The World Wide Web is an Internet-based information system that extensively links documents and pages via hypertext. The links that make up the Web allow users to search for information on a vast variety of subjects and navigate with ease between Web pages (also called hypertext documents). These Web pages are stored on computers throughout the world and are connected by the Internet. Software applications called "browsers" allow one to access the Web.
Essential to the Web's ability to function, Hypertext Tranfer Protocol (HTTP) enables the transfer of Web pages to computers. Some pages instead use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which encrypts data before transferring. Web pages are located at addresses denoted by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the primary code used for writing Web pages.
The World Wide Web was proposed in 1989 and invented in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a software engineer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). People outside CERN began using the Web in 1991, and the first intuitive browser was released two years later. In the decades since, the Web has exploded in volume and usage, becoming one of the most useful communications systems and resources in human history. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)