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WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.
WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your cat’s home page to a Fortune 500 web site without paying anyone a license fee and a number of other important freedoms.
WordPress is completely customizable and can be used for almost anything.
There is also a free service called WordPress.com which lets you get started with a new and free WordPress-based blog in seconds, but varies in several ways and is less flexible than the WordPress you download and install yourself.
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and publishing platform powered by PHP and MySQL. It is often customized into a content management system (CMS). It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet‘s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 powers 22% of all new websites. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet.
It was first released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg as a fork of b2/cafelog. As of February 2011, version 3.0 had been downloaded over 32.5 million times.
2007 WordPress won a Packt Open Source CMS Award.
2009 WordPress won the Packt best Open Source CMS Award.
2010 WordPress won the Hall of Fame CMS category in the 2010 Open Source Awards.
2011 WordPress won the Open Source Web App of the Year Award at The Critters.
“WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is modern software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope that by focusing on user experience and web standards we can create a tool different from anything else out there.” From WordPress.org
2001 – b2 cafelog launched by Michel Valdrighi.
2003 – Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little fork b2 and create WordPress.
2004 – Plugins are introduced with Version 1.2 (Mingus).
2007 – A new UI, autosave, spell check and other new features were introduced in Version 2.1 (Ella). Widgets, better Atom feed support, and speed optimizations came out in Version 2.2 (Getz). And tagging, update notifications, pretty URLs and a new taxonomy system were introduced in Version 2.3 (Dexter).
2008 – Version 2.5 (Brecker) was released with a new administration UI design by Happy Cog, and introduced the dashboard widget system and the shortcode API. Version 2.6 (Tyner) built on 2.5 and introduced post revisions and Press This. A usability study was done on 2.5 over the summer, leading to the development of the Crazyhorse prototype, and the eventual release of Version 2.7 (Coltrane), which redesigned the administration UI to improve usability and make the admin tool more customizable. Version 2.7 also introduced automatic upgrading, built-in plugin installation, sticky posts, comment threading/paging/replies and a new API, bulk management, and inline documentation.
2009 – Version 2.8 (Baker) introduced a built-in theme installer and an improved widget UI and API. Version 2.9 (Carmen) introduced image editing, a Trash/Undo feature, bulk plugin updating, and oEmbed support.
2010 – Version 3.0 (Thelonious) introduced custom post types, custom menu management and allowed the management of multiple sites (called MultiSite).
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