The first website of the Internet went live on August 6, 1991. It was about the World Wide Web project itself.
By 1997, the year the millionth dot com name was registered, some influential members of the tech industry were slow to realize that the World Wide Web might be a Pretty Big Deal.
Even Bill Gates, the founder and chairman of Microsoft Corp. and widely regarded as the crown prince of the World Wide Web, was taken unawares by the internet’s grassroots acceptance. In his book, The Road Ahead, Mr. Gates admitted that he believed the technology for ‘killer applications’ was inadequate to lure consumers to the Internet.”
And Bill Gates wasn’t the only one doubting the staying power of the internet.
Computer Associates founder and then CEO, Charles Wang, had a particularly hard time reading his tea leaves, for instance. “There were only a few hundred million dollars done in transactions in the internet last year. If it is taking over, that is a pretty small number,” he said. “Put newspapers and magazines out of business? It will never happen,” he says, adding “People say the internet will replace stores. It will never happen.”
Moving forward 22 years or so, bricks and mortar stores are having to ramp up their Ecommerce presence in order to stay in business. Daily newspapers are being forced to totally revamp their revenue streams with paywalls replacing the old subscriber model.
We now find ourselves living in an internet world with over 1.5 billion websites. And that number is continuing to grow. Some 547,200 new websites are being added each and every day. That’s an increase of 380 new websites every minute!
The number of global internet users has also grown exponentially over the past 22 years so that today, 51% (or 3.58 billion) of the world’s population is connected to the web.
Google, the number one visited website on the planet, indexes about 4.45 billion separate webpages, of which some 51% are in English. The next most used language on the web is Russian, with 6.7% of the total.
There are currently 332.4 million registered domain names, with .com and .net being the domains of choice.
The only thing that’s clear about the future of the internet is that it will continue to grow.