The WordPress Journey: From Rags to Riches (Infographic)

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Today the term “WordPress” is a household name among website and blog owners. It’s amazing how far the platform has come since it began in 2003. In 2016, WordPress shows no signs of slowing down. Today we’re going to take a look at the evolution of this incredible platform.

We’ll also take a glimpse at what the future holds before looking at an infographic that puts everything together and presents a visual representation of this incredible journey.

The History of WordPress: 2003-2016

Today, WordPress powers over a quarter of the websites on the internet. On top of this, the platform is still free and open source like it was when it first started. The open source nature of WordPress is what makes it so successful. It’s powered by a dedicated community that constantly works to improve it on every front.

The story of WordPress began back in 2003 when a blogging software called b2/cafelog ceased updating, leaving a hole in the lives of Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. These two guy decided to build a fork of b2 that leveraged what worked about the original platform.

This is what became WordPress. It was first released on May 27, 2003. The community immediately took to it. Building off of the b2 Cafelog interface, it included a new admin panel, templates, and a fairly sleek post editor.

Jump to May of 2004, and version 1.2 of WordPress is released. This version introduced the plugin architecture which is one of WP’s top features. This feature allowed users and developers equal opportunity to expand the functions of WordPress by writing their own plugins and sharing them with others.

Meanwhile, the top blogging tool at the time, Moveable Type, was under scrutiny for their new licensing terms. Needless to say, WordPress 1.2 represented a huge spike in users. In February of 2005, version 1.5 came out and introduced things like comment moderation, a theme system, and support for pages as well as posts.

Matt Mullenweg explained the release of the theme system and revolutionized the way we thought about web design. Themes represented a huge amount of control over how a website looked and felt. Everything from the colors, to the headers could be tweaked. The best part? Installing and utilizing themes was incredibly easy for any and all users.

In December of 2005, WordPress 2.0 overhauled the admin dashboard to resemble something closer to the friendly UI we know and love. Using JavaScript and DHTML allowed this new interface to make small changes without the need to load another page or leave the post editor. This update also introduced categories and tags for posts.

If we jump forward to 2016, WordPress is now on versions 4.5 (coleman). This version added formatting shortcuts, responsive previews, and inline links. When you’re stacking up the top blog sites, WordPress is at the top of today’s lists.

The Future of WordPress: The REST API

A big topic of discussion around WordPress is the REST API which will help define the future of the platform. This powerful new tool will allow countless other apps and platforms to connect and work with WordPress. This opens up tons of new avenues for functionality beyond a content platform.

A major benefit of this API is the ability to add and retrieve content from other clients or websites, regardless of whether they use WordPress or not. This means that WP can be used with any programming language or platform imaginable.

The infrastructure is also very simple. The API adopts a URL-like structure that is easy for both users and machines to read. Using this structure, in conjunction with verbs in the code like “get” “post” and “put”, code can be quickly and easily built to help WordPress interact with platforms that were previously off limits.

Ultimately, this API will break down the walls between WordPress developers and everyone else. The ability to create themes using JavaScript and integrate them using the API will result in a more robust and varied selection for both users and developers alike.

WordPress will expand itself beyond a simple CMS and instead become a backend that is capable of bringing its unique UI and user-friendly design to a number of different scenarios, developments, and more.

A Visual Journey Through The History of WordPress (Infographic)

Now that we’ve looked at the past, present, and future of WordPress, it’s time to bring everything together. Below is an infographic that chronicles this incredible journey from the beginning days of b2 Cafelog, to the WordPress we know and love.

Read it, share it, and remember it. This is where WordPress came from, and it’s a reminder of where it’s going. Many of us will be taking this journey a well. Are you a WordPress user? Tell us about your experience with the platform in the comments!


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