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The 15 Most Influential Websites of All Time

• time.com by Alex Fitzpatrick

On that date, nearly three decades ago, British engineer and scientist Tim Berners-Lee launched the world's first website, running on a NeXT computer at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland.

The website wasn't much at the time, just a few sentences organized into topic areas that laid out the arguments for the concept. But it established vital first principles still essential to the web as it exists today: the notion of hyperlinks that reimagined documents (and eventually any form of media) as nonlinear texts, and the ability for anyone, anywhere in the world, to peruse that content by way of a browser: a piece of software that cohered to universal formatting standards.

It's been a wild ride since. In the mid-1990s VRML (or as it was then known, Virtual Reality Markup Language) seemed on the verge of transforming the web.

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