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Happy Birthday: WordPress Turns 21

21 years young and still going strong, WordPress powers nearly half of all Internet websites and is the most used CMS by a large margin over the competition, with a very active development cycle, showing no signs of slowing down.

Going back almost a quarter of a century, various CMS systems were available; the only notable open-source solutions built on PHP were Drupal and Joomla. Both started around the same time as WordPress (Drupal is the oldest by a few years). WordPress was not a CMS at that point; it started as a fork from the old B2/Cafelog blog script and was not a serious competitor to other CMS systems. But over time, the simplicity of WordPress plugin and theme development has been crucial in gaining broad support from the development community, leading to a rapid growth and transformation of WordPress from a simple blog to a highly advanced CMS solution that powers over 43% of all websites on the Internet.

Today, it has been 21 years since Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked B2 into WordPress and released the first public version, 0.7. The initial development was slow, but over the next 7 years, WordPress reached version 3.0, which included all critical CMS core elements, including custom post types and taxonomies, image editing, revisions, and multisite capabilities. Around that time, many more developers worked on WordPress, and a more stable release cycle started. Fast forward to today, and WordPress 6.5 was recently released, with work going on for the next 6.6 version.

Happy Birthday, WordPress!

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About the author

Milan Petrovic
Milan Petrovic

CEO and Lead developer of Dev4Press Web Development company, working with WordPress since 2008, first as a freelancer, later founding own development company. Author of more than 250 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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