What Is Web1?

Web1 generally refers to the first phase of internet evolution. It was the internet as we first came to know it, and what spawned the dot-com boom. Unlike today’s web, which is highly interactive, Web1 was fairly passive and all about reading and consuming information. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the ‘read-only’ web. 

This first iteration of the web was developed by British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee and lasted approximately from 1989 to 2004. As a very rudimentary form of the internet, Web1 — or the World Wide Web (WWW) as it was known then — was essentially a directory of static information hyperlinked together. Information and products on Web1 were simply presented (much like in a catalogue or brochure), with no opportunity for users to interact (like/share/comment) or contribute. Only a small number of people created content, with the majority of participants as passive consumers.

Characteristics of Web1

  • Decentralised
  • Purely informational websites
  • Facilitates one-way communication from the network to users
  • Static content
  • Largely composed of web pages joined by hyperlinks
  • Pages built using Server Side Includes (SSI) or Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
  • Examples of Web1:
    • AOL
    • Yahoo!
    • Craigslist
    • Ask Jeeves
    • Netscape
    • WebMD

Key Takeaway

Web1 is the ‘read-only’ web, which is a one-way communication channel that contains only static images and text.

Related Words