On May 27, 2003, the first public version of WordPress had been released. It was version 0.7 that started this long journey of our favorite CMS, and today we celebrate the 18th birthday and over 40% of market share among all the internet websites.
In 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked the B2/cafelog blog software and released the new software under the name ‘WordPress’ with many new features, including excerpts, the new admin interface, and more. You can check out the first release post here. The initial goal was to continue the development of then-popular blog software. And, once a blog software (a lot of users still think of WordPress as a blog platform), WordPress has grown a lot in these 18 years, to a multipurpose CMS system that powers over 40% of the internet (with 65% market share among the CMS platforms).
It is not hard to understand why WordPress has grown the way it is, why it is so popular and why there are no signs of the slow down in global growth, despite the old code base and not very modern-looking code. WordPress popularity is a mix of various factors, starting with a diverse and very active community, very low threshold for getting started with WordPress development, the fact that it uses PHP, and the huge number of plugins and themes allowing end-users to create any websites, from simple one-page product overviews to basic blogs, complex community websites and full-fledged eCommerce solutions.
I started working with WordPress in 2007 using early 2.0 versions. And, since 2009, my development time is 100% dedicated to plugins, themes, or websites built for WordPress; I have built my company around WordPress development. I have seen WordPress grow and change, I have seen ups and downs (and there were downs), and I have grown as a developer myself with WordPress, and I am looking forward to what the future will bring to WordPress and see how the WordPress is going to look through the next 18 years.
Happy birthday WordPress!