A Short History Lesson on WordPress in 600 Words

There are more than 280 content management systems in the world of which WordPress is the most popular one. By January 2015, it was the platform that hosted over 23% of the top 10 million websites. By February of this year, it was the choice of over 25% of all websites in the world and powers 70 million websites in total!

Can you believe that WordPress gained its market share in only 13 years? Quite amazing right? I decided to write up a quick history lesson on WordPress to educate you on where the platform started and what it has evolved into in the past 13 years.

WordPress, a Successor of b2
Before WordPress was released, b2 or cafelog was a simple-PHP based blogging software for users to publish content. However, in early 2003, users found out that the main developer of b2, Michel Valdrighi, had disappeared and no support was being provided for b2 any longer.

Matt Mullenweg, one of b2 users, was concerned that no more support was provided and had an idea to create a new platform by integrating the “cool stuff” in b2, since b2 was built under GPL and he could use the source code of b2. He posted the idea on his blog and soon saw interest from other people, like Mike Little.


Finally, on May 27, 2003, with the efforts of a few developers, WordPress came into being. The rest is WordPress history.

WordPress History

WordPress 0.7
This is the first WordPress version that Matt released on May 27, 2003 with features like Texturize, manual excerpts, a new admin panel, new templates, etc. This version also comes with WordPress Links manager, via which users can create blogrolls.

Actually this version is still a successor of b2 and 0.7 is a number close to the last release of b2, 0.6. Until December 2003, Matt decided to change file names from b2 to wp. Fancy building your own WordPress blog? Check out best web hosting for WordPress here.

WordPress 1.0
In January, 2004, Matt released a major WordPress update, 1.0. This version was added with a number of great features, including dead simple installation and upgrade, multiple categories, a faster posting interface, search engine friendly permalinks, Atom support, XFN support, etc.

WordPress 1.2
On May 22, 2004, WordPress 1.2 was launched with Mingus. This version improves user experience on publishing content. It supported sub-categories, automatic thumbnails, post preview, comment moderation, etc. Most importantly, WordPress 1.2 integrates with Ryan Boren’s plugin system. Thereafter, WordPress users could install plugins to level up their websites.

WordPress 1.5
On February 17, 2005, WordPress 1.5 was released. This version came with vital changes and a heavier focus on user experience. By WordPress 1.5, users could manage static pages as well as a template system. They have more freedom to customize their sites since headers, footers and sidebars have separate files.

WordPress 2.0
On December 31, 2005, a major WordPress version 2.0 was released. This time, the developers had more focus on writing experience by coming up with rich editing, image uploading, faster posting, etc. The Akismet plugin also made an appearance in WordPress 2.0.

Then from 2007 to 2009, there were WordPress version releases from 2.1 to 2.9 with some major new features, like widget support, native tagging support, CodePress editor, built-in image editor, etc.

WordPress 3.0
On June 17, 2010, another major WordPress version was launched. It offered a new theme API, multi-site administration features, lighter admin UI, etc.

After WordPress 3.0, we see a series of WordPress 3.x with new improvements on WordPress, which brings better user experience.

WordPress 4.0
On September 4th, 2014, WordPress 4.0 was born by leveraging media management, writing interface, embeds, compatibility with PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6, etc.

Similarly, we check out the WordPress 4.x series and the latest version is WordPress 4.5 released in April 12, 2016.

As a matter of fact, a large number of developers contribute to WordPress updates on a constant basis. Now almost every 120 days, you can expect a new WordPress release, point or major. And there are more stories about WordPress, you can visit this blog at BigCheaphosting to get more.

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