History of Web Hosting

The internet has been the greatest media evolution since radio and television, and today is powered by nearly 50 million websites. The idea of the internet came almost three decades before web hosting services came into being in 1991. It started with the idea of networking.

In 1962 J.C.R. Licklider at MIT wrote a series of articles where he visualized a Galactic Network concept based on the idea of a series of globally interconnected computers where information and resources could be accessed from any site. While heading ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Computer Sciences program at MIT, he convinced his successors about the importance of computer networking.

In 1965, Lawrence G. Roberts and Thomas Merril started the first, but very slow computer. Paul Baran's design of packet switching method was the only way to make it faster.

In 1966 Roberts unveiled his plans for ARPANET, the first wide-area network ever developed.

In 1969, they successfully linked computers at UCLA, The Stanford Research Institute, The University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. Each computer was a host making them all able to interact with one another. Over the next 2 years, they would add 19 more hosts and 13 nodes to their little network.

In 1971 Roy Tomlinson wrote the first basic e-mail program, and it was quickly advanced by Lawrence G. Roberts. With this, researchers could finally send and receive messages over their network. Soon the @ symbol for e-mail addresses was adapted.

The `70s also saw the birth of TELENET, the first commercial version of an internet provider, and other networks.

Also, TCP was officially split into TCP/IP (Transmissions Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) in an attempt to unify all of the budding networks that were coming up in North America and around the globe. TCP is the host to host connection used by computers and IP passes the separate packets of information between computers.

In the `80s there was rapid growth and development and the TCP/IP format was first used to tie the ARPANET system to several other networks. The format allowed the networks to access each other while operating individually. It was then that the term "Internet" officially came into being, meaning a series of networks linked together by the TCP/IP format.

In 1984 the Domain Name System, or DNS, was introduced, a term for computers to be able to distinguish themselves from one another. Six domains were introduced: edu (Education), gov (Government), mil (Military), com (Commercial), net (Network Resources), and org (Organization). On March 15, 1985, Symbolics.com became the first registered domain name.

Welcome to the World Wide Web

In 1991 the National Science Foundation (NSF) decided to lift commercial restrictions on the web. With the birth of electronic commerce many companies believed that there might be a future in website hosting services.

The same year, CERN unleashed the World Wide Web (www) onto the world, which incorporated Tim Berner-Lee's new HTML computer Language. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and uses specifications for Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). It became the universal standard for locating website addresses.

Website hosting, with advancement of technology has become inexpensive and much less complicated than when it began. It started with big companies renting out extra space on their servers and has now become big business in itself. There are multitudes of companies that offer web hosting.

Technology is advancing at a fast pace, evolving computers and the internet. With every new development there are changes to the way the business of website hosting is packaged to the customers.

Written 2007-12-12 (Updated 2016-10-10)
Share your thoughts

Antoine,  15 December, 2010


Great article, very helpful. A question:
Is it possible that a patent claiming the invention of the rental of sites on the internet was registered in the year 2000?

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