Ten years ago today, the first public release of WordPress became available. Initially started as a fork of the little-known blogging platform b2/Cafelog, WordPress has grown to be the largest CMS in the world, powering an astounding 18% of the web.
Nearly 70 million websites run WordPress and it’s hard to understate the impact that the software has had on the world of digital publishing. Hundreds of high-profile websites, including blogs from CNN, The New York Times and Reuters, all use WordPress. Mashable isn’t a pure WordPress site anymore, but we do use it as a place to enter content. Since 2004, I personally have published millions of words using WordPress, most of those on Mashable.
WordPress was started by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and the open-source software has grown to include thousands of contributors. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and one of the biggest stewards in the development of the platform as a whole, announced last week that it had raised $50 million in a secondary stock transaction.
WordPress started as an easy, free way for users to publish their own content. If you had a web host that supported PHP and MySQL and you knew how to use FTP, getting WordPress installed took, famously, under five minutes. Today, most web hosts have one-click install buttons so that users don’t even have to bother with FTP. Hosted offerings from WordPress.com and others are also abundantly available.
Moreover, WordPress is no longer just about blogging or personal publishing. As recently as 2010, I was reticent to call WordPress a true CMS but that’s clearly no longer true. Full web applications are run on WordPress. Shopping cart systems, Twitter analytics services and even robust WordPress site management solutions can all be built on WordPress.
Plus, the larger ecosystem around WordPress — including plugins, themes, specialized hosting providers and custom solutions builders — is mammoth and still growing. Mullenweg told me earlier this year that his goal for WordPress is for it to be the “platform or operating system” for the web. That goal is coming closer to fruition with every passing month.
To celebrate 10 years of WordPress, the WordPress community is having special Meetup events across the globe. There is also a special microsite dedicated to tweets, photos and memories associated with WordPress.
We’ve updated our gallery, below, of how WordPress has evolved over the years and you can look back at nearly each and every version of WordPress from 0.7.1 to the latest 3.6 betas.
Share your WordPress memories in the comments.
Homepage image courtesy of WordPress, Screenshots courtesy of WordPress, taken by Christina Warren/Mashable