With a humble beginning dating back to its May 27th, 2003 release as a fork of B2/Cafelog, WordPress has risen to become the most popular content management system (CMS) on the Internet.
They also reported that 22 out of every 100 new active domains in 2011 in the United States used WordPress.
Note: Want to put their growth into perspective? Check out the WordPress Download Counter and compare it with the image at the top of the article taken on April 29th, 2012.
Matt Mullenweg – “State of the Word 2011″
Take a look at the clip below of Matt Mullenweg at the 2011 State of the Word to get a better idea of the impact WordPress has had on the online universe, and how it is expected to grow.
WordPress.com and WordPress.org
For those who are new to WordPress, it is important to note that there are two versions of the software that you can use: a hosted solution available on WordPress.com, and a version that can be installed on your own server available on WordPress.org.
This approach has enabled WordPress to capitalize on the benefits of open source, and to build a large, passionate community that actively helps to further the development of WordPress — free of charge.
It has also enabled WordPress to simultaneously develop a large content network of hosted sites and to introduce upgraded paid accounts for small subscription fees as an additional revenue stream.
Role of Open-Source
When looking at the success of WordPress, you can’t help but wonder about the role that open source played in helping it become the leading CMS. Take a look at the interview with Mr. Mullenweg below, in which he describes open-source’s impact on WordPress’ evolution.
WordPress has created a near-perfect ecosystem by licensing its software as open source and creating two related solutions for very different user demographics: a self-hosted version for those more technically inclined, and a hosted version for those less technically inclined. In embracing both demographics, WordPress has been able to build a thriving content network while also cultivating support and building momentum with the open source community.
This approach has enabled WordPress to capitalize on the best of both worlds. They were able to leverage the benefits of open-source software while also developing their own content network and immersing themselves in an ecosystem that would naturally lead to effective solutions for a variety of user demographics.
History of WordPress Infographic
Below is an informative infographic on the history of WordPress, which puts the development and growth of WordPress into perspective while also highlighting the important moments in its journey to eventually become the number one content managements system on the web.