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WordPress over the years

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Beginning of WordPress

WordPress is the most popular content management system present on the internet which offers itself to millions of websites. It has a remarkable user interface with advanced features and has easy adaptability even for the new users. However, you will be amazed to know that there was a time when WordPress was not even a content management system but rather a mini blogging platform.

 

The WordPress we see today resembles nothing like what it looked like back in 2003. The first version had nothing like a dashboard and the best you could do there was just write a blog without any images or other files. Today it looks like a professional as well as a functional platform and is as simple as any other platform to use.

 

Who started it?

WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg back in 2003. Interestingly, WordPress was created after a similar project named b2 cafelog was scrapped by the makers. WordPress is a widely-used open source software that is currently a large community of content creators and readers. According to popular research, approximately 32% of the content we see on the internet is based on WordPress.

Its origin goes years back when Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little collaborated to start a blogging platform. Over the years, WordPress users have experienced hundreds of changes on the platform, and from a simple blogging platform to a widely used content management system, it has a rich history.

WordPress version history

  • WordPress 0.71(June 2003)
  • Miles(2004)
  • Mingus(May 2004)
  • Strayhorn (Feb 2005)
  • Duke(December 2005)
  • Ella(January 2007)
  • Dexter(September 2007)
  • Becker(May 2008)
  • Coltrane(December 2008)
  • Thelonious(2010)
  • Elvin(2012)
  • Parker(2013)
  • Smith(2014)
  • Coleman(2016)
  • Vaughan(2017)
  • Tiptone(2017)
  • Bebo(2019)
  • Eckstine(2020)

Since 2003 to 2019, WordPress has come through a long way and it has introduced numerous features between all these years. The history of WordPress is rich and with every new version introduced, WordPress did not fail to amaze its users by their creativity. Whether to improve the user interface continuously or to make the platform adaptable as per the new devices introduced, WordPress did it all, the following is a timeline which discusses each and every version briefly:

 

WordPress 0.71

(June 2003)

The very first version of WordPress did not have any dashboard and the user could directly write the post from the admin panel. Naturally, there were very limited features and the interface was pretty simple. The first version had a very hectic installation procedure requiring a lot of information to be changed manually. Moreover, only one category could be assigned to a single post.

 

Miles

(WordPress 1.0.1) (2004)

At this point of time, there was a huge fan following of jazz musicians and this version was hence named after the famous musician Miles Davis. Unlike the previous version, WordPress stopped the usage of b2 to and took a step towards filing structure, several features were introduced this time including comment moderation, new installation method, SEO based URL structure, and much more.

 

Mingus

(WordPress 1.2) (May 2004)

The next version 1.2 was a revolutionary update as it was the first version that introduced plugins. This version was named after Charles Mingus and included numerous features like a preview of the post, creation of thumbnails, custom fields, password encryption, and multitasking between the features.

 

Strayhorn

(WordPress 1.5) (February 2005)

Billy Strayhorn was the inspiration behind the name of the next version of WordPress. This version had a different dashboard style. Another major change in this version is that it did not use Ajax. This version was significantly slower than the current version. The next big thing included introducing pages along with the pages with which admin could create static pages that were not attached to their blog. This version also offered to install multiple themes in a single installation process.

 

Duke

(WordPress 2.0) (December 2005)

WordPress 2.0 became popular because of its improved admin interface having a header on top representing the admin area. This version was remarkably faster than the previous version because of the usage of Ajax. Another edition was a WYSIWYG editor and Akismet feature to deal with the problem of spamming by comments. Moreover, uploading images of files was allowed, better postings field, and better features for developers were introduced.

 

Ella

(WordPress 2.1) (January 2007)

The next feature, ‘Ella’, improved the admin screen for the first time to manage comments. Moreover, improvement in the contentt management system was found as features such as deleting and approving comments were introduced.

 

Dexter

(WordPress 2.3) (September 2007)

WordPress version 2.3 did not affect the user interface drastically but had many other significant improvements such as native support for adding tags in the post. Along with that introduction of updates, notification led to allow users to check to get information regarding the availability of a new update. This version also started redirecting users to improve the URL quality for SEO 

 

Brecker

(WordPress 2.5) (May 2008)

This version marked WordPress’s very first collaboration with any other organization. WordPress collaborated with a wave design consultancy, Happy Cog to improve the user interface of the platform. Certain changes were made such as the dashboard had added new features, a one-click feature of WordPress plugin directory, buiIt it-in gallery feature, and visual editor. This version is still relevant today as many of the features introduced are still present in the current feature.

 

Coltrane

(WordPress 2.7) (December 2008)

Another feature focuses on Don’s improvement in the admin interface where users can code to readjust elements present on the dashboard. Moreover, screen features were introduced to hide or show elements as per the requirements of the admin. This version also offered automated plugin installation via the admin panel. Replying to comments from the admin panel became much easier with the help of newly introduced keyboard shortcuts.

 

Thelonious

(WordPress 3.0) (2010)

Thelonious is again one of the most remarkable versions of WordPress as it completely transformed the image of WordPress as a blogging platform to a complete content management system. This version announces numerous features such as custom background, short links, types of taxonomies, navigation menus, and even headers. This version also announced that each year the platform will announce a default wordpress theme and it was named as ‘Twenty Ten’. This release also introduced another project inside the WordPress core itself called ‘WordPress MU’. Currently, this is known as WordPress multisite and is a basic admin interface style that is capable of adjusting significant changes without affecting the admin area completely.

 

Elvin

(WordPress 3.5) (2012)

By this time of the decade, many other devices such as mobiles and tablets were beginning to be introduced in the technological world, and therefore this version focused on making WordPress friendly for such devices. It had many upgraded icons and styles which supported different  on-screen resolutions.

 

Parker

(WordPress 3.8) (2013)

The WordPress version which last focused on interfaces was launched in 2008 and hence there was a grave need for adding new UI features this time. Another challenge this time was to make the version equally attractive for mobile. WordPress 3.8 successfully obliged to the dynamic means of the audience. The changes are relevant today; mobile-friendly design, various color palettes, numerous fonts, and other features to improve typography.

 

Smith

(WordPress 3.9) (2014)

This version also aimed at improving the user interface to handle mobile-friendly features. Version 3.9 was equipped with many enhanced features including a post editor with flat buttons, uploading images with drag and drop, easy review of the gallery, additional widgets, customized themes, and much more.

 

Coleman

(WordPress 4.5) (2016)

Unlike the previous version, this version brought major improvements, especially in the visual post editor section. A new editing feature was added in this version where inline links could be added and shortcuts could be created for the text. Additionally, it had theme customization features added to it having reviews that were responsive. This allowed users to preview their posts and other blog areas without changing the device.

 

Vaughan

(WordPress 4.8) (2017)

Another version with no significant additions but had a new set of widgets useful to add media such as audios, videos, images, and text. This version also had a new widget added to the dashboard which displayed the current news and events related to WordPress.

 

Tipton

(WordPress 4.9) (2017)

This version was again marked as a significant one for WordPress in 2017 which had theme customization features added to it. In this feature, you could browse new themes and preview the websites for customized choices. The users were also allowed code editing features in the plugin editors and themes for CSS customization. It also allowed highlighting the syntax and auto-completion features.

 

Bebo

(WordPress 5.0) (2019)

Bebo was introduced in the year 2019 which had a completely new feature named Gutenberg. This is a block-based content editor that allows the users to form content layouts beautifully with easy drag and drop features. The users can also save the layout and reuse it in the future.

All these versions seemed to improve continuously over the years and WordPress promises its users to add even better features in the upcoming beta version. This brings us to the discussion about what we can expect in the future from WordPress.


LATEST version 5.5: Eckstine

The latest version of WordPress 5.5 beta was released on 11th August 2020. This is a major release by WordPress and has many new features.

One can try the new beta version on a computer with the use of the WordPress beta tester plugin. Here’s what’s new in WordPress 5.5:

  1. Lazy Loading
  2. Theme and Plugin Auto-Update
  3. Default XML Sitemaps
  4. Older Browsers no longer supported
  5. Easier Manual Updates

You can explore each of these in detail here.

WordPress’s Popularity

Today, WordPress is used by millions of people for their hobbies as well as business purposes. Let us look at some stats”

  1. As per the survey by W3techs,WordPress is the leader of content management system market share as it has 61.8% monopoly over the system.
  2. Around 35% of the whole internet is handled by WordPress. 
  3. Among all the self hosted websites, 20% of them use WordPress.
  4. 455,000,000 websites use WordPress for their content management.
  5. Many businesses, including E-Commerce websites as well as freelancers use wordpress because of its user-friendliness even for the beginners. 

What lies ahead for WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular platform when it comes to content management system websites. No wonder approximately 80 million websites including, personal blogs, celebrity pages, business websites, etc are all based on WordPress and for good reasons. It is extremely cost-effective when it comes to comparing it with other platforms, it offers great customization facilities, is user-friendly and easy to use for the beginners. Along with that, it also offers features like multilingual support and unique themes.

 

Despite the fact that it is already widely used across the globe and is undoubtedly the ruling platform for websites, WordPress has never disappointed its user and has always offered a great content management system (CMS). The platform is ever-changing with constant updates offered by it which continuously adds better features to it. Naturally, as long as the upcoming features remain useful, the future of WordPress remains bright.

 

If one aims to be one of the top WordPress websites then he/she should be aware of the upcoming changes in WordPress to stay ahead of other websites. However, before exploring the future of WordPress, let us take a look at how it managed to gain such huge popularity with millions of users and how it gained a monopoly over all the other platforms.

 

What makes WordPress better?

If you ask someone with a sound knowledge of websites about which platform is the best one to start a website then you’ll probably have a discussion about WordPress once.  Why so? Let us find out some unique features of WordPress:

  • Support offered by WordPress: This is the primary reason for it being the most used platform. WordPress offers you constant support to understand it throughout your website journey. Even if you’ve never started a website before, it won’t be much of a hassle to go through with it.

 

  • User convenience: WordPress is amazingly convenient to use considering its support features well as it offers various aesthetic themes that are again durable and easy to apply.

 

  • No licensing: Starting a website through WordPress is not at all hectic and is also free from any kind of licensing struggle which may be present in other contemporary platforms.

 

We have to thank Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little for their joint efforts which led to the establishment of WordPress in 2003. Within a span of just 2 years, the platform was loaded with various plugins and themes. For the creation of the first-ever theme of WordPress, the credit again goes to Mark Mullenweg. 

Even after having WordPress for such a long time now, WordPress has always seemed to fulfill its primary objectives.

WordPress audience is pretty excited to explore what more features could the platform offer in the upcoming version.

 

All these features show that the future of WordPress is definitely on the brighter side. In the world where the audience is constantly transitioning towards audio-visual platforms, WordPress still manages to engage audiences in a large number and is expected to do so in the upcoming years.

Author avatar
Tim Michaels
I am into WordPress and web development for the last 10 years. I use my experience to help people just starting with WordPress. Follow my blog at WP Uber for everything related to WordPress.
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