WordPress celebrates its twentieth anniversary

WordPress celebrates its twentieth anniversary

WordPress celebrates its twentieth anniversary. When they released the first version of their content management system on May 27, 2003, did American developer Matt Mullenweg and his English colleague Mike Little imagine that WordPress would “power” 43% of public websites? This anniversary also marks the triumph of a certain vision of open source development.

Like a few thousand bloggers, Matt Mullenweg used the b2/cafelog system, which seemed to have been abandoned in 2002. It would be nice to have the flexibility of MovableType, the parsing of TextPattern, the tweakability of b2 and the ease of installation of Blogger,” he wrote in a post that has remained famous, “someday, wouldn’t it?” Mike Little offered to help him take over the b2/cafelog code, Christine Selleck Tremoulet suggested the name “WordPress”, and development took three months…

…or twenty years. Without taking anything away from its immense qualities, it has to be said that WordPress benefited from Movable Type’s change of license, the stagnation of Dotclear and Textpattern, and the procrastination of Drupal1 and Joomla developers. The little blog engine has become a complete and complex management system (CMS), notably used to create online stores, which has recently reinvented itself with Project Gutenberg, a block editor reminiscent of Squarespace or Wix.

The success of WordPress is that of an open source project distributed under the GPL license, supported by a foundation that owns the trademark, but also that of a commercial enterprise. Founded and run by Matt Mullenweg, Automattic operates the WordPress.com hosting service, which has justified (and driven) much of the CMS’s development in recent years. Its Akismet anti-spam system and Jetpack plug-in are not far from being indispensable WordPress extensions.

Automattic has embarked on an investment frenzy: the WooCommerce e-commerce plug-in, the Simplenote notepad, the Pocket Casts podcast player, the Day One digital diary and, above all, Tumblr. The microblogging platform, which has been enjoying a second lease of life since Twitter was scuttled, is gradually being rewritten with WordPress. All the ingredients for the next twenty years of development…