WorldWideWeb – Desktop 17+

A web server for developers

The Iconfactory

    • 4.8 • 25 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases



This app’s name is an homage to the world’s first web server. Back in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee started the web on his NeXT computer.

On that computer was an app named WorldWideWeb. This app was unique because it allowed his machine to edit and serve HTML documents. The app also used coding frameworks that were adopted by Apple after purchasing NeXT: they are being used right now to display what you’re reading.

Like that original app, this WorldWideWeb is a handy web development tool.

It’s designed for people who need to test things on their Mac before moving the files onto a real web server like Apache or nginx. It also allows you to work in those increasingly rare moments where you don’t have a connection to the Internet. Developers of iOS apps can use this server to simulate and test APIs that their product uses.


WorldWideWeb does things differently than today’s production web servers:

• No caching — Every request gets a new response, no cache busters needed
• Easy to configure — Pick a folder and go, recent folders let you switch sites instantly
• Directory listings — A handy list of files whenever you hit a URL that doesn’t exist
• Bonjour support – Automatic DNS for easy access using devices on your local network
• REST support — Set default responses as JSON or XML for easy mocking of APIs
• No external dependencies — Completely standalone and doesn’t need other tools like Python or Ruby
• Simplified logging — Track requests and responses in a Terminal window with an easy-to-read format
• Built-in security — Runs completely in a sandbox, no access to data unless you allow it
• Powerful and lightweight – A small memory footprint with minimal CPU overhead
• No rocket science — Perfect for clients and other folks who are less technically inclined

What’s New

Version 2.1


• Added a proxy configuration:
- Configure with the world icon in the Website Folder section
- Allows auto refresh on dynamically generated sites
- Works great with Rails, PHP, and other web frameworks
- See “Proxy Configuration” in Help for more information

• Dragging a file onto the Dock icon or Website Folder will start a server for the containing folder and load the file in a new browser window [Yay Zanstra!]


• Added advanced settings:
- Located in System Settings app under WorldWideWeb
- Includes adjustment of background sound levels [Yay datajerk!]
- See Help for more information


• Directory listing can now show relative paths (see “Advanced Settings” in Help) [Yay 760ceb3b9c0ba4872cadf3ce35a7a4!]
• Increased the number of files that can be used with auto refresh
• Clarification in purchase view that basic features continue to work without PRO upgrade

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Thirteen Crows ,

Great for hobbyists and local development

I'm primarily a UX Designer, working in XD or Figma, but I like to dabble and build actual working prototypes for fun using html/CSS/JS and run them locally. It is impossible (UNTIL. NOW) to do this between a Mac and an iPhone or locally on an iPhone without Node or similar installed on the Mac.

But now, with this AWESOME app, you can serve up a small site on run it on all your Bonjour (locally) connected Apple devices in their respective browsers. It was so much fun serving up my old designs without have to spin up Node and jockey with that darn thing!

antijingoist ,

Free Trial is confusing

Fire up the app to quick test a site, and it appears to tell me its in free trial mode and I have 20 remaining sessions.

There is no indication that this covers only the Pro features; it simply states "The trial is active and ends in 18 sessions"

I felt anger. It felt like a bait and switch. It felt like something was taken away (even tho, after looking it up, nothing was).

So I grumble, mentally note to delete the app and instead fire up codekit, spending the time to create the set up I needed for the quick test I wanted. Then I do a quick search around and discover it's only the pro features that will expire. The ones I haven't been using because I use CodeKit for that, and WWW for the quickies.

So, this will work out for me; however, I don't know if it's an intentional dark pattern, or oversight that the app implies it will stop working after a few sessions. Perhaps a dialog to explain this when version 2.0 is opened up, or rewriting the trial message? "The trial is active and Pro features can be used X many more times"?

Just please be clear.

Ian reviews things ,

Incredibly helpful (beginner's perspective)

I have been self-teaching web development rather diligently for the past year, and I am so grateful that I stumbled upon this gem of a tool. This is the simplest, cleanest, and least resource-hungry way to test out website development. Just load your folder and away you go!

I haven't tried the Bonjour connected Apple device feature, but I am eager to try that out soon.

Highly recommended for all developers!

App Privacy

The developer, The Iconfactory, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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