A Timeline of WordPress Evolution Throughout the Years

A Timeline of WordPress Evolution Throughout the Years

A Timeline of WordPress Evolution Throughout the Years

If you know a lot of web bloggers or if you are one of them yourself, you would most likely recognize WordPress and how it makes blogging an easy task. WordPress, an open-source publishing platform, is considered the most widely known content management system all over the world. The best thing is that it is free!

Nowadays, more than 50% of all websites, including the ones made by custom web design company Proweaver, on the Internet make use of WordPress. However, like all other things, WordPress did not start out as popular than what it is currently enjoying. Check out the timeline of important events below to know more about how WordPress evolved over the years.


The precursor to WordPress was actually b2/cafelog. As of May 2003, users had installed b2/cafelog on about 2,000 blogs.

May 2003: The Launch

WordPress was created as a fork of b2/cafelog. This project was created and developed by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg. However, the name WordPress was eventually suggested by Mullenweg’s friend, Christine Selleck Tremoulet.

The first version released for WordPress was version 0.7 which follows the same file structure of b2/cafelog. By December of the same year it was launched, WordPress was already used by about 15,000 users all over the world.


By January 2004, version 1.0 (codename Davis) was released. This version added several new features to the platform including Atom support, multiple categories, comment moderation and search engine-friendly permalinks, among others.

By May 2004, the release of version 1.2 (codename Mingus) saw the addition of support for plugins. It also allows users to create thumbnails and have custom fields.

The year 2004 also saw the migration of a lot of users from Movable Type, a competitor package, to WordPress after certain changes were made by the software company Six Apart.


By February 2005, version 1.5 (codename Strayhorn) was released. This includes the addition of a theme system as well as static page advancements. This version was downloaded and installed about 50,000 times in just the first two weeks after its launch.

WordPress.com was launched by November of the same year. This led to the platform expanding commercially.


By January 2006, about 119 languages were already being supported by WordPress. The first-ever WordCamp was hosted by Matt Mullenweg in San Francisco in August. About 736 ideas were collected and proposed by users at this WordCamp.

By the end of 2006, there were already more than 2.5 million downloads for WordPress.


In the year 2007 alone, three new versions were released with just months apart. These are versions 2.1 (codename Ella), 2.2 (codename Getz) and 2.3 (codename Dexter). These versions saw the addition of spellchecks, auto-saves, speed optimizations, native tagging support and easy updates notification, among others. Security fixes were also made.


Another three versions were released during this year, namely 2.5 (codename Brecker), 2.6 (codename Tyner) and 2.7 (codename Coltrane). These versions were done to facilitate major revamps and changes to the dashboard as well as the dashboard widgets. The company also redesigned the administration interface. Automatic upgrades and easy posting anywhere on the Internet were made possible. Changes can also be tracked already.


By 2009, two versions were released. These are 2.8 (codename Baker) and 2.9 (codename Carmen). Speed improvements were made. CodePress editor was introduced for syntax highlighting and the widget interface has been redesigned. Other less visible changes were also made.


Version 3.0 (codename Thelonious) was released. The administration interface was lighter, WordPress and WordPress MU were merged and new theme APIs were added. The release of this version also saw the creation of multi-site functionality. A default theme, named Twenty Ten, was also introduced.


WordPress released versions 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 (codename Reinhardt, Gershwin and Sonny, respectively). This release was an answer to the challenge of making the platform better, lighter and faster. Beginners, as well as those laptop users, were also able to understand WordPress easily due to a friendlier user interface. The Admin Bar was also added.


The 3.4 and 3.5 versions (codename Green and Elvin, respectively) were released. Twitter was also integrated into the platform. Minor changes, such as support for built-in audio/video, were made as well.


In 2013, versions 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 (codename Oscar, Basie, and Parker, respectively) were released. With these versions, automatic upgrades were added. Security features, like password protocol, were enhanced. WordPress was also made to be compatible with small screens.


WordPress released versions 3.9, 4.0 and 4.1 (codename Smith, Benny, and Dinah, respectively). With these releases, WordPress allowed users to select their preferred language for install, specifically about 120 languages available. Live widgets were also added.


Versions 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 were released (codename Powell, Billie and Clifford, respectively). Press This features, emoji support and improved customizer, among others, were added. These versions also focused on better mobile experience for users.


Versions 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7 (codename Coleman, Pepper and Vaughan, respectively) were released. Video header support, native fonts, formatting shortcuts, inline linking, PDF preview and live responsive previews were added.


Codename Evans (version 4.8), considered as the next-generation editor, was released. WordPress also ended the support for IE versions 8, 9, 10.

The release of these versions throughout the years shows the expansion, progress, and development of WordPress. New versions will definitely be released in the future to meet specific goals such as the platform being a mobile, social and application platform.

Proweaver offers web design services to increase your online presence and give you an edge over your competitors. Our affordable custom web design will surely be a worthy investment for you and your business.

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About the Author

I am Louise Savoie Digital Marketer at Proweaver, a web development company specializing in Custom Web Design which helps sole proprietors and small companies increase their sales and grow their business. I am responsible in Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing. You can find us on Twitter: @proweaver

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