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WordPress Turns Ten

May 30, 13 WordPress Turns Ten

You might not know anything about WordPress, but chances are you frequent a website which has WordPress to thank for its existence. At last count, WordPress is responsible for nearly 18 percent of all the content on the web, about 70 million sites. On Monday, May 27, the site turned 10 years old and is still used to power blogs from the New York Times, Reuters, and even the very blog you’re reading now.

WordPress began life as a simple online publishing tool meant to give writers (or “content creators”) an easy way to get their stuff on the web and in front of millions of eyeballs. In the past ten years the platform has grown to support all those millions of sites, as well as gain thousands of contributors to their open-source code. This little birthday announcement also comes a few days after the company behind WordPress, Automattic, announced they had raised some $50 million in secondary stock transitions to ensure WordPress can continue for another decade into the future.

On May 27, 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little officially launched WordPress to a waiting public. In that first year the site managed to pull in 186 million page views to those sites that used the publishing tool. This number has steadily grown in the past ten years. In 2008, WordPress jumped to 655 million page views and nearly doubled that the next year, earning 1,162 million page views.

In a blog post, co-creator Matt Mullenweg gets a little misty about his little baby as he reminisces about the good old days.

“Has it really been 10 years? It seems just yesterday we were playing around on my blog, and the blogs of a few high school friends. Two of those friends are married, one isn’t anymore, two are still figuring things out, and one has passed away,” writes Mullenweg.

It gets a little weird after that…

“You’re so beautiful… I’m continually amazed and delighted by how you’ve grown. Your awkward years are behind you. Best of all, through it all, you’ve stuck with the principles that got you started in the first place. You’re always changing but that never changes. You’re unafraid to try new things that may seem wacky or unpopular at first.”

It’s hard not to understand how proud Mullenweg is of his creation.

After all, it is the work of his youth.

Mullenweg started in Houston, TX before striking off to San Francisco to work with CNET where he was expected to bring in bloggers to the news site. He left a community of bloggers and an unfinished degree from the University of Houston when he moved west, but was later able to start Automattic and WordPress, generating plenty of interest from bloggers and investors alike.

“I see you all over the world now, glowing from screens, bringing people together at meetups and WordCamps — you’re at your best when you do that,” says Mullenweg now of his creation.

“You’re my muse; you inspire me, and I’ve seen you inspire others. You become a part of their life and they become a part of yours. I hope we grow old together.”

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

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