Making Your Voice Heard: Starting a Sports WordPress Website

A Brief History of WordPress

WordPress has become a global leader as a website builder and CMS platform, hosting the majority of the world’s websites. This leading position didn’t just happen overnight; it’s been more than twenty years in the making.

Starting from WordPress’s earliest days to its present, this article will briefly explore the platform’s exciting history.

2001: WordPress’s Foundation Is Laid

How to Optimize Your OTA Listings for Maximum VisibilityBefore WordPress debuted, a blogging platform known as b2/Cafelog was being developed to make the blogging process easier. Unfortunately, the programmer behind b2/Cafelog, Michel Valdrighi, stopped updating the platform in 2002, just a year after starting it.

Fortunately, two of b2/Cafelog’s users didn’t want to see the program or its goal of streamlining the blogging process abandoned. As a result, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little decided to take on programming the platform themselves.

2003: WordPress V1 Launches

Shortly after, Mullenweg and Little launched WordPress. This first version provided users with an updated interface and XHTML templates, allowing them to easily share their written content on a website.

2004: Jazzy New Updates

Every year since its official launch, WordPress has delivered useful updates that expand user capabilities while also making the platform easier to use. In 2004, WordPress began naming each of their major updates after jazz musicians. The first update following this naming practice was WordPress version 1.0, aka Davis, after Miles Davis.

The Davis update was also a major one for the future of WordPress because it added a plugin architecture feature to the program. This addition meant that users could now add other software programs to add more functions to their WordPress website.

2005: Support Beyond Blogs

Chromecasting Stremio from PCsIn 2005, the Strayhorn update (named after the jazz pianist Billy Strayhorn) added the ability for websites to have more than just blog posts. This meant that users could now add an About page with ease. Before this, adding a page, while technically possible, was quite complicated to incorporate.

The 2005 update also allowed for more community management through features like comment moderation.

2006: WYSIWYG Editor

A huge update, particularly for those with limited coding knowledge, was the addition of a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. This editor made it easier to format content and to feel confident that it would appear exactly how you want it to on your website, especially since you could preview your post before hitting publish.

The editor also included the ability to create tags and categories for your blog, making blog management easier. This year also saw the launch of more WordPress templates, enabling users to create a more personalized website.

And if you’re wondering, this updated version of WordPress was named Duke, after Duke Ellington.

2010: WordPress Foundation

Up to this point, the updates and features of WordPress were created with open-source software, with a huge community of programmers working on it. Using this type of software meant that anyone could see the program code and make adjustments to it.

To ensure that WordPress would always remain open-source and available for public use, Mullenweg founded the WordPress Foundation.

2011: WordPress’s Popularity Starts to Skyrocket

In less than a decade, WordPress developed a reputation for being easy to use. Plus, if you had questions or were struggling with one of its many features, WordPress made tons of helpful resources available and had a huge community to turn to for answers. This led to approximately 13% of the world’s websites using the platform by 2011. Each year after this, the use of WordPress increased by 12%, making 2011 a pivotal year for the platform.

2015: Acquisition of WooCommerce

In 2015, WordPress’s parent company, Automattic, which was founded by Mullenweg, acquired WooCommerce. This further expanded the capabilities of WordPress, allowing it to create e-commerce websites.

2015 was also the year that WordPress added emoji support, which added more life (and fun) to written content.

2018: Gutenberg Is Born

In 2018, WordPress version 5.0, aka Bebo, brought an updated editor to WordPress users called Gutenberg. It offered a block-based system to increase the ease of use and add flexibility in formatting content, all while remaining a what-you-see-is-what-you-get program.

With its many updates and capabilities, Gutenberg remains the current content editor for WordPress.

WordPress Today

In 2024, WordPress remains a highly popular website builder and CMS platform that hosts nearly half (just over 45%) of the world’s websites. Within the 45% of websites using WordPress, you’ll find huge organizations and brand names like NASA, Time Magazine, and Vogue.

The variety of WordPress plugins has grown immensely, with over 60,000 plugins available. This wide variety allows website builders to add everything from website analytic tracking tools to online casinos with a selection of the most popular games to their websites.

WordPress has also continued to be open-source software and still sees regular version updates; it’s currently on version 6.5 or Regina, after the violinist Regina Carter.

WordPress Going Forward

The platform has met and exceeded its initial goal of creating a more streamlined blog publishing process, and along the way, it has embraced new goals. These new goals encompass the desire for continued growth and popularity of the platform. Its consistent dedication to releasing updates based on community feedback and efforts will help it accomplish this.

But, beyond this, WordPress also focuses on supporting growing industries through features such as its e-commerce capabilities. It’s even getting involved in AI technologies, with Mullenweg encouraging its use.

These new goals and tech developments, paired with its history of success, indicate that WordPress has a bright future in which it will continue to support its ever-growing community.

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