Wordpress 2018 is still growing

15 years of WordPress history - a chronology

WordPress celebrates its 15th birthday on May 27, 2018. We would like to take this event as an opportunity to look back on the history of the popular content management system so far. A lot has happened over the years and we can be happy that WordPress is still free, open source software.

WordPress turns 15!

Most of us are more likely to have that May 25, 2018 as an important date in the back of your mind - that is when the dreaded one occurs General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union in force. Hardly any other topic has moved the internet world in the past few weeks.
We too have dealt extensively with the GDPR dealt with and written numerous blog posts to provide you with assistance with implementation. This post, on the other hand, is dedicated to a happier event - and that is 15th birthday ofWordPress at the May 27, 2018.

The history

15 years, that's a long time. We will review these in the following, referring to the decisive development steps, highlights and people in the background of the year after year most successful content management system in the world enter. Officially, the story of WordPress at the May 27, 2003.
The concept for this already exists, however since 2001 in the form of blog software b2 / cafelog from the French developer Michel Valdrighi, to their users too Matt Mullenweg counted. The then 17-year-old student of University of Houston built WordPress and is still the lead developer of the project to this day.
Valdrighi disappeared in the year 2002 from the screen to devote himself to private matters - and so there was no further support for b2 / cafelog. However, Mullenweg recognized the great potential and decided to develop even better software based on b2 / cafelog.
He could even do this without Michel Valdrighi's permission, because he was working under the GNU General Public License had published. This allows software to be changed and redistributed at will. Together with the British developer Mike Little So Mullenweg got down to work.

2003: WordPress officially starts

After about five months of development, the time had come and WordPress was officially launched. Incidentally, the person responsible for the name is responsible for the name Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Mullenweg. Shortly after the publication, numerous web developers came to work on the project.
Alex King for example, who was significantly involved in the plug-in directory and the creation of themes. Or Dougal Campbellwho took care of performance improvements. Ryan Boren in turn helped with the development of plug-ins and, and, and. Mullenweg also found the time to label all files that still contained the prefix “b2” with “wp”.
Another important step in the founding year was the creation of the WordPress Wiki, i.e. the documentation of the content management system. Today this is continued under the name WordPress Codex to provide developers with support for their questions. This paved the way for the successful years that were to follow.

2004: WordPress receives plug-ins

With version 1.2, also known as "Mingus", the era of plug-ins began. At the time, the WordPress team had no idea how significant this step would become over the years. If you want to read up on what exactly plug-ins actually are, you can do so here: What actually is a plug-in?

2005: Mullenweg founds Automattic

The year 2005 marks the introduction of various functionalities such as the creation of pages, the integration of the WYSIWYG editor and the possibility of checking posts in a preview before publication. In addition, a new theme system was developed, whereby themes were by no means as important as they are today: What actually is a theme?
Matt Mullenweg also founded the company Automatticwith which he was in a first round of financing more than $ 1 million could collect. Today Automattic operates, among other things, the wordpress.com platform and the anti-spam plug-in Akismet, that too 2005 saw the light of day.

2006: WordPress grows as a brand

Not until the year 2006 Automattic let them WordPress brand and associated logo protect legally as a trade mark. At that time the company was still a small start-up, but Mullenweg took this step with foresight that his venture would develop into something bigger.
In any case, it got bigger Communitythat formed around WordPress. The first WordCamp conference with more than 500 participants in a single day 2006 held in San Francisco. The signs were pointing to growth and, as we know today, that shouldn't change anytime soon.

2007: WordPress goes through first crisis

Everything cannot always run smoothly, Automattic had to do that every year 2007 experienced for the first time. Numerous blogs reported that they were attacked by hackers - and as it turned out, the vulnerability was located on one of the WordPress web servers. However, the vulnerability was quickly closed.
Besides the negative events there were 2007 Again numerous software updates with further developments, such as the introduction of widgets: What actually is a widget? Automattic also bought the Gravatar service, which enables users to create avatars that can be used on all WordPress sites.

2008: WordPress improves workflow

With the WordPress version "Coltrane" it became easier for users to work with the software: plug-ins and Updates could now be installed directly from the administration area - a huge relief. In addition, the menu bar moved from the top of the screen to the sidebar, where it still sits today.
Further collectedAutomattic in a second round of financing additional thirty million dollars one and WordPress received a “Best of open source software award” in the “Collaboration” area from InfoWorld. As a result, awareness of the content management system continued to grow.

2009: WordPress improves workflow, the second

With the first major release of the year 2009, "Baker", WordPress users were given the opportunity to install plug-ins and updates as well as themes directly from the administration area. In addition, you could now edit the code of themes and plug-ins from here - a great thing for developers.
"Carmen" in turn brought us the integrated Image editing function and the option to embed videos without HTML or shortcodes: what are shortcodes anyway? Great as well. There was also that "Overall Best Open Source CMS"-Award for WordPress, which of course fueled the hype.

2010: Mullenweg establishes a foundation

Matt Mullenweg left 2010 a big step: he called the WordPress Foundation into life. This pursues the mission, the further development of WordPress and the Democratization through free software to promote. He transferred the rights to the brand to the foundation.
On the software side, we got it called version 3.0 "Thelonious" to do. This brought us the Multisite mode and with it the ability to manage multiple websites with a single WordPress installation - another remarkable advance.

2011: WordPress improves workflow, the third

In the year 2011 there were three major updates: "Reinhardt", "Gershwin" and "Sonny". All three focused on improving usability. There was, for example, the trouble-free writing mode, improved comment moderation and drag-and-drop upload for media files.
Incidentally, that was also possible in August 2011 Elbe network from the stack. Initially only planned as a project, an independent agency with a clear focus on WordPress was quickly created.

2012: WordPress continues to innovate

Also 2012 was primarily characterized by innovations in relation to working with WordPress. So it became Customizer introduced, with which the design of the website can be carried out in a real-time preview.

2013: WordPress gets a new look

"Basie" first brought the introduction automatic security updates and with "Parker" received the content management system modernized design. Automattic currently collected just over $ 126 million in two further financing rounds.

2014: WordPress focuses on content

It went in numerous updates 2014 essentially about the Improving the content creation process. This gave us the drag-and-drop and editing function for images in the editor, the preview for galleries and the ability to create audio and video playlists.
Automattic again received again $ 160 million of fresh money from investors to improve the market position of the company and the brand WordPress to expand further. The competition didn't sleep.

2015 - 2017: WordPress moves with the times

It got quieter around WordPress, the software ran like a well-oiled machine. Of course there were still updates, for example improvements to the customizer and new widgets for images, audio and video files, but there were no groundbreaking changes.
For further growth, Automattic relies on e-commerce and acquires WooCommerce in 2015. The company develops the WordPress plug-in of the same name for setting up shops. According to the company, 30 percent of all online stores worldwide will be operated with WooCommerce by 2015.
During this period, WordPress cracked more and more recorders of user statistics: According to surveys, WordPress achieved one CMS market share of approx. 60 percent. Also impressive: 27 percent of all websites on the Internet are operated with the help of WordPress. By the way, you can always find current water level reports on the W3Tech website.
In early 2016, Automattic Inc. was valued at around US $ 1.2 billion and traded as a candidate for an IPO.

2018: WordPress looks to the future

However, the game-changing changes will come - in the form of the GutenbergProject that completely redesigns the editor in a first step: Gutenberg is coming - All information about the new WordPress editor. In two further steps, the basic structure of WordPress is tackled by the concept of the blocks in the customizer and the theme design.
It remains exciting and we will History of WordPress in the Elbnetz blog continuously - gladly for another 15 years or more. As mentioned at the beginning: We can be pleased that WordPress is still free, open source software. The dedicated community behind the software is a big part of the success, so the upcoming WordPress birthday is a reason for many people to celebrate.
All the best!