10 years ago today, the first release of WordPress became available. It all started as a fork of the platform b2/Cafelog. WordPress has grown to be the largest Content Management System in the world, powering over 18% of all websites on the Internet.
Nearly 70 million websites run WordPress and it’s hard to understate the impact that the software has had on the world of digital publishing. Hundreds of high-profile websites, including blogs from CNN, The New York Times and Reuters, all use WordPress.
WordPress was started by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and the open-source software has grown to include thousands of contributors. For Matt Mullenweg, hitting the decade mark was a bit startling for him. In a blog post, he wrote about the great platform he helped create:
Has it really been 10 years? It seems just yesterday we were playing around on my blog, and the blogs of a few high school friends. Two of those friends are married, one isn’t anymore, two are still figuring things out, and one has passed away.
You were cute before you became beautiful. Wearing black and white, afraid of color, trying to be so unassuming. I know you got jealous when I wore those Blogger t-shirts. They were the cool kids at SxSW and I thought maybe you could grow up to be like them.
You wouldn’t have shirts of your own for a few more years. We didn’t know what we were doing when we made them and the logo printed ginormous. People called them the Superman shirt and made fun of them. But, oh, that logo — the curves fit you so well.
You showed the world you were growing up, and how much you cared about design and typography and other platonic ideals. You knew that open source didn’t have to be homely. I stretched myself too thin trying to get you there, and I did a stupid thing to pay for it. I hurt you, but instead of casting me away you held me closer, supported me, gave me another chance. I will never forget that. Akismet made me feel less guilty. I wouldn’t change anything, because the mistake made me understand how important it is to fly straight and take your time.
You’re so beautiful… I’m continually amazed and delighted by how you’ve grown. Your awkward years are behind you. Best of all, through it all, you’ve stuck with the principles that got you started in the first place. You’re always changing but that never changes. You’re unafraid to try new things that may seem wacky or unpopular at first.
I see you all over the world now, glowing from screens, bringing people together at meetups and WordCamps — you’re at your best when you do that. You’re my muse; you inspire me, and I’ve seen you inspire others. You become a part of their life and they become a part of yours. I hope we grow old together.
Cheers to ten years, and here’s to a hundred more.
Happy 10th Birthday, Dear WordPress! 🙂