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In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee developed the four building blocks of the World Wide Web: HTML, the Web protocol HTTP, a browser called WorldWideWeb, and the world's first web server, later known as CERN httpd, which ran on NeXTSTEP (the Next computer was an easy-to-program, Unix-based black cube that was the brainchild of Steve Jobs).

On Dec. 12, 1991, the first Web server outside Europe went online at SLAC in Stanford, California.

But it wasn't until October 1993, when Andreessen's team released Mosaic for Windows, that the number of Web servers jumped markedly as the Web was taking off.

In 1995, the most popular server software on the Web was the public domain HTTP daemon developed by Rob McCool at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In April 1995, the first official public release (0.6.2) of the Apache server was made.

Web Counters

Web counters started out in 1995-1996. The first web counters were perl scripts or C programs that were included in web pages using "server-side includes" in .shtml files.

In 1996, a site opened up called the Web-Counter, but offering free web counters required a lot of bandwidth and was not very profitable. Very often, new services popped up and quickly disappeared.

With the likes of Extreme Tracking, new services started adding trackers, a compilation of traffic statistics over time as well as visitor information, rather than simply showing the cumulative hit count of a page on an image.

The next development was to drop the image and just use pure javascript. This was the idea behind Urchin (now Google Analytics).