What is WordPress?

Man on Laptop using WordPress

An Overview of WordPress

WordPress powers over 34% of all the websites on the Internet. This means that one in three websites that you visit will most likely have been built using WordPress!

WordPress is an open-source, free to use, software that is categorized as a CMS (Content Management System). Using WordPress allows non-coders to create a beautiful Blog, or website in any niche.

When WordPress was founded back in 2003, it was primarily a tool to create a Blog (or to give it its full title, a "Web-Log"). However, thanks to the massive ecosystem of Themes and Plugins that have grown around the WordPress Core Files, you can now create any type of website with WordPress.

The History of WordPress

WordPress began its life after the development of an existing Blogging platform called “B2/cafelog” ceased. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were two Users of the now-defunct platform. They decided to build on top of the existing B2/cafelog coding and on May 27, 2003, Matt announced to the world that the first version of WordPress was available.

In May 2004, version 1.2 introduced the Plugin architecture and opened WordPress to a community of developers. Plugins are an addons to the WordPress Core Files. They extend the functionality of WordPress or add new features.

February 2005, saw the release of version 1.5 and with it came an incredibly flexible Theme system. Pages and comment moderation tools were also added.

By December of the same year, WordPress v2.0 was released and this version had a new Admin Dashboard. It allowed Users to perform simple tasks without having to reload a page. In 2005 the internet was a slow beast to use as “High-speed Internet” was still a new concept. 

WordPress version 3.0 didn’t arrive until 5 and a half years later. It was a major step towards WordPress becoming the full Content Mangement System that it is today. Along with Headers and Menus, Custom Post-types, Taxonomies and Backgrounds, the “Twenty Ten” Theme was included. This started the tradition of a new default Theme being released every year.

If we jump ahead to 2018, following many iterations of WordPress, we arrive at version 5.0 which saw the release of the new Block Editor called “Gutenberg”. Named after Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor who more than 500 years previously had created a printing press with a movable type. The Gutenberg Editor radically changed the way that Posts and Pages are created compared with the previously used TinyMCE Editor. Gutenberg was, and still is a controversial change. There are plenty of WordPress Users who think it is a promising and necessary development but there are just as many who’d prefer that it didn’t exist. As the various enhancements to the Gutenberg Editor have been added, through to the current version, there is no doubt that with it, the need for Page Builders in the future (such as, Elementor and Beaver Builder) are less likely.

The Future of WordPress

WordPress is certainly here to stay! It will continually evolve along with the needs of its millions of Users around the world. It is safe to assume that WordPress will continue to act as the preferred method for Web Publishers to easily create amazing web spaces for us all to enjoy.

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