What Was the First Wikipedia Article Ever?

It is unclear what was the first-ever Wikipedia article. Most of the earliest entries were deleted with no trace left.

However, from the data that we can retrieve today, Wikipedia’s HomePage is the “current earliest surviving edit to the English Wikipedia.”

A Wikipedia page called Wikipedia’s Oldest Articles says that when it switched from its Phase I software to Phase II, it inadvertently lost all of its early histories.

But in 2010, the Wikimedia Foundation discovered this missing data stored on a single server, including the oldest surviving editing of the mentioned 2001 article.

What Is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a collaborative universal and multilingual encyclopedia, created by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001. It is managed on wikipedia.org website. Whatever their language, all versions use the same publishing software, MediaWiki.

All of the versions also have the same appearance, but they contain variations in the structure, the content, and the editing and management methods.

Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization, custodian of the Wikipedia brand, funds the servers for Wikipedia. This encyclopedia is open access in reading as in writing, which means that anyone can, by accessing the site, modify almost all of the articles that you can find there.

When Was Wikipedia Created?

Wikipedia was first created as a complementary project to Nupedia. It is the now gone “English-language web-based encyclopedia whose articles were written by volunteer contributors with appropriate subject matter expertise. Wikipedia articles are reviewed by expert editors before publication and licensed as free content.

Wikipedia was founded by Jimmy Wales, who was the majority shareholder.

Nupedia had elaborate review procedures (a scientific committee supervised it) and required the participation of highly qualified contributors.

In 2000, the year the project was launched, article writing was particularly slow, despite the existence of a discussion list of the publishers concerned, and a full-time editor, Larry Sanger.

During the first year of Nupedia, Jimmy Wales, Bomis CEO, and Sanger discussed ways to complement Nupedia with a more open and complementary project. Wales says Jeremy Rosenfeld, a Bomis employee, introduced him to the concept of a wiki. 

Given the frustration caused by the slow progress of Nupedia, Larry Sanger suggested to Jimmy Wales to create a wiki under the GPL General Public License to increase the speed of article development, which led to the formal launch of Wikipedia on January 15, 2001.

This new project was to be used to provide textual content using a more flexible method, which could then eventually feed Nupedia, after passing through the filter of a committee of experts.

The History of First Wikipedia Article Ever

As mentioned earlier, we aren’t entirely sure about what was the first-ever Wikipedia article because different sources state different information. In a thread on Quora, Jimmy Wales answered the question, “What was the first article on Wikipedia?” with “no one knows.” 

He later states that “[they] used software that stored entries in text files. The deletion was accomplished by deleting the file, leaving no trace. That happened many times, so the very earliest edits certainly do not survive.”

Wales also says that the first words ever written on Wikipedia were “Hello world!” since he wrote them. Nonetheless, he has no record of those because they deleted many early entries. 

One of the oldest articles on Wikipedia was UuU. As it states in the article, the page contains the first edit “prior to the importation of other earlier edits in 2019, which was made on January 16, 2001, at 20:08 UTC. […] Earlier edits had been made to the English Wikipedia and were discovered in archives in 2010, but did not survive in page histories due to the unreliable nature of page histories kept by contemporaneous software.” 

What is UuU All About?

UuU is a page that was meant to contain all the countries whose name begins with the letter “U.” It was actually the eleventh page ever created on Wikipedia. The page stayed online since there was little activity on it from its creation until it was discovered in 2004. It was the earliest recorded article. It changed in July 2019, when there was another edit found in the Starling logs on Wikipedia.  

What Was the First Wikipedia Article Created?

Although there are many old articles on Wikipedia, the earliest recorded edit on Wikipedia, and the one page that we can consider as the first-ever Wikipedia article is Wikipedia’s HomePage. The edit there was made on January 15, 2001, at 19:27 UTC.

Top Wikipedia Articles – First Wikipedia Article is #1

According to Wikipedia’s Multiyear ranking of most viewed pages, top 10 most-viewed articles or pages are:

  1. Main Page
  2. Special: Search
  3. Special: Random
  4. – or Hyphen-minus
  5. Undefined
  6. Special: Watchlist
  7. Special: Randompage
  8. Wiki
  9. Facebook
  10. YouTube

Wikipedia Fun Facts

Many fun facts are surrounding Wikipedia, but we’ll mention three of them. First, the term “Wikipedia” is a compound word that comes from the fusion of two terms.

The first is wiki, a type of collaborative website (after the Hawaiian word wikiwiki which means “fast”), referring to the fact that encyclopedia always has to improve quickly and to be continuously active by its mode of operation.

The second is pedia, derived from the Greek word παιδεία, paideia, meaning “instruction,” “education.”

Next, Wikipedia has a theme song, and it’s “Hotel Wikipedia.” They released it in 2004, and it’s essentially a changed version of the Eagles’ Hotel California.


Last, the English version of Wikipedia has an average of 600 new articles (or pages) added daily.

Do You Visit Wikipedia Often?

How often do you scroll through websites? Did you know that without the first computer ever, we wouldn’t have the internet?

Now that you know what the first-ever Wikipedia article was, and if you’re hungry to know more, you can go and visit this popular online encyclopedia and soak in new information.