This past weekend, WordPress celebrated its 13th Birthday. If it were a child, it would now be a bona fide teenager. The awkwardness of teenagehood aside, WordPress has come a long way since it was first forked from B2 in 2003.
WordPress has a fascinating history that the fine folks over at wpmudev captured last year. It is well worth a read. It has not only grown to power over 26% of websites (and growing – they just reached the 25% milestone last November) but is quickly picking up velocity on several other projects.
But why is all this important to the average internet-loving person like you or me? Well here are three reasons.
1. The Open-source nature of WordPress
Open-source software has made great strides in recent years, and WordPress is a great example of one that pulls its community together to get some great work done. This may not seem like it should matter if you are not too technically inclined, but this has some effects.
Firstly, this enables development of the core (and free) product to move at a breakneck pace, with hundreds of volunteers giving their time to work on bug fixes and feature improvements, giving you a better product at the end of the day.
Secondly, because WordPress is open sourced, you always have access to your files and information that you create. This means that if you decide to move your website to another host, you can export your WordPress database files and still have it work.
WordPress now powers more than 26% of the web – including some very notable websites like Time, CNN and Techcrunch. This means that it’s been stress-tested in a high traffic production environments. Bundled together with the user friendliness of being able to run WordPress as a single person operation, using WordPress means you have a great deal of flexibility to grow your site as your traffic and requirements grow.
3. The community WordPress enables
Speaking of growing along with your requirements as your site expands, the WordPress community is a great mix of developers, designers and content creators. Because the open WordPress platform allows many of them a livelihood, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to looking for a new theme or plugin to enable new functionality for your site, whether it’s a dinner reservation booking system or e-commerce. It is truly an embarrassment of riches as compared to platforms where you are limited to just a few supported partners.
All in all the past 13 years have proven extraordinary for WordPress and with their teenage years getting a headstart with a new suite of desktop apps – we’re excited to see what comes next.