Top 10 Oldest Websites in the World that Are Still Running

The internet has come a long way since its early days in the 1980s and 1990s. What started as a small network used by researchers and academics has grown into a global, highly interactive platform with billions of users. While many of the original websites from this era are no longer around, a few pioneers have survived and are still running today. Let’s walk down memory lane and explore the top 10 oldest websites in the world that are still active on the internet.

Top 10 Oldest Websites in the World that Are Still Running

#10 – Toad Hall

Toad Hall (toad.com) dates back to August 18, 1987, making it one of the earliest websites on the internet. The original purpose is unknown, but today it functions as a portal containing various links related to internet activist and cyberlaw expert John Gilmore. Gilmore is a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, so the site focuses on educating visitors about digital rights and privacy. The minimalist design echoes the crude early web designs of the late 1980s.

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#9 – Texas Internet Consulting

Texas Internet Consulting (tic.com) has been online since April 23, 1987. Run by Smoot Carl-Mitchell as a one-man operation, the site provides consulting services focused on networking, systems architecture, and open-source development. Despite last being updated in 2004, it retains its retro layout. Visitors can learn about Smoot’s background and work history through biographies and project links.

#8 – Caine, Farber & Gordon

Caine, Farber & Gordon (cfg.com) launched in November 1987. The company, founded in 1970, specializes in software and systems. It’s best known for developing the PDL/81 programming language processor. With brightly colored text on a black background, the site maintains its vintage late 1980s aesthetic. Prominently featured is the “Y2K Statement,” amusingly assuring visitors the PDL/81 is compliant for the year 2000 bug panic.

#7 – Vortex Technology

Vortex Technology (vortex.com) holds the domain name since October 27, 1986, making it one of the earliest websites online. Created by internet privacy advocate Lauren Weinstein, it focuses on educating the public about digital rights and empowering internet users. The minimalist late 1980s design links to Weinstein’s blogs, podcasts, and advocacy organizations like People for Internet Responsibility which she helped found.

#6 – ACME Laboratories

ACME Laboratories (acme.com) launched in April 1991 with its signature humor and lack of purpose still intact today. On the retro purple homepage, visitors can download strange programs, peruse recipes and Q&As “for everything under the sun,” and get cryptic life advice from the owner. Paying homage to the Looney Tunes franchise, ACME states its sole affiliation to Warner Brothers is a shared enthusiasm for Wile E. Coyote.

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#5 – milk.com

Milk.com has been pouring content online since July 18, 1994. Registered on a whim, its quirky blog-style posts cover everything from music to true stories to a “wall o’ shame.” The purple homepage humorously boasts the owner snatched the “milk” domain before Big Dairy, and he’ll only part with it for an absurd $10 million. Offering no practical use, milk.com is a nostalgic throwback to the internet’s more carefree early period.

#4 – CFG.com

Caine, Farber & Gordon’s website (cfg.com) launched on November 2, 1987. The software and systems company, established in 1970, is best known for its PDL/81 programming language. Displayed proudly on the retro homepage is the Y2K compliance statement, taking visitors back to tech industry fears around the new millennium. Basic HTML gives cfg.com authentic late 1980s web design charm that still functions perfectly today.

#3 – tic.com

Texas Internet Consulting (tic.com) has been online since April 23, 1987. A one-man operation by Smoot Carl-Mitchel, the site provides consulting for networking, open-source development, and more. Last updated in 2004, it maintains a pleasingly retro look. Visitors can learn about Smoot’s background, publications, and past projects through cleanly presented bios and links. As one of the earliest registered domains, tic.com is an internet pioneer.

#2 – itcorp.com

Interrupt Technology Corporation (itcorp.com) lays claim to the longest-running website, active since September 18, 1986. Displaying a self-aware sense of humor, the blunt message explains that “this page exists to satisfy those who expect domains to have websites.” Candid but efficient, it exemplifies the unfussy web designs of the medium’s nascent days that valued function over form. Itcorp.com remains laugh-out-loud funny in its simplicity.

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#1 – info.cern.ch

Though launched on August 6, 1991, Info.cern.ch is considered the first website due to its subject matter. It announced the World Wide Web project founded at CERN by internet pioneers like Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau. After periods of dormancy, CERN restored the historic page to reflect its importance as the seed from which the web sprouted. Featuring scant HTML links detailing the WWW’s origins, info.cern.ch takes visitors back to where the revolutionary platform began.

FAQs:

What was the first website ever created?

The first website was info.cern.ch, created by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN on August 6, 1991, announcing the World Wide Web project.

When was the oldest .com domain name registered?

The oldest registered .com domain is symbolics.com, registered in March 15, 1985, by the Symbolics Computer Corporation.

Which website has been running the longest?

Interrupt Technology Corporation’s website at itcorp.com, established on September 18, 1986, is the longest continuously running website.

What purpose did early websites serve?

The initial purpose of most early websites in the 1980s-1990s was to provide information about companies, organizations, individuals, and their work through rudimentary HTML pages.

Why have some websites survived for so long?

A few pioneering websites endured due to their founders’ commitment to preserving a piece of internet history, educating the public, or simply keeping a minimal online presence due to early domain grabs.

Conclusion

Venturing into the past through these impressively enduring websites, visitors can feel a sense of awe at how far the internet has evolved from its beginnings. Like archaeological artifacts, the top 10 oldest sites still running after 30+ years give a rare glimpse at the crude early designs that laid the foundation for the multimedia-rich global network of today. Their continued online presence ensures those innovative scientists and engineers who brought the World Wide Web to life will never be forgotten.

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