WordPress is arguably the most popular content management system in the world. It boasts millions of users and thousands of themes and plugins. It has become the standard for website management and design.
But how did this popular platform come to be?
Join us as we take a quick look at the history and development of WordPress.
WordPress Was Developed to Fill a Gap Left by an Abandoned Blogging Platform.
WordPress began as a replacement for the popular, but discontinued, blogging program B2/Cafelog. With its launch in May 2003, WordPress founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little successfully met their goal of creating an acceptable, improved substitute, and users enjoyed their efforts.
The first version of WordPress was similar to B2/Cafelog but brought along many improvements. These included a new admin interface and planning dashboard, new design templates for blogs, and the ability to played nicely with XHTML.
In May 2004, the creators opened up WordPress 1.2 which added the ability to use plugins. Plugins created the opportunity for other users, not just the developers, to create additional functions for the software and share them with the community. By opening their code up to the community and encouraging their involvement, the founders unknowingly started the open-source movement that set the stage for the future success of WordPress and many other software platforms.
Unlike their competition who began charging more for their services and incorporating more strict licenses, WordPress provided a free platform that not only inspired but also allowed creativity and customization.
WordPress Continued to Develop and Take Advantage of Its Powerful Community Knowledge Base.
In 2005, with the release of WordPress 1.5, the developers solidified their intention to change the way content management systems work. Their new version of the program was designed to work around the needs of the user. At this time, few other platforms had this user-focused mindset.
It was this innovative perspective that defined the future direction of WordPress. They continued to release updates that made the platform more user-friendly, more capable, more collaborative, and always more customizable.
In 2006, they hosted the first WordCamp in San Francisco. WordCamp is an event where users and developers gather together to dive into all things WordPress. These conversations and collaborations ensure that the developers are meeting the needs of their users. These events speak to the innovative community mindset of the company.
The WordPress Theme Directory, where anyone can upload a custom-created theme and share it with the world, opened in 2008. This resource reemphasized the open-source mindset and direction of WordPress development. By 2009, WordPress was the most recognized brand of any open-source program in the world.
Eventually, WordPress Developed a Life and an Entity of Its Own.
In 2010, the developers transferred the WordPress trademark and logo to the WordPress Foundation. This move ensured that the WordPress movement would continue to thrive, even if a particular business fails or individuals left. WordPress became an autonomous entity that is fueled by the work of thousands, if not millions, of members, coders, and users worldwide.
Also in 2010, many new advances to the program were released. The ability to add increased customization to site appearances. The first e-commerce platforms. The ability to create networks between sites. WordPress became even more solidified as not just a blogging platform, but as an entire content management and website development system.
WordPress Continues to Experience Unfathomed Levels of Success.
As the WordPress community continues to develop and progress, every new update and release seems revolutionary. Each new feature becomes more impressive than the last.
WordPress sites now have the option to be translated and to include multi-languages at once. They can incorporate audio, video, and image galleries into sites. Technology advancements allow automatic updates to pass along security patches and code improvements. User interfaces and experiences continually improve. Admin pages and dashboards have become even easier to use and more accessible.
WordPress became the preferred web development and content management system worldwide through the influence of the community via its plugins and continued theme development, dedicated WordPress web hosts are on the rise too. We’ve even built a comparison for the best WordPress hosting for Australia, as well as the top WordPress hosts for Canada.
WordPress Is the Dominating Force Driving Open-Source Programming and Web Development.
In 2017, WordPress was responsible for the development of over half of all websites existing in the world. There are currently over 54,000 plugins to choose from and add to a WordPress site. Users can select from over 15,000 different design themes.
It seems that the only direction for WordPress to go is further up. Their focus on meeting users’ needs, advancing technology, and increasing access to education and programming earns endless gratitude and support. Users and developers constantly see opportunities for improving the platform, and instead of waiting for the foundation to solve problems, the WordPress community continues to lead the charge in building a better program.
Jayson Davis is a passionate WordPress user, developer, and web hosting expert. Even in his spare time, he checks out new WP themes, or takes yet another web host for a test ride, always on the lookout for the perfect cost to value ratio!
For more info, see our Team page.