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WordPress logo.svg
WordPress MP6 dashboard.png
WordPress Dashboard
Developer(s)WordPress Foundation
Initial releaseMay 27, 2003 (2003-05-27)[1]
Stable release3.8.1 / January 23, 2014; 22 days ago (2014-01-23)
Development statusActive
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeBlog software
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WordPress logo.svg
WordPress MP6 dashboard.png
WordPress Dashboard
Developer(s)WordPress Foundation
Initial releaseMay 27, 2003 (2003-05-27)[1]
Stable release3.8.1 / January 23, 2014; 22 days ago (2014-01-23)
Development statusActive
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeBlog software

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service.[3] Features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013.[4] WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web,[5] at more than 60 million websites.[6]

It was first released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg[1] and Mike Little,[7] as a fork of b2/cafelog. As of February 3, 2014, version 3.8 had been downloaded more than 16 million times.[8]


WordPress template hierarchy

WordPress has a web template system using a template processor.


WordPress users may install and switch between themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure of the site. Themes may be installed using the WordPress "Appearance" administration tool or theme folders may be uploaded via FTP.[9] The PHP, HTML & CSS code found in themes can be added or edited for providing advanced features. Thousands of WordPress themes exist, some free, and some premium (paid for) templates.


One very popular feature of WordPress is its plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its abilities beyond the core installation. WordPress has a database of over 26,000 plugins,[10] each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhancers, to client portals[11] used to display private information to logged in users, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars.

Multi-user and multi-blogging[edit]

Prior to WordPress 3.0, WordPress supported one blog 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 WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with websites to host their own blogging communities, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MU adds eight new data tables for each blog.

As of the release of WordPress 3.0, WordPress MU has merged with WordPress.[12]


Native applications exist for WebOS,[13] Android,[14] iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad),[15][16] Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.[17] These applications, designed by Automattic, allow a limited set of options, which include adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.[15][16]

Other features[edit]

WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article.


b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress.[18] b2/cafelog was estimated to have been employed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003.[19] 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.[20] Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Mullenweg, suggested the name WordPress.[21]

In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package were changed by Six Apart and many of its most influential users migrated to WordPress.[22][23] By October 2009 the 2009 Open Source content management system Market Share Report reached the conclusion that WordPress enjoyed the greatest brand strength of any open-source content-management systems.[24]


In 2007, WordPress won a Packt Open Source CMS Award.[25]

In 2009, WordPress won the Packt best Open Source CMS Awards.[25]

In 2010, WordPress won the Hall of Fame CMS category in the 2010 Open Source Awards.[26]

In 2011, WordPress won the Open Source Web App of the Year Award at The Critters.[27][28]

Release history[edit]

Main releases of WordPress are codenamed after well-known jazz musicians, starting after version 1.0.[29]

Legend:Old versionOlder version, still supportedCurrent versionLatest preview versionFuture release
VersionCode nameRelease dateNotes
Old version, no longer supported: 0.7none27 May 2003Used the same file structure as its predecessor, b2/cafelog, and continued the numbering from its last release, 0.6.[30] Only 0.71-gold is available for download in the official WordPress Release Archive page.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.2Mingus22 May 2004Added support of plugins; which same identification headers are used unchanged in WordPress releases as of 2011.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.5Strayhorn17 February 2005Added a range of vital features, such as ability to manage static pages and a template/theme system. It was also equipped with a new default template (code named Kubrick)[31] designed by Michael Heilemann.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0Duke31 December 2005Added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, improved import system, fully overhauled the back end, and various improvements to plugin developers.[32]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.1Ella22 January 2007Corrected security issues, redesigned interface, enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), and improved content management options.[33]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.2Getz16 May 2007Added widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.[34]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.3Dexter24 September 2007Added native tagging support, new taxonomy system for categories, and easy notification of updates, fully supports Atom 1.0, with the publishing protocol, and some much needed security fixes.[35]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.5Brecker29 March 2008Version 2.4 was skipped, so version 2.5 added two releases worth of new code. The administration interface was fully redesigned, and the WordPress website to match the new style.[36]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.6Tyner15 July 2008Added new features that made WordPress a more powerful CMS: it can now track changes to every post and page and allow easy posting from anywhere on the web.[37]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.7Coltrane11 December 2008Administration interface redesigned fully, added automatic upgrades and installing plugins, from within the administration interface.[38]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.8Baker10 June 2009Had improvements in speed, added automatic installing of themes from within administration interface, introduces the CodePress editor for syntax highlighting and a redesigned widget interface.[39]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.9Carmen19 December 2009Added global undo, built-in image editor, batch plugin updating, and many less visible tweaks.[40]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.0Thelonious17 June 2010Added a new theme application programming interfaces (API); the merge of WordPress and WordPress MU, creating the new multi-site functionality, a new default theme called "Twenty Ten" and a refreshed, lighter admin UI.[41]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.1Reinhardt23 February 2011Added the Admin Bar, which is displayed on all blog pages when an admin is logged in, and Post Format, best explained as a Tumblr like micro-blogging feature. It provides easy access to many critical functions, such as comments and updates. Includes internal linking abilities, a newly streamlined writing interface, and many other changes.[42]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.2Gershwin4 July 2011Focused on making WordPress faster and lighter. Released only four months after version 3.1, reflecting the growing speed of development in the WordPress community.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.3Sonny12 December 2011Focused on making WordPress friendlier for beginners and tablet computer users.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.4Green13 June 2012Focused on improvements to theme customization, Twitter integration and several minor changes.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.5Elvin11 December 2012Support for the Retina Display, color picker, new theme: Twenty Twelve, improved image workflow [43]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.6Oscar1 August 2013[44]New theme: Twenty Thirteen ; Admin Enhancements - Post Formats UI Update, Menus UI improvements, Revisions Update, Autosave and Post Locking
Old version, no longer supported: 3.7Basie24 October 2013[45]Automatically apply maintenance and security updates in the background; Stronger password recommendations; Support for automatically installing the right language files and keeping them up to date
Current stable version: '3.8'Parker12 December 2013[46]Improved admin interface; Responsive design for mobile devices; New typography using Open Sans; Admin color schemes; Redesigned theme management interface; Simplified main dashboard; Twenty Fourteen magazine style default theme; Second release using "plugin-first development process"


After the release of WordPress 3.0, the development team took a release cycle off from the WordPress software to focus on expanding and improving the WordPress community.[47][48] WordPress 3.1 was subsequently released in February, 2011. With version 3.2, released on July 4, 2011, the minimum requirement PHP version and MySQL were raised as well.[49]


Many security issues[50][51] have been 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."[52] Secunia maintains an up-to-date list of WordPress vulnerabilities.[53][54]

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.[55] 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.[56]

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.[57] In part to mitigate this problem, WordPress made updating the software a much easier, "one click" automated process in version 2.7 (released in December 2008).[58] However, the irregular release cycle means admins still have to be on their toes, and the filesystem security settings, required to enable the update process, can be an additional risk.[59]

In a June 2007 interview, Stefan 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.[60]

In June 2013, it was found that some of the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to common Web attacks such as SQL injection and XSS. A separate inspection of the top-10 e-commerce plugins showed that 7 of them were vulnerable.[61]

Individual installations of WordPress can be protected with security plugins.[62] Users can also protect their WordPress installations by taking steps such as keeping all WordPress installation, themes, and plugins updated, using only trusted themes and plugins,[63] renaming the default admin account, as well as editing the site's .htaccess file to prevent many types of SQL injection attacks and block unauthorized access to sensitive files.[64]

Development and support[edit]

Key developers[edit]

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were cofounders of the project. The core contributing developers include Ryan Boren, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, Peter Westwood and Andrew Nacin.[65]

WordPress is also developed by its community, including WP testers, a group of volunteers who test each release. They have early access to nightly builds, beta versions and release candidates. Errors are documented in a special mailing list, or the project's Trac tool.

Though largely developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg. On September 9, 2010, Automattic handed the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation, which is an umbrella organization supporting WordPress.org (including the software and archives for plugins and themes), bbPress and BuddyPress.

WordCamp developer and user conferences[edit]

A WordCamp in Sofia, Bulgaria (2011)

"WordCamp" is the name given to all WordPress-related gatherings, both informal unconferences and more formal conferences.[66] The first such event was WordCamp 2006 in August 2006 in San Francisco, which lasted one day and had over 500 attendees.[67][68] The first WordCamp outside San Francisco was held in Beijing in September 2007.[69] Since then, there have been over 150 WordCamps around the world, for an average of nearly one a week.[69] WordCamp San Francisco, an annual event, remains the official annual conference of WordPress developers and users.[70]


As a free and open source platform, WordPress relies on peer support. Its primary support website is WordPress.org.[71]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mullenweg, Matt. "WordPress Now Available". WordPress. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  2. ^ "WordPress: About: GPL". WordPress.org. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "WordPress Web Hosting". WordPress. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Usage Statistics and Market Share of Content Management Systems for Websites". W3Techs. August 2013. Retrieved August 2013. 
  5. ^ "CMS Usage Statistics". BuiltWith. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  6. ^ Coalo, J.J (5 September 2012). "With 60 Million Websites, WordPress Rules The Web. So Where's The Money?". Forbes. 
  7. ^ "Commit number 8". 
  8. ^ "WordPress Download Counter". WordPress. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  9. ^ "Theme Installation". Codex.wordpress.org. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  10. ^ "official plugin directory". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  11. ^ "WP-Client client portal WordPress plugin". WP-Client.com. 
  12. ^ "WordPress 3.0 "Thelonious"". Wordpress.org. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  13. ^ "WordPress for WebOS". WordPress. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  14. ^ "WordPress publishes native Android application". Android and Me. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  15. ^ a b "Idea: WordPress App For iPhone and iPod Touch". WordPress iPhone & iPod Touch. 2008-07-12. 
  16. ^ a b "18 Million WordPress Blogs Land on the iPad". ReadWriteWeb. March 24, 2011. 
  17. ^ "WordPress for BlackBerry". WordPress. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  18. ^ Andrew Warner, Matt Mullenweg (2009-09-10). The Biography Of WordPress – With Matt Mullenweg (MPEG-4 Part 14) (Podcast). Mixergy. Event occurs at 10:57. Retrieved 2009-09-28. "b2 had actually, through a series of circumstances, essentially become abandoned." 
  19. ^ Valdrighi, Michel. "b2 test weblog - post dated 23.05.03". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "History - WordPress Codex". WordPress.org. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Tremoulet, Christine Selleck (24 January 2008). "The Importance of Being Matt…". Christine Selleck Tremoulet. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  22. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (9 August 2004). "Blogging grows up". Salon. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  23. ^ Pilgrim, Mark (14 May 2004). "Freedom 0". Mark Pilgrim. Archived from the original on 10 April 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report, page 57, by water&stone and CMSWire Oct, 2009". CMSWire. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  25. ^ a b "Open Source Awards Previous Winners". Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  26. ^ "Open Source CMS Awards". Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  27. ^ "Winning at The Critters". Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  28. ^ "Open Source Web App of the Year Award". Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  29. ^ "Roadmap". Blog. WordPress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  30. ^ "Cafelog". Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  31. ^ "Kubrick at Binary Bonsai". Binarybonsai.com. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  32. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  33. ^ "WordPress 2.1 - codex". Codex.wordpress.org. 2007-01-22. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  34. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.2". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  35. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.3". WordPress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  36. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.5". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  37. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.6". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  38. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.7 "Coltrane"". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  39. ^ "WordPress ' Blog " 2.8 Release Jazzes Themes and Widgets". WordPress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  40. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.9, oh so fine". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  41. ^ "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 3.0 "Thelonious"". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  42. ^ "WordPress: Codex: WordPress 3.1 "Reinhardt"". Wordpress.org. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  43. ^ "Wordpress: 3.5 Proposed Scope". 
  44. ^ "WordPress 3.6 Release Notice". WordPress. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  45. ^ "WordPress 3.7 Basie Release Notice". WordPress. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  46. ^ "WordPress 3.8 Parker Release Notice". WordPress. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  47. ^ "WordPress 3.0 Now Available". 18 June 2010. 
  48. ^ "WordPress 3.0 Released, Adding Multi-User and Streamlined User Interface". 
  49. ^ PHP 4 and MySQL 4 End of Life Announcement. WordPress. July 23, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2010.[1]
  50. ^ "Wincent Colaiuta". 2007-06-21. 
  51. ^ "David Kierznowski". 2007-06-28. 
  52. ^ "Secunia Advisories for WordPress 2.x". 2009-04-07. 
  53. ^ "Secunia WordPress 2.x Vulnerability Report". Secunia.com. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  54. ^ "Secunia WordPress 3.x Vulnerability Report". Secunia.com. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  55. ^ "WordPress Exploit Nails Big Name Seo Bloggers". Threadwatch.org. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  56. ^ "WordPress 2.1.1 dangerous, Upgrade to 2.1.2". WordPress.org. 2 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  57. ^ "Survey Finds Most WordPress Blogs Vulnerable". Blog Security. 2007-05-23. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  58. ^ "Updating Wordpress". WordPress Codex. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  59. ^ "Yet another WordPress release". 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  60. ^ "Blog Archive " Interview with Stefan Esser". BlogSecurity. 2007-06-28. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  61. ^ Popular WordPress E-Commerce Plugins Riddled With Security Flaws. Crn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-15.
  62. ^ "Top Security Plugins For Wordpress". Axetue.com. 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  63. ^ Ward, Simon (9 July 2012). "Original Free WordPress Security Infographic by Pingable". Pingable. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  64. ^ "Top 5 WordPress Vulnerabilities and How to Fix Them". eSecurityPlanet.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  65. ^ "About WordPress". wordpress.org. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  66. ^ "WordCamp Central". Central.wordcamp.org. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  67. ^ "WordCamp 2006". 2006.wordcamp.org. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  68. ^ "WordCamp 2011". 2011.sf.wordcamp.org. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  69. ^ a b "WordCamp Central > Schedule". Central.wordcamp.org. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  70. ^ WordCamp SF Announced (not WordCon), Jane Well, January 24, 2011
  71. ^ "About WordPress". WordPress. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 

External links[edit]