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Table of contents
What is WordPress?
How did it start?
WordPress Timeline (Version and Features)
Frequently Asked Questions
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

History of WordPress

Author Akash Nagpal
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With over 43.3 per cent of websites running on it, WordPress is the most popular content management system globally. This platform has established itself as an industry behemoth, from launching new technology to growing a close-knit community. However, comprehending every significant change during the last few decades might be daunting because of its extensive history.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows bloggers and web admins to change website material regularly without using a standard HTML editor like Dreamweaver or Frontpage.


WordPress is free to use and modify since it is open-source software licenced under the GPLv2 licence. has a package for this. Automattic, a company founded by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, runs, a free, hosted version of the platform that lives on Automattic's servers with a few paid extras, such as the ability to use your domain name for a small fee. Alternative to Automattic's service, there are a few other ways to acquire a free, hosted WordPress site, although that is the most popular. is the self-hosted version that can be installed on the servers (if you have them) such as Kinsta, WPEngine, Siteground, Flywheel, GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost, Media Temple, and a slew of others.

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WordPress's history begins, like so many others, with an ordinary guy (turned genius) seeking a solution to an issue he was experiencing at the time.

How did it start?

  • In the year 2002, for personal usage, Matt Mullenweg, a college student at the time, installed the b2 or cafelog blogging system. Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, the original inventor of b2/cafelog had to stop maintaining his product, leaving the project and its community without a leader.
  • Matt established a new branch of b2 on SourceForge on April 1st, 2003, by forking the original b2/cafelog system to construct his  version with Mike Little's support. Christine Tremoulet, a friend of Matt's, suggested the name WordPress, which they adopted.
  • Later in October 2004, Mullenweg was hired by CNET to assist them in developing their blogs. He would drop out of college and relocate from Houston to San Francisco to take this position.
  • He stayed for a year before leaving in October 2005. He also designed the Akismet comment spam filter for WordPress in the same month. This plugin is still one of the most popular comment spam protection plugins for sites today.
  • Automattic, the startup Matt created after leaving CNET, had a very busy month in October. In a series A fundraising round, they raised $1.10 million. True Ventures, Radar Partners, Polaris Ventures, and CNET were among the earliest investors. This was the first evidence that the platform was gaining traction from the outside. With the extra time now that he wasn't working for CNET, he had the opportunity to upgrade WordPress. In December, the Duke 2.0 upgrade was released. The interface received a big makeover and increased speed and efficiency when it came to posting and picture uploads. Automattic began to expand it's business and brand in 2006.
  • Automattic bought Gravatar the next month. Gravatars are the images that appear next to your name when you interact with WordPress sites (and many other services because it's a free service). This is the first in a series of purchases Automattic will make to bring in relevant technologies to help customers get the most out of their WordPress experience.
  • They secured an additional $29.5 million in a Series B round of investment in January 2008. In addition, the WordPress Theme Directory was launched in 2008. Anyone may create and upload themes to this directory, making them available to tens of thousands of visitors for free; the only requirement is that they pass a quality check beforehand. There is a lot of activity on the site every day, and there are currently over 2,500 free themes accessible for download!
  • Fast forward to June 2009, and the next major WordPress update is available: WordPress 2.8 Baker. The inclusion of the CodePress editor to assist web developers with the coding of their sites was also crucial. This upgrade benefited admins with features like automated theme installation and the addition of the CodePress editor to aid web developers with the coding of their sites. WordPress was also awarded in the same year.

WordPress Timeline (Version and Features)

  • The WordPress 3.0 Thelonious upgrade, published in June of 2010, was undoubtedly a game-changing update. The addition of the custom post type functionality has opened the door to a plethora of content type customizations that can be managed with WordPress. Previously, just posts, pages, and taxonomies were available; today, you can build a post type for restaurants, for example, and use custom fields to add a set of key-value pairs to define that specific entity. This distinguishes WordPress as a content management system (CMS) from a "basic" blogging system. Thanks to the newly available APIs, it became much easier to expand the functions of a core WordPress install and personalize it to your (or your clients') specific needs!
  • In February 2011, the WordPress 3.1 Reinhardt update was released. The admin bar, which you can use to access the backend of every page when signed in to your site, was one of the most notable innovations.

    Note: Furthermore in 2011, WordPress now runs over 12% of the world's websites. They surpassed 50 million WordPress blogs in July. This expansion will continue. Three years later, its platform is used by 22 percent of the world's websites. Fast forward to January 2013, when Automattic buys Simperium, a note-taking software. This is important for app developers who need to maintain track of their work across a huge team located all over the world. For example, you could wish to collaborate with developers in Delhi, Boston, and San Francisco to produce a WordPress plugin or theme. You now have a single mechanism for organising the app's notes.


  • There was a significant change with the WordPress 3.8 Parker update, which went live in December 2013The core team redesigned the appearance and felt of the Dashboard for the first time since the Davis upgrade. The WordPress admin panel was also made responsive. This implies that the platform can be used on a mobile or tablet device in the same way can be used on a computer.
  • The WordPress 3.9 Smith update was released in April 2014. The way WordPress handles future automatic version upgrades has changed as a result of this release. Hopefully, even long-forgotten self-hosted sites will be automatically upgraded to the current versions, reducing the notion that WP is vulnerable. 

    Note: Finally, the $160 million Series C fundraising round that Automattic got at the beginning of May is the cherry on top. This round of investment revealed that Automattic is worth more than $1 billion. The firm employs just 256 people. This is incredible when other internet behemoths like Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Amazon employ thousands of people. We don't know what Automattic plans to do with the extra funding, but we're confident it will be helpful to everyone active in the WordPress community.
  • Benny, or WordPress 4.0, was introduced to improve the writing and administration experience. Pasting a YouTube URL into the editor, for example, will immediately embed a video in the post. This worked with a variety of connections, making the embedding process more visual. On the editor's side, the developers intended the editing tools to be visible. While a result, as you write, the editor will begin growing to accommodate your material. The plugin directory was changed in 4.0, the final major addition. They improved the search, added new analytics, and improved the visual experience to understand exactly what kinds of plugins were appearing after a search.
  • With menu features right in the Customizer, WordPress 4.3, or Billie, emphasises personalization and layout. For example, it allowed menus to be assigned, customized, and managed from a mobile device. For individuals who prefer not to use keyboard shortcuts, formatting shortcuts were developed. ## before and after a line of text, for example, will convert it to a header.
  • WordPress 4.5, also kn as Coleman, improved the workflow by introducing features like inline linking. Other formatting shortcuts were included, such as the ability to quickly create horizontal lines. The Preview button was one of the most stunning additions. Because websites must appear good on all devices, it was only natural that the previews be mobile responsive. Custom logos were included in the upgrade, and clever picture scaling made graphics load significantly quicker without slowing d the page.
  • WordPress 4.7, also kn as Vaughan, introduced a slew of new features, including the twenty-seventeen theme, more customization possibilities, and a slew of developer tools. The theme customizer has been redesigned from the ground up. They've included new shortcut icons that you may click to go straight to the field you're looking for. The customizer made it much easier to develop menus because you could create pages. Finally, you may use the customizer to apply custom CSS.
  • Evans, or WordPress 4.8, was released on June 8, 2016. The major goal of this version was to enhance current widgets while also introducing some new ones to make it easier to present material, photos, and branding. Widgets hadn't seen muchchanges in years, so it was exciting for users to see some new features.
  • With considerable upgrades to the Customizer, numerous modifications to widgets, a sophisticated WordPress text editor for editing code, and much more, WordPress 4.9, Tipton, represented a huge move toward a more user-centric method to configure and administer websites. 
  • There has never been any form of code syntax highlighting or validation in any prior version of WordPress. It was just basic words on the screen. The CodeMirror text editor was included into WordPress 4.9. This is fantastic news for developers, as it now becomes much easier to make tiny code changes and alter CSS via the customizer.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the minimum requirements to run WordPress?
    The minimum requirements to run WordPress are: PHP 7 or greater, MySQL 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB 10.0 or greater, The mod_rewrite Apache module and HTTPS support(Recommended).
  2. What do mean by a Plugin in WordPress?
    WordPress Plugins are pieces of code that include one or more functions that are created to enhance and improve the functionality of a WordPress website. WordPress' core is built to be lean and lightweight, with a focus on maximising flexibility and reducing code bloat. Plugins then provide additional functions and features, allowing each user to customise their site to meet their individual requirements.


In this article, we have extensively discussed the version timeline of WordPress We have also learnt about CMS along with its history.

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