WordPress Celebrates 20 Years of Democratizing Publishing on the Web

As the global community celebrates the 20th anniversary of WordPress, it’s worth taking a moment to look back on its remarkable history and the success of the platform.

The History of WordPress

WordPress was forked from b2/cafelog by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003, with the first official release on May 27th, 2003. You can read more about the first 10 years of WordPress in Milestones: The Story of WordPress. WP Beginner has an archive of the WordPress user interface over the years if you want to take a stroll down memory lane.

WordPress quickly began to gain popularity, especially among web developers who appreciated its flexibility and ease of use. WordPress was being used by bloggers, businesses, and developers alike.

The flexibility of WordPress was firmly established in 2005, when the first version of the WordPress theme system was released. This allowed users to customize their WordPress site with different themes and layouts without writing code themselves.

In 2007, WordPress 3.0 was released, introducing the popular “Custom Post Type” feature, which allowed users to create their own post types and content. This release also introduced the idea of “Tags”, allowing users to organize their content in a much more structured way.

WordPress continued to gain traction and, in 2010, version 3.1 was released. This version introduced the “Media Library”, which allowed users to easily upload and organize media files. It also introduced the “Custom Header” feature, allowing users to customize the look and feel of their WordPress site.

WordPress version 3.8, released in 2013, brought a revamped and responsive version of the admin dashboard.

In 2015, Automattic acquired WooCommerce, making it the de facto e-commerce solution for WordPresss sites.

WordPress now uses semantic versioning so major releases are “just another release,” but recent versions have added support for embedding media via oEmbed, the Gutenberg block editor, an auto-update feature and they continue to work on bringing a “full site editing” experience using the block editor to the platform.

The World’s Most Popular Content Management System

Over the years, WordPress has become the world’s most popular content management system, currently powering over 43% of the web. It’s estimated that over 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages powered by WordPress each month.

WordPress is more than just software – it is a worldwide community with local and global events called WordCamps and hundreds of Meetups held every year by local users.

Automattic, the commercial company founded by Matt Mullenweg based on the success of WordPress, hosts WordPress sites at WordPress.com, and has acquired Gravatar, Tumblr, Parse.ly and most recently Pocket Casts.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for WordPress and how it continues to shape the web for years to come.

To read more about how our team has built and used WordPress sites, LuminFire has over 80 articles concerning WordPress on our website.

If you’re looking for expert assistance with your WordPress website, LuminFire can help with hosting, maintenance, plugins, security, integrations and custom development. Learn more here.

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Software Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make businesses more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in rapid application development with the Claris platform including FileMaker and WordPress. He also knows Apple macOS technology inside and out.