WordPress is the most popular content management system globally, with millions of websites hosted on the platform. From its humble beginnings as a simple blogging tool, it has undergone constant developments to become a powerful website builder and CMS.
The massive popularity of WordPress is due to its flexibility in building almost all types of websites. Moreover, it is free to use and very easy to manage. Being open-source software, it also allows developers to create a range of different themes, plugins, and widgets to meet specific requirements.
But how did WordPress grow to become the preferred CMS platform worldwide? Here is a brief history of WordPress for everyone interested in knowing about this open-source content management system.
The history of WordPress goes back to 2001. It was a successor to an open-source blogging tool named b2/cafelog, which was developed by Michel Valdrighi, a French programmer. But, the tool’s creator could not support the development of the tool and stopped it in 2002.
It could have very well become another forgotten blogging tool if not for the efforts of two of its users. Matt Mullenweg and Mark Little endeavored to build a new branch on the b2/cafelog project. They released the very first version of WordPress in May 2003.
The platform’s potential did not go unnoticed, and it did not take long for others to join Mullenweg and Little in their project. The original developer of b2/cafelog, Valdrighi, also joined the team. A new updated version of the platform was released in early 2004, and the same year saw the introduction of plugins, which led to added functionalities on WordPress.
The popularity of the platform shot up due to several reasons. Firstly, WordPress was open-source, which enabled developers to create customized plugins to meet their requirements, that too free of cost. In addition, Movable Type, a competitor of WordPress, put forward a new price structure in 2004. This led to several customers moving away from that platform to join the free yet powerful WordPress platform.
Ever since its launch, WordPress has undergone continuous improvements to make it a powerful tool with several functionalities. The WordPress team launched version 1.2 in May 2004, which included support for plugins through which new features could be added.
The February 2005 update saw further development, supporting different themes, and enabling users to create a customized website layout. It enabled users to develop their own themes, several of which are still in use at present.
A new user interface was launched with version 2.1, which was released in 2007. Functionalities like spell check and autosave accompanied it. Widgets were soon to follow, as were continuous speed optimizations to keep the platform running efficiently.
By 2009, WordPress advanced further to include built-in plugin installations, a new API, automatic upgrades, inline documentation, bulk management, and so on. The version released in 2010 came with several effective customization tools that allowed users more control over their website structure. Since then, the WordPress team has released yearly updates, each making the platform more secure and efficient.
What Does The Future Hold For WordPress?
Ever since its inception, WordPress has been focused on improving its features to meet the evolving demands of its vast user base. At present, it powers around 43.3% of all websites globally and has a market share of about 65.1% among all content management systems. It also has the largest plugin directory, consisting of over 59000 free plugins.
So what’s next for WordPress? Well, the question is easy to answer if we look at how the platform has evolved over the years. The direction of WordPress’s development has been governed by the changing needs of its millions of users. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to assume that the platform will continue to transform the global web space in the years to come.