The History and Future of WordPress

You can’t even begin to make a website without hearing about WordPress. In today’s world, this single platform is responsible for powering over a quarter of the world’s websites. This is only the beginning for this massive company. They have huge plans for the future.wordpress past future

So, where did all of this come from and more importantly, where is WordPress going? Today, we’re going to find out!

The Past and Present of WordPress

WordPress began as a PHP blogging platform called B2 Cafelog. This original platform was developed by Michael Valdrighi in 2001. It only lasted two years before development ceased on the platform.

Matt Mullenweg wrote a post where he talked about the lack of progress and this led to Mike Little reaching out to him. They teamed up to create a fork of B2 that would eventually become WordPress. It was launched in May of 2003.

The 1.0 version released in January of 2004 that also included many of the features people know and love about the platform. Things like simple installation, comment moderation, the option for permalinks, and category support.

May of 2004 brought about 1.2 which was called Mingus and it added plugin support to the platform. As time went on, the platform only continued to grow and evolve. Particularly, version 1.5 (known as Strayhorn), brought themes and static pages.

The year 2005 brought about the famous anti-spam plugin Akismet and the focus shifted to improving both the commercial and open source aspects of the platform. This was also when the much-loved Plugin Directory became the place to find new plugins for the platform.

The years 2008 and 2009 brought about major updates to the backend of the program. Things like the shortcode API, post revisions, and sticky posts made their debut this time. Even after all these features were added, the overall market share was low compared to how it is today.

In 2015, the company made its moves through acquisitions and eventually jumped to the market share we know today, which is pushing 25%.

Today, the process of building a website on WordPress is simpler than its ever been. Just about any hosting company will recommend it for your website, and everything from simple blogs, to complex shopping platforms and gigantic news sites are currently running on this platform.

Here are just a few of the massive sites that run on WordPress:

  • TechCrunch
  • The New Yorker
  • BBC America
  • The Official Star Wars Blog
  • Variety
  • Sony Music
  • MTV News
  • Beyonce’s official website
  • PlayStation Blog
  • Best Buy

The Future of WordPress: A Few Bold Predictions

Matt Mullenweg is currently the lead developer at the WordPress Foundation and CEO of Automattic, which powers the Jetpack plugin and, which is one of the most popular free blogging platforms.

So, where is all of this going? What is the future of WordPress? The latest innovation that’s coming is the implementation of the WordPress REST API. According to a post from Matt Mullenweg himself, this opens up some exciting opportunities:

  • Custom dashboards that are built for specific types of websites or particular niches.
  • Mobile apps could be created quickly and easily. They could also support their own mobile plugins.
  • Continued focus will be placed on the usability of the platform and improving the backend.
  • Additional support for programming languages could be added through this API.

It’s clear that Mullenweg has a vision for where the platform should go in 2017 and beyond.

For starters, it looks like JavaScript is here to stay. The release of Calypso, along with Mullenweg’s comments that WP developers focus on JavaScript, means that he wants front-ends in WordPress to be written in this language.

Where do you see the future of WordPress going? Are you an avid user of the platform? Let us know in the comments!