1994 -2009 - 15 Years on the Web at U.Va!
On April 14, 1994, the first U.Va. Home Page was launched by ITC. The page was text-based, with links to early Web servers for the library, health sciences, the Curry School, and IATH. Since then, the University of Virginia Web site has become not only one of the most popular college sites in the United States (according to Jupiter Media Metrix), but also a worldwide presence. In April 2008, the U.Va. Web site had been viewed in 86 languages, 193 countries, every time zone, and six of the seven continents. Out of the 3,041,505 unique visitors to the Home Page over the past two weeks, only 1,241,384 (49.91%) were from the virginia.edu domain.
According to Ranking.com, the U.Va. site is in the 99.8th percentile worldwide for number of hits (3.362 out of 1.4 million tracked) on the Web and sixth among all colleges and universities, based on unique visitors. In addition to a variety and quantity of visitors attracted to the U.Va. Web site, its viewers on average spend more time on the site, 2 minute and 01 seconds compared to the worldwide average of 48 seconds (according to Nielsen in April 2008 ).
The University's original gopher server, named "minerva" (for the goddess of wisdom) was installed in 1991. The University's first published Web site was the University Library site, posted by John Price Wilkin in 1993.
On April 14, 1994, the first U.Va. Home Page was launched by ITC. The page was text-based, with links to early Web servers for the library, health sciences, the Curry School, and IATH. There were 71 requests logged to the page on April 14. The library assumed responsibility shortly afterwards.
There were 78,858 visits to the U.Va. Home Page from April to December 1994. More information.
In May 1994, ITC created the name "www.virginia.edu," replacing the name "gwis.virginia.edu."
The first graphic Home Page was posted in April 1995. The new icons pointed to the major areas of the University now represented on the Web. A text-only version was also produced for users with slow modems and low bandwidth to view pages without images.The committee that designed the new Home Page included John Unsworth, Nancy A. Tramontin, and Josie Pipkin. Melinda Baumann and Edward Gaynor of the University Library maintained it and performed Webmaster duties until 1996.
There were 942,071 visits to the U.Va. Home Page in 1995. Worldwide, there were 16 million Internet users, or 0.28% of the worldwide population. More information.
In 1996 the site was modified to accommodate new browsers that could now support white backgrounds. An additional section, Student Life, was added to link to the numerous Web-based services becoming available for students.
Also in 1996, the Publications Office, part of University Relations, assumed maintenance of the U.Va. Home Page and Webmaster duties from the University Library.
There were 2.6 million visits to the U.Va. Home Page in 1996. Worldwide, there were 36 million Internet users, or 0.62% of the worldwide population.
The Home Page remained basically the same from 1996 until 1998 when a new design was introduced. A panoramic photo of the Lawn provided a new and dramatic visual statement on the top of the page. The square picture icons were replaced with eleven new navigation buttons on the right. Four audience pages (Prospective Students, Current Students, Faculty and Staff, and Alumni) were added. The U.Va. red bar appeared for the first time. The "Libraries and Computing" button was separated into two. "All About the University" became the "Welcome Center." The Home Page won a CASE Grand Award.
There were 9.4 million visits to the U.Va. Home Page in 1998. Worldwide, there were 147 million Internet users, or 2.48% of the Worldwide population.
In 1999 a modified design was introduced, with tabs used for the four audience pages. New "Q and A" links were added to the bottom featured links. A people search and U.Va. search (using U.Va.'s Harvest search engine) was removed from the navigation bar and put onto the page itself. A drop down "Quick Links" menu allowed easy access to schools and other unit Web sites. The background colors were eliminated. The Web site won a CASE award in 1999.
There were 12.5 million visits to the U.Va. Home Page in 1999. Worldwide, there were 195 million Internet users, or 3.25% of the worldwide population.
In 2001, the dominant images on the Home Page were sharpened and the University's new type logo was added. The University's Harvest search was replaced with a Google search. The page-width adopted a new, wider standard, 722 pixels. The Web site won a CASE award in 2001.
There were 16.3 million visits to the U.Va. Home Page in 2001. Worldwide, there were 513 million Internet users, or 8.24% of the worldwide population.
The 2001 design was in place until Fall 2002, when three new audience pages (Parents, Graduate Students, and International Students) were added. The search function was moved to the top and a "Search the Web" feature was added to the people search and U.Va. search. The Web site won CASE awards in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
In March 2002, MediaMetrix named virginia.edu the ninth most visited education internet site worldwide, after Berkeley, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. More information.
There were 17.9 million visits to the U.Va. Home Page in 2002. Worldwide, there were 592 million Internet users, or 9.5% of the worldwide population.
The 2004 Home Page design presented a familiar view of Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda from the Lawn. Photographs with scenics from around the Grounds rotated on the bottom left. Users could now customize the Home Page by selecting which links they want to appear in the quick links section. Users also were able to set their default search preference to People, the U.Va. Web, the Web, or the Library catalogs. Other features: a new Spanish-language welcome; weather and current temperatures from NOAA on the Home Page and updated every 20 seconds; and expanded page width -- 760 pixels, up from 700 pixels on the old home page. The new page overall file size was smaller than the old page(103 KB vs. 111 KB).
There were 19.5 million visitors to the U.Va. Home Page in 2003. Worldwide, there were 604 million Internet users, or 10.3% of the worldwide population.
The home page, in its sixth redesign, was streamlined to offer more information and links to key sites. The design included fly-out navigation on the home page, U.Va. News feeds, a more advanced database-driven site index, and expanded use of RSS. The site also incorporated a wider page dimension. Links on the top blue bar on second-level pages included Webmail and the University's Emergency/Critical Incident page. The site offered a page for school kids with games, history, and programs for kids at U.Va.
There were 33.6 million visitors to the U.Va. Home Page in 2006. Worldwide, there were 1.1 million Internet users, or 16.6% of the worldwide population.
There were 34.2 million visitors to the U.Va. Home Page in 2007. Worldwide, there were 1.4 billion Internet users, or 21.1% of the worldwide population.
The University's Home Page has some new features: a new expandable panel for What's Happening Today. This includes the Operating Schedule; News You Need to Know; live Twitter feeds, and feeds from the UVA Blog. The enhancements also include new navigation buttons for Arts and Athletics. The featured events are now all displayed and the user needs to click through the numbers. Youtube videos are part of these new features. The enhancements also include more customization features.