The History of WordPress – Where It All Began

History of WordPress

The History of WordPress – Where It All Began

WordPress is one of the world’s most popular website builders, and we are going to tell you how they got there.


Their journey started in 2001. This was when Michel Valdrighi launched B2/cafelog, which is a classy news/weblog tool (logware), created specifically for blogging. However, in 2003 the development was abandoned.


Matt Mulenweg, a user of B2/cafelog, posted about the lack of updates and wanted to do something about it. This then led to Mike Little asking Matt if he wanted to team up to take things forward themselves. As B2/cafelog is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Therefore, they were able to use the B2/cafelog as a foundation for their new software called WordPress. With the launch of their new software they made significant improvements on the B2/cafelog. The first version of WordPress had included new templates, a new admin interface, links manager, and XHTML 1.1 compliant templates. This new software was revered really well in the community.


In 2004 they released an update, which introduced plugins. This meant that users and developers now had a way to extend their functionality, whether it was through them writing their own plugins or sharing them with the community for them to use. With the changes that Moveable Type (the leading blogging software at the time) had done in their licensing and pricing structure, give WordPress a flood of new users.


With the increase of users, the update in early 2005 was of Pages, comment moderation tools, and a new theme system. Then late 2005 was the release with a new admin dashboard, and editing experience so the user could now include inline image, video and file uploads.


In 2008 web design company, Happy Cog joined WordPress to help design a new admin interface. During this time they did three different updates. The first one was the dashboard widget system, and the shortcode API. However, the new interface wasn’t received as well as the previous updates. Then the second one introduced a usability testing report called Crazyhorse. From this the third one they did post revisions, built-in plugin installations, and sticky posts.


Matt officially set up the WordPress Foundation as a charitable organization in 2010. This was to make sure that WordPress would have a future in the long run. With the 2010 update it brought in custom post types, added custom menu management, a new API’s for custom headers and custom backgrounds, and a new default theme. These updates brought WordPress much closer to a CMS (Content Management System).


Then in 2011 they introduced plugins for eCommerce platforms. This meant that users could now create online stores.


With the updates in 2012 they brought in a theme customizer and previewer, which meant that you were able to view your theme and check your revisions before applying them to your live website. They also introduced a new media manager, which meant that the users could now create image galleries, to showcase your images.


In 2013 WordPress had now become the most popular CMS in the world. With this their new update brought in their MP6 admin interface, which was made to provide a better user experience for users using any device on any screen size.


2014 was a big year for lots of new updates. They introduced drag and drop with images straight into the post editor, editing images and viewing their gallery previews inside the editor. There were also live widget previews, audio and video playlists. 2014 was the first year when WordPress non-english downloads surpassed the english downloads.


With the 2016 update came the content recovery and custom CSS. The custom CSS allowed uses of WordPress to customise their features as they wanted. With this new feature WordPress announced that they supported HTTPs.


In 2018 they released a brand new editing experience. This new block editor project was codenamed Gutenberg. For this new editor it uses blocks, to create your pages or posts. You can add blocks for each paragraph, image, video, gallery, audio, lists, etc.

WordPress is continuously growing to create new changes to address the needs of their millions of users around the world. This is because it is their primary focus to put their users first to create the best software possible for web development.