In this article I’m going to address two related questions I’ve gotten: “what is a definition of the world wide web” and “who started the phrase world wide web”.
First off, let me give you a definition of the World Wide Web — which these days is usually just called The Web.
The Web is made up of millions and millions of pages of information that are linked together across the globe.
When you look at a web page, which you’re probably doing right now (unless you’re reading this in my free email newsletter and not on my archive of my computer articles, or on one of the free article sites I’ve submitted the article to) you’ll find that the page has “links” that you click on to take you to different pages.
If you could see a picture of all of the web pages on the Internet, you could imagine that it might look like a spider web, with many strands connecting one point to another.
This is just how a guy named Tim Berners-Lee imagined it when he came up with the phrase World Wide Web. The links are the strands, and the web pages are the points where the strands come together.
Tim Berners-Lee, with help from a man named Robert Cailliau, created the Web based on something called “hypertext”.
Hypertext was an idea where you could have “hyperlinks” (which we now just call “links”) that would allow you to read information and easily move between related topics.
So if you were reading about, for example, the first printing press, the Gutenberg Bible would probably be mentioned because it’s one of the best-known books to be printed on the first printing presses.
With hypertext, when you saw the words Gutenberg Bible, they would be a link to an article that would go into more detail about that book.
Berners-Lee wanted to bring this idea to the Internet, allowing people to “browse” around, using these links to move from one place to another.
Before this, you had to go to a specific address, then go to another specific address, and not browse the way we are used to today.
And as you’ve probably guessed by now, Berners-Lee was the person who started the phrase World Wide Web in the first place.
So another way to explain what is a definition of the World Wide Web is a way of looking at the Internet as a series of “pages” of information — words, pictures, sounds, or video — that link from one to another to another, forming a giant “web” of information that covers and connects the world.
One more point, to clarify a common misunderstanding. The Web is *part* of the Internet, just like email is *part* of the Internet — a lot of people think the Internet is exactly the same thing as the Web, and that email is somehow completely separate from the Internet. This is not the case.