end of 1993, there were 623 websites, according to a study by MIT Researcher Matthew Gray.[2]
World Wide Web Worm 
The World-Wide Web Worm (WWWW) was the first search engine for the World-Wide Web, being developed in September 1993 by Oliver McBryan at the University of Colorado.
Doctor Fun
One of the first webcomics, noted by the NCSA as "a major breakthrough for the Web".
The LANL preprint archive
Web access to thousands of papers in physics, mathematics, computer science, and biology; developed out of earlier gopher, ftp, and e-mail archives at Los Alamos. Now housed at lanl.arxiv.org
Global Network Navigator
Example of an early web directory created by O'Reilly Media and one of the Web's first commercial sites; it was hosted at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN).[3]
Heaven's Gate
A spin off of Heaven's Gate BBS, a pet memorial website.
The Internet Movie Database
Founded in 1989 by participants in the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.movies, the IMDB was rolled out on the web in late 1993, hosted by the computer science department of Cardiff University in Wales.
Internet Underground Music Archive
Created by students at the University of California, Santa Cruz to help promote unsigned musical artists. Music was shared using the MP2 format, presaging the later extreme popularity of MP3 sharing and Online music stores.
SITO
After a start as an anonymous ftp-based art gallery and collaborative collective, the OTIS project (later SITO) moves to the web thanks to SunSITE's hosting.
The Tech
The MIT campus newspaper, The Tech, claims to be the first newspaper to deliver content over the Web, beginning in May 1993.[4]
MTV
The music television network's domain was registered in 1993 by VJ Adam Curry, who personally ran a small unofficial site.
PARC Map Server
Arguably the earliest precursor of MapQuest and Google Maps. PARC Researcher Steve Putz tied an existing map viewing program to the web. Now defunct.[5]
Principia Cybernetica
Probably the first complex, collaborative knowledge system, sporting a hierarchical structure, index, map, annotations, search, plenty of hyperlinks, etc. Designed by Francis Heylighen, Cliff Joslyn and Valentin Turchin to develop a cybernetic philosophy.
ExPASy
The first life sciences web site. Still active
Trojan room coffee pot
The first webcam.
Trincoll Journal
a multimedia magazine published by students at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut.

1994[edit]

By mid-1994 there were 2738 websites, according to Gray's statistics; by the end of the year, more than 10,000.
Art.Net
"Art on the Net", created by Lile Elam in June 1994 to showcase the artwork of San Francisco Bay Area artists as well as other international artists. It offered free linkage and hosts extensive links to other artists' sites.
Art Crimes
The first graffiti art site began to archive photos from around the world, creating an important academic resource as well as a thriving online community.
The Amazing FishCam 
A webcam pointed at a fishtank located at Netscape headquarters. According to a contemporaneous article by The Economist, "In its audacious uselessness—and that of thousands of ego trips like it—lie the seeds of the Internet revolution."
Bianca's Smut Shack
An early web-based chatroom and online community known for raucous free speech and deviant behavior.
Birmingham City Council
Early local government site, initially hosted by the University of Birmingham at http://assist.cs.bham.ac.uk:8080/, latterly at http://www.birmingham.gov.uk[6]
Chabad.org
The first Ask the rabbi site. Launched by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Kazen as an outgrowth of earlier discussion groups on FidoNet dating back to 1988.[7]
Cybersell
The first commercial advertising service focused on using spam comes online as sell.com, set up by Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, notorious for spamming Usenet newsgroups earlier that year.
Darwin Awards
Honoring those who improve the species ... by accidentally removing themselves from it.
The Economist
The Economist, "went live in early 1994" with a website "structured as a portal with various search tools of the day (e.g., Archie, Veronica, Jughead, WAIS and Gopher)"; it cost $120, paid for by one of the magazine's correspondents, and by the end of the year "America Online voted it one of the world’s top-ten news sites, nosing out Time-Warner’s celebrated Pathfinder site—which reputedly cost $120 million to build."[8]
Einet Galaxy
Claims to be the first searchable web catalog; originally created at the Einet division of the MCC Research Consortium at the University of Texas, Austin. It passed through several commercial owners and is now run by Logika Corporation.
Enterzone
First purely web-based (no gopher!) literary webzine, first "episode" at http://ezone.org/ez/e1/enterzone.html (originally published at enterzone.berkeley.edu).
EPage Classifieds
First Web classified ad site (was originally at ep.com).
First Virtual
First "cyber-bank".
FogCam!
World's oldest still operating webcam. Located at San Francisco State University.
HotWired
Website of Wired magazine with its own unique and innovative online content. Home of the first banner ads, for Zima and AT&T.[9][10]
Justin Hall's Links from the Underground
One of the earliest examples of personal weblogging.
Lawinfo
Early legal website, provides public access to pre-qualified, pre-screened attorneys, and to free legal resources.[11]
Lycos
Early search engine, originally a university research project by Dr. Michael Mauldin.

Megadeth, Arizona. The first website for a band.

Museum of Bad Art
Website of a museum "dedicated to the tongue-in-cheek display of poorly conceived or executed examples of Outsider Art in the form of paintings or sculpture."
The Nine Planets
"A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System", created by Bill Arnett. One of the first extensively multimedia sites.
Nando.net
One of the first newspaper sites, the online presence of the Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer.
Netrek
One of the first site dedicated to Internet multi-user video game programming, maintained at obsidian.math.arizona.edu. Defunct."The Internet and the Aspiring Game Programmer.". 
Pathfinder.com
One of the first Internet portals, created by Time Warner.[8]
Pizza Hut
The pizza delivery restaurant allows people in Santa Cruz, California to order pizza over the Web.[12]
Powells.com
The website of Powell's Books,[13] which was originally at http://www.powells.portland.or.us/[14] and started with two employees; the company's first online order was placed by an Apple employee.[15] It pre-dated Amazon.com, which started as an online bookstore.
Rant.com
A not-for-profit site, and the first news website (and print magazine) to offer serious news analysis while satirizing only real news stories. Although now in operation for almost twenty years, Rant has never allowed ads, citing spam as the "corruption of the original spirit of the Internet." The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York showcased Rant.com for exhibit in 1996. Amongst controversy, they successfully trademarked the lone word, 'RANT' in 1995.
Senator Edward Kennedy
The first website for a member of the U.S. Congress was officially announced on June 2, 1994. The site remained active throughout the remainder of the Senator's service until his death in 2009.
Sex.com
Subject of a twelve-year legal battle that established parameters of domain ownership.
Sighting.com
SIGHTINGS began in 1994 as the website home for Jeff Rense's award winning UFO & Paranormal radio program of the same name.

Steelforge.com Open die forge facility launched December 12, 1994.

Transdat.com
The first site using the internet for a sales medium on a global scale for heavy machinery.
The Simpsons Archive
The very first fan site for The Simpsons television show.
SpinnWebe
Early humor site, called "a window on the weird" by The New Yorker.[citation needed]
VeloNews
One of the first sports news sites, initially providing Tour de France news.[16][17]
The WWW Useless Pages
Perhaps the first site which showcased bad or eccentric websites rather than 'cool' ones.
The Wendy Isdell Website
A personal page for the American author, Wendy Diane Isdell.
Whitehouse.gov
The official website of the White House.
World-Wide Web Worm
Another early web crawler, opened in October 1994.
Yahoo!
Originally started as "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web"; later Yahoo without the exclamation mark.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stanford Linear Accelerator Center - First North American Web Site". LivingInternet.com. 1991-12-12. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  2. ^ "Web Growth Summary". MIT.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  3. ^ Dale Dougherty (October 1994). "GNN One Year Update". Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Tech - Our Staff". Tech.mit.edu. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  5. ^ "Dataglyphs". PARC.Xerox.com. 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  6. ^ "About our website - Birmingham City Council". GB-BIR: Birmingham.gov.uk. 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  7. ^ "‘ask a Rabbi’ — on the Web: Online Rabbis Offer Answers". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. September 11, 2006. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b N.V.(Los Angeles) (July 9, 2012). "Difference Engine: Lost in cyberspace". Babbage (blog) (The Economist). Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  9. ^ "Hobbes' Internet Timeline - the definitive ARPAnet & Internet history". Zakon.org. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  10. ^ "First banner ad ever in the world. AT&T Hotwired". Thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com. 1994-10-25. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  11. ^ "About". LawInfo. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  12. ^ "PizzaNet - the killer app". Interesting-people.org. 1994-08-22. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  13. ^ http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/print_story.php?story_id=23515
  14. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 1998-12-05. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  15. ^ "The History of Powells.com - Powell's Books". Powells.com. 2006-11-17. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  16. ^ "Magazine excerpt". 
  17. ^ "NCSA What's New".