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WordPress is an open source blog publishing application and can be used for basic content management. It was first released in May 2003 by its co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as the successor to b2/cafelog. It is powered by PHP and a MySQL data back-end. As of September 2009, Wordpress is used by 62.8 million websites in the US and 202 million websites worldwide.

The latest release, 2.8.6, appeared in November 2009.

In 2007 WordPress won a Packt Open Source CMS Award.


b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress. b2/cafelog was estimated to have been employed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003. It was written in PHP for use with MySQL by Michel Valdrighi, who is now a contributing developer to WordPress. Although WordPress is the official successor, another project, b2evolution, is also in active development.

WordPress first appeared in 2003 as a joint effort between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to create a fork of b2. The name WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck, a friend of Mullenweg.

In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package were changed by Six Apart, and many of its users migrated to WordPress – causing a marked and continuing growth in WordPress's popularity. By October, 2009, the 2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report reached the conclusion that WordPress enjoys the greatest brand strength of any open source content management systems. That conclusion was based on an extensive analysis of rate of adoption patterns and brand strength and was backed by a survey of users.

In 2009 Wordpress won the best Open Source CMS Award


WordPress has a templating system, which includes widgets that can be rearranged without editing PHP or HTML code, as well as themes that can be installed and switched between. The PHP and HTML code in themes can also be edited for more advanced customizations. WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; multiple author capability; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters that provide for proper formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes) are also included. WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article. Finally, WordPress has a rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install.


"Add New Post" page of the WordPress administration interface.
Version 2.8

Most WordPress releases are code named after well-known jazz musicians starting after Version 1.0

Version Code Name Release Date Notes
0.70 27 May 2003 contained the same file structure as its predecessor, b2/cafelog. Only 0.71-gold is available for download in the official WordPress Release Archive page.
1.2 Mingus (after Charles Mingus) 22 May 2004 It's notable for containing the support of Plugins. The same Plugin identification headers are still used unchanged in the latest WordPress releases.
1.5 Strayhorn 17 February 2005 Strayhorn added a range of vital features, such as the ability to manage static pages and a template/theme system. It was also equipped with a new default template (code named Kubrick) designed by Michael Heilemann.
2.0 Duke 31 December 2005 This version added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, an improved import system, and completely overhauled the back end. WordPress 2.0 also offered various improvements to plugin developers.
2.1 Ella 22 January 2007 In addition to correcting security issues, version 2.1 featured a redesigned interface, enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), and improved content management options.
2.2 Getz 16 May 2007 Version 2.2 featured widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.
2.3 Dexter 24 September 2007 Version 2.3 featured native tagging support, new taxonomy system for categories, and easy notification of updates. 2.3 also fully supports Atom 1.0 along with the publishing protocol, and included some much needed security fixes.
2.5 Brecker 29 March 2008 Developers skipped the release of version 2.4 so version 2.5 contained two releases worth of new code. WordPress 2.5 saw a complete overhaul of the administration interface and the WordPress website was also redesigned to match the new style.
2.6 Tyner 15 July 2008 Tyner contained new features that made WordPress a more powerful CMS: you can now track changes to every post and page and easily post from wherever you are on the web.
2.7 Coltrane December 11, 2008 It once again saw the administration interface completely redesigned. It also introduces an automated upgrade feature, and automatic installation of plugins from within the administration interface.
2.8 Baker June 10, 2009 Baker offered improvements in speed, and made it easier to install themes with a single click. It also introduces the CodePress editor for syntax highlighting and a redesigned widget interface.


Many security issues were uncovered in the software, particularly in 2007 and 2008. According to Secunia, WordPress in April 2009 had 7 unpatched security advisories (out of 32 total), with a maximum rating of "Less Critical".

BlogSecurity maintains a list of WordPress vulnerabilities, up to version 2.3. Secunia keeps a more recently updated list.

In January 2007, many high-profile Search engine optimization (SEO) blogs, as well as many low-profile commercial blogs featuring AdSense, were targeted and attacked with a WordPress exploit. A separate vulnerability on one of the project site's web servers allowed an attacker to introduce exploitable code in the form of a back door to some downloads of WordPress 2.1.1. The 2.1.2 release addressed this issue; an advisory released at the time advised all users to upgrade immediately.

In May 2007, a study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs being run were exploitable because they were running outdated and unsupported versions of the software.

In a June 2007 interview, Stefen Esser, the founder of the PHP Security Response Team, spoke critically of WordPress's security track record, citing problems with the application's architecture that made it unnecessarily difficult to write code that is secure from SQL injection vulnerabilities, as well as some other problems.


WordPress supports one weblog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables.

WordPress Multi-User (WordPress MU, or just WPMU) is a fork of WordPress created to allow simultaneous blogs to exist within one installation. WordPress MU makes it possible for anyone with a website to host their own blogging community, control, and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MU adds eight new data tables for each blog.

Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress MU would be merged with WordPress as part of a future release.

Lyceum is another enterprise-edition of WordPress. Unlike WordPress MU, Lyceum stores all of its information in a set number of database tables. Notable communities that use Lyceum are TeachFor.Us (Teach For America teachers' blogs), BodyBlogs and the Hopkins Blogs.

In 2008 Andy Peatling joined Automattic to continue his work on BuddyPress - a plug-in extension of WPMU that is adding missing community features to WordPress.


WordPress development is led by Ryan Boren and Matt Mullenweg. Mullenweg and Mike Little were co-founders of the project.

The contributing developers include:

Though much developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, where some of WordPress's main contributing developers are employees.

WordPress is also in part developed by its community, among which are the WP testers, a group of people who volunteer time and effort to testing each release. They have early access to nightly builds, Beta versions and Release Candidates. Upgrading to these versions, they can find and report errors to a special mailing list, or the project's Trac tool.

Sponsored themes

WordPress Template Hierarchy
On 10 July 2007, following a discussion on the WordPress ideas forum and a post by Mark Ghosh in his blog Weblog Tools Collection, Matt Mullenweg announced that the official WordPress theme directory at would no longer host themes containing sponsored links. Although this move was criticized by designers and users of sponsored themes, it was applauded by some WordPress users who consider such themes to be spam. The official WordPress theme directory ceased to accept any new themes, including those without sponsored links, shortly after the announcement was made. Ironically, the closure of the official site and its consequent lack of up-to-date themes drove many people into downloading themes from unofficial sites which inserted their own spam links into all themes downloaded from them.

On July 18, 2008, a new theme directory opened at It was styled along the same lines as the plug-ins directory. Any theme that is uploaded to it will be vetted, first by an automated program and then by a human.

On December 12, 2008, over 200 themes were removed from the WordPress theme directory as they did not comply with GPL License requirements. Today, author mentions are permitted in each theme but the official policy does not allow for sponsorships or links to sites distributing non-GPL compatible themes. As a result, several other theme directories have become popular.

iPhone and iPod Touch app

On 11 July 2008, with the launch of the App Store by Applemarker, WordPress released its native app for iPhone and iPod Touch. The WordPress app has some of the features that the WordPress Admin panel has. This app works with and many blogs.

See also


  1. WordPress Usage: 202 Million Worldwide 62.8 Million US
  4. "2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report," page 57, by water&stone and CMSWire Oct, 2009
  5. Kubrick at Binary Bonsai
  6. WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2
  7. WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.2
  8. WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.3
  9. WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.5
  10. WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.6
  11. WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”
  12. WordPress › Blog » 2.8 Release Jazzes Themes and Widgets
  13. BlogSecurity » Blog Archive » WordPress BlogWatch
  14. Secunia WordPress 2.x Vulnerability Report
  15. WordPress Exploit Nails Big Name Seo Bloggers |
  16. Blog Security | Survey Finds Most WordPress Blogs Vulnerable
  17. BlogSecurity » Blog Archive » Interview with Stefan Esser
  18.’s-state-of-the-word-wordcamp-san-francisco-2009/ Video of Matt Mullenweg speaking at WordCamp San Franscisco 2009
  19. TeachFor.Us » TeachFor.Us News » Thanks are in order
  20. Backing BuddyPress by Matt Mullenweg March 4th, 2008
  21. About « Automattic
  22. 200 Themes Removed From – Matt Explains Why


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