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The History of WordPress: From Blog to Web Giant

Lanyards showing 'WordPress.org' and 'Code is Poetry'

The history of WordPress is an interesting one. It’s also one that most people don’t know much about. The success of the website and software are well-documented, but its beginnings are far less known. Even those who work in the field regularly may not be aware of how it got there.

From humble beginnings as a personal blog to its current status as the most widely used CMS on the internet, this article summarizes everything you need to know about the history of WordPress and why it’s so popular today.

2003: WordPress is Born

As with any story, we must begin at the beginning. WordPress was born when Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created Blogger.com, a blogging platform for publishing content on their own Kinetic Web server.

Shortly after releasing it, they decided to pivot from blogging and shift to a full-fledged content management system (CMS). Little left the company shortly after, while the Blogger.com name was retired.

The CMS they created in its place was named WordPress, and the rest is history.

WordPress was released in 2003, and very quickly gained traction. The CMS gained popularity due to its ease of use, accessibility, and open-source nature. Users didn’t have to be technically savvy to use it, and it could be installed on any server without restriction.

The ease of use also made it accessible to a wider range of people, making it a good fit for personal blogs, small businesses, and organisations.

2005-2006: The Tipping Point

The popularity of the CMS grew steadily for a few years after its launch, but the turning point came in 2005 when the first WordPress-powered blog was published by the New York Times.

The New York Times was then one of the largest and most respected newspapers in the world, and WordPress was suddenly given a huge injection of legitimacy. The reputation of the CMS grew from there and soon became the most widely used blogging tool on the internet.

By the end of 2006, WordPress was powering almost 10% of all websites, making it the most popular CMS on the internet.

2007: Acquisitions & Mergers

Throughout the rise of WordPress, there were several acquisition attempts and potential mergers with other companies, but nothing came to fruition until 2007. That’s when the company behind WordPress (Automattic) bought out Typo, the company that made the default WordPress theme. This was the first time the company behind WordPress made an acquisition, and it set a precedent for what would come next.

The next major event came in 2008, when Automattic bought out another company, Internet Brands, along with its blogging properties. The acquisition brought a number of large blogging platforms under the WordPress name, including the huge blogging network, Blogger.com.

This move made WordPress even more accessible and one of the most powerful blogging platforms on the internet. By this point, WordPress was the premier blogging tool for both personal and business blogs, and it was about to get even more powerful.

2011-2013: WordPress Goes Corporate

After the acquisition of Blogger.com, WordPress was purchased Automattic. Automattic was created by the same people who founded WordPress, and it’s a company dedicated to providing services and products related to the CMS.

Automattic took the blogging platform to the next level by integrating the CMS with a number of other services. The company started offering domain name management, web hosting, and site transfer services, as well as the traditional CMS services.

This made using WordPress even easier and more accessible, and it put the CMS in competition with more advanced solutions like Squarespace. With the acquisition of WooCommerce and Jetpack, WordPress expanded further and became a complete e-commerce solution that could compete with the larger companies like Shopify.

2014-Present: The WP we Know and Love Today

All of these events culminated in 2014, when WordPress was purchased by the company behind Automattic for $1.5 billion. The acquisition made WordPress the premier web development and content management system in the world, and it legitimised the CMS even more.

Since then, the WP we know and love has grown into a full-fledged web giant. Since the acquisition, WordPress has acquired a number of other companies and made even more acquisitions. The company has also become more corporate, and it has shifted its focus from hobbyists to business-oriented clients.

The platform has evolved over the years as well and been updated with new features like Gutenberg and the WP REST API. It has also become increasingly more secure with each new release, making it an even better solution for business owners and individuals.


Over the past 18 years, WordPress has grown from a simple blogging platform into a website and e-commerce solution that has become the premier choice for businesses and individuals alike.

With the support of a huge company behind it, the CMS has evolved into a full-fledged web development platform with features and services designed for professionals.

There are many web development tools, but WordPress remains the premier choice for businesses and individuals, and it has become even more powerful and capable in recent years.

With the support of a huge company behind it, the CMS has evolved into a full-fledged web development platform that can compete with dedicated solutions like Squarespace.





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