Happy Birthday, World Wide Web! 25 Websites We Couldn’t Live Without

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“Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

‘Vague, but exciting…’ were the words used to describe the paper, “Information Management”: A Proposal.” sent to Mike Sendall by his then employee, Tim Berners-Lee. Those words may well go down as the understatement of the century, since it was from this proposal, Lee developed the World Wide Web as a means of publishing in Hypertext that could be viewed on computers worldwide. Lee went on to develop the first web browser and then the World Wide Web took off. The rest is history. Lee’s blueprint changed the world and how we stay connected and informed. You’d probably not be reading this article if it wasn’t for Lee! The World Wide Web celebrates it’s 25th birthday, so I’ve compiled a list of 25 of the most useful websites.

  1. YouTube

As the ultimate video-sharing platform, users can upload and share home videos. The platform has made celebrities of it’s most prolific users. The site was purchased by Google in 2006.

  1. Google

The go-to search engine. The verb ‘Google’ was  added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. Offering services such as search engine, email, word processors, spreadsheets and social networking, to name a few, we’d quite frankly be lost without it.

  1. Wikipedia

‘The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit’ is the slogan of Jimmy Wales’ online encyclopedia. The collaborative, free online encyclopedia is the place to go for in-depth analysis on whatever your topic of interest is. Great for referencing, you can search through archives of information from the comfort of your home.

  1. eBay

The most popular online auction site, eBay allows small businesses, individual sellers and large corporations to sell their goods online. Still as popular today as it was when launched in 1995, the site is a treasure trove for eager bidders.

  1. Amazon

Amazon holds the title of the world’s largest online retailer. From humble beginnings as a bookseller, Amazon has expanded to selling just about everything, making it a force to be reckoned with. The company also produces the successful Kindle eBook reader line of electronics.

  1. BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a public service broadcaster, funded by taxpayers. the corporation has the largest news outlet in the world and is praised for its dedication to providing an impartial view on world events.

  1. Facebook

Love or hate it, Facebook is the leader in Social Networking. Once setting up a profile, the site allows it’s users to stay in touch with friends and family, share content and reunite with old friends and is a very useful tool for doing so.

  1. Twitter

This social networking site has taken off in recent years. Users communicate by posting 140-character short messages called ‘tweets’. The platform is similar to SMS on mobile phones and allows for a more personal and direct form of contact between users.

  1. Linkedin

It is essential that any business professional joins this website. Linkedin allows employers to post their vacancies, while jobseekers can post a profile and network with employers. Users can ‘endorse’ you for certain skills and with 259 million members (and counting), this is where you’ll be finding your future jobs.

  1. WordPress

A blogger’s best friend. There are plenty of blogging sites out there, but WordPress is the most accessible and user-friendly. Functioning as both a blogging tool and content management system, WordPress does it all. For free.

  1. Pinterest

Pinterest allows it’s users to share visuals and ‘pin’ them on a virtual pinboard. As a result, the site is quite addictive. Whatever you type in the search bar will bring up photographs bound to fill you with inspiration. Great for visual promotion

  1. Paypal

Paypal is a useful way of transferring funds or paying for goods online. The site is regulated heavily and saves paper used by traditional methods of payment by managing payments received and sent online.

  1. TripAdvisor

Booking a holiday? Want to know if that new restaurant is any good? Simply type it in the search bar and you can read reviews and check out user-uploaded photographs.

  1. DropBox

Dropbox is an online cloud storage website that allows users to upload files and them access them on any computer, phone or tablet. It’s an easy to use solution to sharing large files.

  1. TFL

A must-visit when travelling around London, you can check for delays (inevitable in the capital), plan your journey and get live transport updates.

  1. MoneySavingExpert

In times when everyone is tightening their belts, making your pound go further is even more important. Set up by financial journalist, Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert is the bible of advice for consumers, helping you get the best deal and campaigning for financial justice. One for your bookmarks.

  1. Bit.ly

This site functions only to shorten long URL links. Useful for all business, and especially on Twitter, where there is a 140-character limit.

  1. NHS

The NHS is a wonderful institution, and thus needs a website to illustrate this. The site allows you to search for your nearest NHS centre for whatever service you need and contains useful information on health and wellbeing.

  1. Gumtree

A classified website where you can search for just about anything in your local area. Chances are, if you’re looking for something, someone will have it on here.

  1. Kickstarter

In times when money is scarce, Kickstarter has provided the solution. The crowdfunding platforms allows users to donate to a project, bypassing traditional investment means. The platform is proving successful, with recent successes including the Veronica Mars movie.

  1. coursera

Take courses from leading world universities online, for free. There’s no catch, users can watch short video lectures, take interactive quizzes, complete peer graded assessments, and connect with classmates and teachers.

  1. w3Schools

Specifically for web developers and those interested in learning, w3Schools provides excellent tutorials on topics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and JQuery. on top of that, the site is designed so people can practise the new codes that they have learnt. an absolute gem of a site.

  1. Lifehacker

‘Life hack’ is a term for finding those little things that make everyday life easier. Who wouldn’t want that? The site contains tips on just about everything, including unusual DIY tips that provide solutions to everyday annoyances.

  1. IMDb

The Internet Movie Database is the ultimate database of films, television programs and video games. Need all the facts on Clint Eastwood’s career? It’s here. Want to know when the next Martin Scorsese film is out? It’s here. Or do you just want to improve on your pub quiz score? Probably here, as well.

  1. Etsy

For shoppers who like to own unique items not on the high street. Etsy allows merchants to set up shop and sell their items directly to the customer. The large range of beautiful handmade items means that there’s something for everyone.

 

 

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