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History of WordPress

If you are familiar with internet then you must have heard the name of WordPress. It is now like the butter on the bread. Till now 35% of the Internet is Powered by WordPress Considering that the number of total active websites is estimated at over 1.3 billion according to a survey published by Netcraft, that means that around 455,000,000 websites are using WordPress right now, which means that around 20% of all self-hosted websites use WordPress, which is still huge.

But this huge success is not the fruit of one day. This took nearly 17 years from when the first version of WordPress published. The journey began in May 27, 2003. And now this has become the most usable CMS of this present time.

WordPress is now the most dominant CMS on the market — standing head and shoulders above the competition with a good chunk of the market share.

Let’s take a look back at the history of WordPress CMS to show you how it evolved over time.

Before I start let you know a little intro about WordPress :

wordpress org
What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

Basically WordPress is a open source CMS( Content Management System ) written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database. For instance,This helps bloggers and webmasters edit content on a regular basis without the need to use a traditional HTML editor software, for example, Dreamweaver or Frontpage. If you don’t even know what are those, consider yourself lucky.

So for now, lets talk about this software’s licence and rights. As i have already mentioned above that, this is a Open Source software. And this is licensed under the GPL v2 which means you are free to download and modify this software.

You can find this software at WordPress.Org . Download it from there and feel free to design and modify this. Now lets figure out the creators of WordPress.

Who created WordPress?

If you want to research about the today’s king of all CMS I mean WordPress then you will come up with the name of Matt Mullenweg. Basically, he is responsible for today’s WordPress CMS. There is a small Story behind this creation. Lets talk about this invention history or you can say it story.

Now you can mostly say this is the age of WordPress blog. But this was not always the same. Before this WordPress invented there were plenty of another CMS like – Blogger, GeoCities, and most notably, B2/cafelog. This was developed by French programmer Michel Valdrighi which launched on 2001.

B2/cafelog was a simple tool specially made for blogging more easier. This tool does not became very popular on that time. So,Michel Valdrighi stopped maintaining the software, and in December 2002, b2/cafelog was out of action. Though it could not make successful business , it introduced a new concept: generating pages dynamically from the contents of the MySQL database.

After 2002 a huge amount of developers and users became concerned about this platform. Among those troubled user Matt Mullenweg was one of them. He was using the software to share his holiday snaps of a trip to Washington DC. Originally posted to his blog photomatt.net, this page redirects to his official blog Ma.tt. Matt was the son of a software engineer and a programmer himself. Given his background, in January 2003, he decided to create a new platform taking the best bits of B2/cafelog and add extra features.

After that he wrote a post to update the b2 and voiced his plan to create an alternative version to this. And the post was named as “The Blogging Software Dilemma.” –

My blogging software (meaning b2/cafelog) hasn’t been updated for months, and the main developer (Michel Valdrighi) has disappeared, and I can only hope that he’s okay..

Fortunately, b2/cafelog is GPL, which means that I could use the existing codebase to create a fork, integrating all the cool stuff that Michael would be working on right now if only he was around…

I’ve decided that this the course of action I’d like to go in, now all I need is a name. What should it do? Well, it would be nice to have the flexibility of Movable Type, the parsing of TextPattern, the hackability of b2, and the ease of setup of Blogger.

Someday, right?

January 24, 2003

The Blogging Software Dilemma

The following day, on January 25, 2003, Mike Little proposed teaming up to take things forward with the ‘fork’ suggested in Matt’s post.

If you’re serious about forking b2 I would be interested in contributing. I’m sure there are one or two others in the community who would be too. Perhaps a post to the B2 forum, suggesting a fork would be a good starting point.


Mike Little’s reply to Matt Mullenweg

After that this duo force brought a versions of b2 which needed for their blogs. After that, Christine Tremoulet, a friend of Matt’s, suggested to call it WordPress. So, we can say that WordPress launched on May 27, 2003.

This was the invention history of WordPress. Now lets talk about the Versions control of the WordPress Software:

On May 27, 2003, Matt announced the availability of the first version of WordPress. It was well received by the community. It was based on b2 Cafelog with significant improvements. The first version of WordPress included a new admin interface, new templates, and generated XHTML 1.1 compliant templates. The post editor looked like this:


Version 1.2 Released on May 2004 : WordPress 1.2, presented itself as an ambitious project offering users a mature, stable, easy and flexible platform with features that rivaled their proprietary competitors.

Features added –

  • Plugin architecture

WordPress 1.5 – In February 2005 :

Features added –

  • Pages
  • comment moderation tools
  • new default theme Kubrick
  • completely new Theme System

WordPress 2.0 – In December 2005 :

Released with a new admin dashboard. This new admin area was a complete overhaul of the administration screens in WordPress. It used JavaScript and DHTML to make a better user interface where users did not need to load a page to perform some simple tasks. Users were now able to add categories and tags to posts without leaving the post editor or delete comments without reloading the comments screen.

Features added –

  • Admin dashboard.
  • Akismet anti-spam plugin pre-installed.
  • introduction of a functions.php file in the Theme System.

On March 1, 2006

Automattic, the company founded by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, filed the trademark registration for WordPress and WordPress logo.

In 2008, a web design company called Happy Cog joined the WordPress project to help design a new WordPress admin interface.

Features added –

  • Shortcodes.
  • One-click updates.
  • Built-in plugin installation.

In June of 2010,

Automattic, the company founded by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, transferred the ownership of WordPress trademark and logo to the WordPress Foundation. It was a great movement for WordPress which ensures that WordPress will never stop its growth.

WordPress 3.0 – In June 17, 2010 : It was a major step towards WordPress as CMS.

Features Introduced :

  • Custom post types
  • Better custom taxonomies
  • Custom backgrounds
  • Header
  • Menus
  • Contextual help on admin screens

In 2011,

Post formats and admin bar made their way into WordPress.

Features Introduced :

  • Enabled WordPress users to create online stores

In 2012,

theme customizer, theme previews, and new media manager were introduced.

WordPress 3.7 – In 2013, 

came with the new automatic updates feature that allowed WordPress to automatically update your site’s software for minor releases.

WordPress 3.8 – In December 2013 : Released which introduced MP6, the new WordPress admin interface. This new interface was responsive and was aimed to provide a better user experience to users, on any device or screen size.

WordPress 3.9 – On April 16, 2014 :

It focused on improving the WordPress visual post editor.

In the same year  WordPress 4.0 and WordPress 4.1 releases. This two updates does not changes major upgrades. Also this 2014 was the year when WordPress Downloads become available for non English language.

WordPress 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 released in 2015 – These releases focused on improved localization, emoji support, theme customizer.

WordPress 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 released – In 2016 : Each release introduced some new features and improvements.

WordPress 4.8 and 4.9 – released In 2017 : These releases brought several new default widgets to add audio, video, images, gallery, rich text, and HTML. These releases also laid the groundwork for the new WordPress block editor.

WordPress 5.0 released – In 2018 : with a brand new editing experience.

Thank you for reading this post. If you have any question then ask me on the comment section. Or if you want to write post on this page then create an account here and write post in this site.


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About Md. Sabbir Al Mamon

I am Md.Sabbir Al Mamon. Now I'm studying CSE in BRAC University.

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