Happy Birthday, WordPress!
May 27, 2023, is the 20th anniversary of WordPress—the most popular content management system on the internet. Much has changed about the web since 2003, but WordPress has been an important fixture for many who develop websites.
One of the primary reasons why WordPress has been so steadfast over the years is a thriving community of designers and developers. Thousands of people are planning global celebrations in honor of WordPress’ big milestone.
To learn more about this anniversary, check out the WordPress website. You can see what events are happening, download some graphics, and even buy branded merchandise.
A Brief History of WordPress
WordPress was started by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg as a personal blog tool back in 2003. From the beginning, they wanted it to be open-sourced so that more people could use and contribute to its growth.
WordPress eventually became Automattic (the parent company that still owns WordPress). They also have a few other tools and sites including:
- WooCommerse: their e-commerce platform
- Jetpack: their statistics and security plugin
- Gravitar: a one-stop public profile for the web
- Tumblr: another blogging platform they acquired
- Longreads: a long-form nonfiction storytelling magazine
- Day One: a journaling app
- Pocket Casts: a podcast publishing platform
- Simplenote: a note-taking app
Many of these tools connect directly to the WordPress ecosystem and were created to enhance the web-building experience.
According to its website, WordPress’ mission is to democratize publishing. They want to grant the freedom to build, change, and share on the web. This is accomplished by always being:
- Designed for everyone
- Welcoming and inclusive
The 4 Freedoms
They’re also licensed under GPLv2 to provide these four freedoms:
- The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works and change it to make it do what you wish.
- The freedom to redistribute.
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
- WordPress.org is a free CMS that can be used on any site hosted elsewhere.
- WordPress.com is a blogging platform that can be used to build a site hosted by WP. There is a free option, but you must pay for custom themes or a custom URL.
- Both operate with the same WordPress CMS engine under the hood.
WordPress is an impressive content management system (CMS) and these numbers prove it:
- About 43% of the internet is powered by WordPress.
- That translates to about 455 million websites using WP.
- That includes 65% of the websites that use a CMS.
- More than 500 WordPress sites are created every day.
- It’s still been the fastest-growing CMS for the last 12 years.
- There are over 60,000 free plugins and 31,000 themes in the WordPress library.
- Yoast SEO is the most popular plugin with over 470 million downloads.
This data shows not only how popular WordPress is but also how active the WordPress community is in keeping the platform functioning well.
GreenMellen and WordPress
GreenMellen has been building exclusively WordPress websites since 2009. That’s six years after WordPress officially launched, but we have experience with the CMS dating back to nearly the beginning. We also help to maintain WordPress websites, including plugin and theme updates.
While it’s easy to use existing templates to create sites, we choose to build custom themes for each site based on the open-sourced Genesis Framework. This makes each of our clients’ sites suited to their needs while maximizing the WordPress CMS.
Here are a few blog posts about our experience with WordPress:
- 4 Reasons Why We Exclusively Work With WordPress Websites
- Why Work with a WordPress Expert on Your Website
- 6 Common Mistakes New WordPress Users Make
- 7 Common WordPress Myths Debunked
- Digital Marketing Benefits of WordPress
We also have a history of hosting meetups about WordPress and speaking at WordCamp, the annual global series of conferences specifically about WP.
Why We Exclusively Use WordPress
There are plenty of great benefits to using WordPress for your website, but here are the four reasons why we only build WordPress websites for our clients.
- You own your website. With WordPress as your CMS, you aren’t locked in. You can host your website on thousands of different platforms, and if you encounter a problem with one of them, it’s rather painless to pack up and move to another.
- The technical ecosystem. If you have a feature that you want on your site, some plugins will accomplish almost anything you can dream of. WordPress also connects with almost any platform you’re already using.
- Support. If you have a problem with your site, you can search for the answer because someone has likely faced the same issue as you.
- Community. The WordPress community is unique and wonderful. The amount of sharing and collaboration that happens between competitors is something you don’t see often.
Because of WordPress’ popularity and large global community, there is an ever-growing amount of great online resources. Here are a few to help you get started.
- The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work
- WordPress developer resources
- WordPress tutorials and training
- WP Beginner
How to get started with a WP website
- Pick a web host
- Buy a domain name
- Install WordPress as your CMS
- Choose a theme
- Install plugins
- Start adding your content using pages and posts
Need Help With Your WordPress Website?
As easy as WordPress is to use, it still takes time and experience to get it right. We have years of experience building dozens of websites for small businesses. Whether you need help supporting an existing site or building a new one, we’ve got you covered.