The History of WordPress

August 16, 2014| Mike Stott

A blast back in time, to see how it all began.

It all started with a blog post. Matt Mullenweg was getting concerned when an open source blog software had stopped being developed.. from this WordPress was born

Yes, WordPress all started with a blog post. WordPress wasn’t developed from scratch, it was developed from a “fork” of some already existing software, you can read the original blog post here. You’ll see from the first comment that a guy called Mike Little, posted up and expressed his interest in creating a fork of b2 (you can see what was used prior to WordPress here). CafeLog was created in 2001.

From there on, WordPress took a direction that made it as popular as it is today, WordPress 1.2 (2004) brought with it the ability to use a plugin. A plugin is one of the main things we offer here at Epic Plugins. You can use plugins to enhance your WordPress website and the use of plugins has helped many websites as well as many plugin authors improve their life.

The market for WordPress plugins is huge, you have CodeCanyon, which is a central marketplace (like Amazon) that lets people submit code as authors and people can purchase licenses to use the code. This has helped many authors who are skilled in developing for WordPress, pay the rent and focus on developing plugins full time. From 2004 this really was a big step change for WordPress.

2005 brought with it the Theme system …. ┬áhuh, themes came after plugins? yup. They did. That’s pretty insane to think about how far themes have come and they were only an option from 2005 onwards. I wonder what the themes of old (2004) used to look like, this was before Epic Plugins was born and also before I (Mike) had even started using WordPress myself.

From 2005 onwards, WordPress has been constantly developed, bringing with it a number of new features with each release as well as speed improvements, here’s a list of some of my favourite new features that have come with new versions of WordPress, what are yours?

  • Widgets and Shortcodes, these were brought in from WP version 2.5 (2008) can you imagine WordPress without widgets? and how many shortcodes save time! LOADS…. possibly my favourite additon!
  • Custom Post types (from WP 3.0 in 2010) without these, so many things would have to be written from scratch and it’s helped a ton of new innovation in plugins (Dilemma uses custom post types to keep your Dilemmas seperate from your main blog).
  • Theme customiser, this is pretty new (2012) and overlooked by a number of developers who still code a “theme options page” the theme customiser is found under appearance and “customise” and lets you easily tweak your theme colors and options (the epic hackers theme makes use of this feature)
  • Finally, the other thing which stands out is the addition of the admin bar, totally useful, but sometimes a pain for being shown on the front end of the site

So, this is a quick and brief look back at WordPress and how it’s changed over the years including some of the features we all know and love. Are we all happy in the path that it’s taking? There’s one thing that I hope amongst all other things, is that WordPress doesn’t go the same route as cafelog did, and it stopped being developed.

What are your thoughts? What’s your favoruite feature in WordPress?

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