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A Detailed Historical past of WordPress From 2003-Now

In accordance with W3Techs, over 43.2% of all web sites use WordPress. You possibly can attribute this recognition to its user-friendliness, which makes web site administration really feel simple.

However have you ever ever questioned how WordPress received to the place it’s at this time? Since its inception in 2003 to its twentieth anniversary in 2023, WordPress has acquired a number of updates to change into the highest running a blog device out there.

Learn on to discover what WordPress is, its historical past, and what its up to date model can do for your corporation.

  • WordPress 101
  • Historical past of WordPress: 2003-now
    • 2003 — the start of WordPress
    • 2004 — WordPress 1.2 and plugin structure
    • 2005 — WordPress 1.5, pages, remark moderation, Kubrick theme, and Automattic
    • 2006 — WordPress 2.0, WYSIWYG editor, and WordPress logos
    • 2007 — WordPress 2.1
    • 2008 — WordPress 2.5, new admin dashboard
    • 2009 — WordPress 2.8, BuddyPress
    • 2010 — WordPress 3.0, WordPress Basis
    • 2011 — WordPress 3.1, 3.2, and three.3
    • 2012 — WordPress 3.4
    • 2013 — WordPress 3.6, 3.7, and three.8
    • 2014 — WordPress 3.9 and 4.1
    • 2015 — WooCommerce
    • 2016 — WordPress 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7
    • 2017 — WordPress 4.9 and safety vulnerabilities
    • 2018 — WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg editor
    • 2019 — WordPress 5.1, web site well being
    • 2020 — COVID and WordCamps
    • 2021 — WordPress 5.7 and 5.8
    • 2022 — WordPress 5.9 and 6.0
    • Now — way forward for WordPress
  • Fashionable WordPress: Choices
  • What sorts of internet sites are you able to make with WordPress?
  • Ultimate ideas: An in depth historical past of WordPress

WordPress 101

WordPress is an open supply content material administration system used to create, modify, and handle web sites. It really works below the GNU GPL v2 license, so you may set up it on a private server or a third-party internet host’s server to run your web site.

What’s WordPress used for?

People and companies use WordPress to construct and keep their web sites. It’s a well-liked resolution for constructing web sites because it requires little to no coding expertise. Even a newbie can begin and construct an internet site inside a day.

Historical past of WordPress: 2003-now

WordPress has undergone a number of adjustments since its inception in 2003 to its present-day success.

Here’s a brief recap of its actions and developments by at this time.

2003 — the start of WordPress

In 2001, a French programmer, Michel Valdrighi, created a running a blog platform named b2/cafelog to create dynamic webpages from a MySQL database’s contents. Whereas he gathered a small following of customers, Michel deserted the mission and dropped its help in 2002.

Two disgruntled customers, Matt Mullenweg, and Mike Little, took up the problem and reimagined b2/cafelog to create a brand new solution to construct web sites. That was the start of WordPress.

On Might 27, 2003, Matt and Mike introduced the primary model of WordPress based mostly on a b2/cafelog fork however with important enhancements. In addition to a brand new admin interface, WordPress got here with generated XHTML 1.1 templates with a put up editor equivalent to the one under.

2004 — WordPress 1.2 and plugin structure

In Might 2004, the WordPress crew launched model 1.2 to the general public with a brand new function, plugin structure. It enabled customers to construct WordPress plugins to increase the default WordPress performance.

2005 — WordPress 1.5, pages, remark moderation, Kubrick theme, and Automattic

In 2005, WordPress 1.5 was launched, with a number of notable options.

First was the Kubrick theme. Matt launched Kubrick as a brand new default theme to showcase the “extremely versatile theme system” 1.5 supplied. Second, WordPress went past weblog posts and added help for pages. Lastly, WordPress 1.5 made it simple to average feedback by requiring approval on first-time feedback.

Additionally, Matt Mullenwag began Automattic and began recruiting main WordPress contributors.

2006 — WordPress 2.0, WYSIWYG editor, and WordPress logos

Simply earlier than the flip of the yr, WordPress 2.0 was launched. It launched an inbuilt WYSIWYG web page editor and improved the publishing workflow. Customers might add tags and classes whereas engaged on the put up and preview the ultimate put up earlier than publishing it.

The WordPress crew additionally launched the theme listing, which allowed customers to seek out tried-and-tested themes in a single place.

Given the recognition of WordPress, Automattic registered WordPress’s model identify and well-known blue brand to guard it.

Lastly, Matt Mullenweg organized the world’s first WordCamp in San Francisco.

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2007 — WordPress 2.1

Model 2.1 got here with a number of new options, together with improved search performance and an autosave function to stop the lack of unsaved content material. With this new replace, customers might additionally spell-check their content material earlier than posting it.

Sadly, WordPress additionally encountered its first main safety breach in 2007, which led builders to create safeguards, safety updates, and patches for safety points.

2008 — WordPress 2.5, new admin dashboard

In 2008, Joyful Cog, an online design firm, collaborated with the WordPress crew and helped design WordPress’s new administrator interface.

With the brand new dashboard, the WordPress crew centered on the necessities and eliminated the litter from the admin interface to enhance the person expertise.

In addition to that, WordPress 2.5 supported a number of uploads, one-click updates, plugin set up, and shortcodes. Two extra variations of WordPress had been additionally launched in 2008, together with:

  • Model 2.6 confirmed put up revisions and the “press this” function.
  • Model 2.7 resolved a number of bugs attributable to earlier variations. It additionally got here with a redesigned person interface, sticky posts, remark replies, and customizable admin instruments.

2009 — WordPress 2.8, BuddyPress

WordPress 2.8 was launched, which got here with improved widget administration and a brand new theme browser. The WordPress crew additionally constructed BuddyPress, a social networking plugin for WordPress, to assist customers seeking to create web sites like Fb and Myspace with WordPress.

Later in 2009, model 2.9 got here with main enhancements to WordPress’s search engine optimisation options and an inbuilt picture editor. It additionally pioneered bulk updates, letting customers replace a number of themes, widgets, and plugins directly.

2010 — WordPress 3.0, WordPress Basis

2010 was a major yr for WordPress.

Automattic finalized the WordPress trademark and brand switch to the WordPress Basis. That ensured that WordPress would stay open supply and group members would proceed contributing to the mission.

In addition to that, WordPress 3.0 introduced alongside thrilling options like customized put up varieties, taxonomies, headers, menus, and backgrounds. It additionally launched a brand new default theme named Twenty Ten.

Model 3.0 additionally launched multisite, enabling customers to run a number of web sites on the platform.

2011 — WordPress 3.1, 3.2, and three.3

WordPress 3.1 was launched, which launched an admin bar and put up codecs. Model 3.2 got here with a default Twenty Eleven theme. Lastly, model 3.3 added help for drag-and-drop file importing.

2012 — WordPress 3.4

The WordPress crew launched model 3.4 with a brand new theme customizer and improved customized headers. Directors might now preview adjustments within the theme customizer earlier than making use of them sitewide.

Furthermore, the WordPress crew added a media library to simplify media administration for giant web sites and up to date the picture editor, so customers might add customized picture dimensions.

Model 3.5, which got here quickly after, introduced picture captions and Twitter embeds.

2013 — WordPress 3.6, 3.7, and three.8

The fast improvement of WordPress continued in 2013, too, as WordPress had three main releases.

  • Model 3.6 got here with a brand new default theme and improved audio and video recordsdata help, enabling customers to preview audio and video recordsdata within the media supervisor.
  • Model 3.7 launched automated updates, higher language help, and safer password checks.
  • Model 3.8 introduced a recent visible really feel with a long-due dashboard replace. WordPress adopted MP6. In addition to the brand new admin panel, WordPress customers additionally received a extra intuitive widget part and new coloration schemes to customise their admin expertise. Model 3.8 additionally introduced a brand new default theme with Twenty Fourteen.

With model 3.8’s admin replace, WordPress additionally grew to become responsive for entry on cellular units.

Lastly, the fourth quarter of 2013 noticed the primary WordCamp Europe held in Leiden, Netherlands.

2014 — WordPress 3.9 and 4.1

With model 3.9, the WordPress crew introduced adjustments to the visible put up editor. Customers might drag and drop photographs onto the editor and edit them on the fly with improved picture modifying capabilities. In addition to that, WordPress additionally acquired reside widget and header picture previews.

Model 4.1 launched a brand new default theme in Twenty Fifteen powered by Google’s Noto font household. It improved the multilingual help of WordPress, and in consequence, non-English downloads of WordPress surpassed English downloads of WordPress in 2014.

2015 — WooCommerce

In an exceptional yr, Automattic acquired WooCommerce, which was already dominating as a WordPress plugin to create on-line shops. In a approach, it made WordPress able to each publishing blogs and constructing ecommerce web sites.

In the meantime, WordPress launched three variations — 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 — in 2015, which added:

  • Help for emojis.
  • Embeds for Tumblr, Kickstarter, and different rising platforms.
  • Listing views within the admin panel.

2016 — WordPress 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7

In 2016, as soon as once more, WordPress launched three new variations. Every model introduced new options:

  • Model 4.5 introduced responsive and reside menu previews for various display screen sizes, optimization of photographs, and customized brand help.
  • Model 4.6 launched a greater multisite system, permitting customers to cache their web sites. Additionally, you could possibly replace plugins and themes extra cleanly.
  • Model 4.7 added WordPress REST API endpoints, letting builders work together with WordPress remotely. In addition to that, it additionally launched a brand new default theme in Twenty Seventeen.

2017 — WordPress 4.9 and safety vulnerabilities

The yr 2017 didn’t begin out properly for the WordPress group because it discovered that the REST API had safety vulnerabilities that had been permitting hackers to deface web sites based mostly on WordPress 4.7.

WordPress fastened that by way of safety patches of 4.7.2.

Within the second half of 2017, WordPress launched model 4.9, considerably enhancing WordPress Customizer — what you utilize to tinker along with your WordPress theme.

Earlier than model 4.9, you needed to publish the adjustments to avoid wasting design adjustments completed by way of Customizer to your web site. After the replace, you could possibly save the adjustments drafts and even share the previews with different crew members.

2018 — WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg editor

In 2018, WordPress formally launched the Gutenberg editor in model 5.0. Gutenberg, a block editor, modified the entire WordPress expertise as you could possibly use and rearrange blocks to create weblog posts and even entire web sites.

WordPress additionally added help for reusable blocks to hurry up web site design.

2019 — WordPress 5.1, web site well being

In 2019, the WordPress crew spent a good bit of time debugging the instruments that got here with the Gutenberg mission.

Nonetheless, that wasn’t all.

With model 5.1, WordPress launched Web site Well being, which might notify customers about outdated PHP code. Within the 5.2 model, WordPress improved this device and launched a widget to show web site well being and really useful enhancements.

Lastly, WordPress 5.3 introduced important updates to the Gutenberg editor, together with improved block administration and grouping.

2020 — COVID and WordCamps

On account of COVID, Matt Mullenweg canceled WordCamp Asia, which was to happen in Bangkok.

Nonetheless, WordPress improvement continued, and we received three new releases.

  • Model 5.4 launched a welcome display screen for newbies with no expertise in WordPress.
  • Model 5.5 launched automated updates for themes and plugins. Additionally, it launched block patterns and predefined block layouts enabling customers to tug and drop to hurry up web site creation.
  • Model 5.6 improved the block editor and added preliminary help for PHP 8.

2021 — WordPress 5.7 and 5.8

2021 introduced extra WordPress enhancements because it moved in direction of full web site modifying.

As an example, WordPress 5.7 added help for dragging and dropping blocks from the inserter. Additionally, it refined reusable blocks, so they might routinely save with the put up.

Additionally, WordPress 5.7 made it simpler to change from HTTP to HTTPS by way of SSL certificates. Beforehand, WordPress customers needed to replace many hard-coded URLs within the database themselves. With model 5.7, customers might swap from HTTP to HTTPS with a single click on.

Model 5.8 launched Template Editor, the place customers might use the default block editor to edit templates. Additionally, customers might customise widgets with blocks, which was one other step towards no-code web site improvement.

Lastly, with 5.8, WordPress dropped help for Web Explorer 11.

2022 — WordPress 5.9 and 6.0

In 2022, the WordPress crew additional refined the modifying course of to allow full web site modifying (FSE).

With model 5.9, WordPress introduced, “Full web site modifying is right here.” WordPress customers received versatile block controls to change spacing, borders, look, and extra. Equally, they received a block sample listing to seek out block patterns the WordPress group had shared.

WordPress 6.0 improved the writing expertise, added a world type switcher, and added much more design instruments — controls for transparency, layouts, and borders.

Now — way forward for WordPress

So what’s in retailer for WordPress going ahead?

WordPress has been altering the web site improvement atmosphere because the begin of the Gutenberg mission with WordPress 5.0. At the moment, WordPress is finishing its work with the second section — Customization — of the Gutenberg mission.

As soon as it finalizes that section, WordPress will begin engaged on Collaboration, the third section of the Gutenberg mission, to simplify co-authoring content material.

After Collaboration, WordPress goals to make web site improvement accessible for everybody, all over the place, by going Multi-lingual.

Fashionable WordPress: Choices

Loads has modified in WordPress since its inception in 2003. With all these developments, updates, and upgrades, what does the up to date model of WordPress provide?


Fashionable WordPress simplifies web site creation utilizing themes. You possibly can set up themes to customise the entire visible look of your web site inside seconds. Every theme contains fonts, colours, layouts, and different design components.

You will discover 1000’s of free and paid theme decisions within the WordPress theme library. Discover a theme you want and implement it to hurry up the preliminary web site improvement.


WordPress additionally presents 1000’s of free and paid plugins to increase the default options and performance. You possibly can set up plugins to combine social media into your web site, improve safety, optimize your search engine optimisation, and improve your buyer expertise.

As an example, you need to use Prohibit Content material Professional to show your WordPress web site right into a membership web site and LearnDash to develop an internet studying platform.

Block patterns

Block patterns are predefined layouts of blocks you need to use to hurry up the creation of particular person webpages.

Say you’re making an attempt to create the hero part of your web site’s homepage and fall in need of concepts. You possibly can go to WordPress’s Block Sample Listing to search for inspiration and customise a block sample to make it your personal.

What sorts of internet sites are you able to make with WordPress?

No matter your distinctive wants and necessities, you may depend on WordPress to construct and handle an internet site.

Listed below are just a few examples of internet sites you may construct with WordPress.

Portfolio web sites

A portfolio web site allows you to showcase your artistic work to purchasers, clients, and companies.

Ecommerce web sites

With an ecommerce web site, you may promote merchandise or objects to clients out of your on-line retailer.

Journal web sites

{A magazine} web site is a perfect selection if you wish to create a digital publication on a selected curiosity or topic.

Private weblog

A private weblog is an internet journal the place you publish your ideas and private experiences.

Enterprise web site

A enterprise web site advertises your providers and merchandise and helps you create a digital footprint for your corporation.

Ultimate ideas: An in depth historical past of WordPress

WordPress has an in depth historical past of change and improvement, and what was initially a running a blog device has developed into way more through the years.

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Try Nexcess totally managed WordPress plans at this time to get began.

This weblog was initially printed in March 2019. It has since been up to date for accuracy and comprehensiveness.