Celebrating 20 Years of WordPress


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''Celebrating 20 Years of WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular and powerful website builders and Content Management Systems (CMS) on the market. From its ease of use to its Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) capabilities, there are tons of reasons why it has taken the world of web development by storm in the last two decades. In honour of its 20th anniversary on 27th May 2023, we’d like to share WordPress’s incredible journey and why WordPress is our CMS of choice at Cariad Web Design

The Evolution of WordPress 

Early Years (2003–2005) 

In 2003, Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg launched WordPress as a fork of the b2/cafelog CMS. It was created as a blogging platform and Mullenweg was committed to keeping it open source. Anyone with a computer and a WiFi connection can use WordPress to create a beautiful website or contribute to the project itself. It is this foundational step that set the CMS up for the phenomenal success it has seen.

When WordPress was just a year old, plugin architecture was added. It was this decision that took WordPress from a blogging platform to a website builder.

The Rise of WordPress (2005–2008)

In 2005, WordPress released its version 1.5 which introduced themes and plugins. This made it easy for users to customise their WordPress sites without needing any coding knowledge. In 2007, WordPress released version 2.1, which introduced autosave, spell check, and a built-in post revision system.

Expansion and Adoption (2006–2010) 

In early 2007, the comment management process was significantly improved as users were able to delete or approve comments without reloading admin screens. In March 2008, the WordPress team collaborated with Happy Cog, a leading web design consultancy firm, to redesign the WordPress admin user interface. It was a major design improvement thathas had a huge impact on how we use WordPress today.

In 2009, they released image editing features, which allowed users to crop, resize, rotate, scale, and flip images in WordPress. In June 2010, WordPress 3.0 was released. It was a major step towards WordPress as a CMS. This release introduced several features such as custom post types, better custom taxonomies, custom backgrounds, header, menus, contextual help on admin screens, etc.

Maturing as a CMS (2011-2015) 

In 2011, post formats and admin bars made their way into WordPress. Around that time, some really cool WordPress plugins were building powerful ecommerce platforms on top of WordPress. This enabled WordPress users to create online stores and build powerful ecommerce websites using WordPress.

In December 2013, WordPress 3.8 was released which introduced MP6, the new WordPress admin interface. This new interface was more responsive and was aimed at providing a better user experience to users, on any device or screen size.

In 2015, WordPress 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 were released. These releases focused on improved localisation, emoji support, theme customisation, and laying down infrastructure for the WordPress REST API.

Enhancements and Innovation (2016–2020) 

In 2018, WordPress 5.0 was released with a brand new editing experience. The new WordPress block editor project was codenamed Gutenberg. Over the last few years, WordPress has continued to improve the block editor in an effort to offer a full site editing solution. 

Modern Era (2021–present) 

In 2022, WordPress remained focused on improving the full site editing experience with more site editing blocks and themes being released. In 2023, WordPress will focus on easier site editing, customisation, collaboration, and multilingual capabilities, and will continue to be adaptable and relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Impact of WordPress 

WordPress powered over 43% of all websites as of 2022. Its scalability, versatility, affordability and simple interface made it a go-to option for independent bloggers, authors, SaaS companies, agencies and even large enterprises to share their messages with their audiences. WordPress has revolutionised content creation and publishing in several ways:

  1. Ease of use

WordPress provides a user-friendly interface that allows individuals with little to no technical knowledge to create and publish content and maintain their site

  1. Customisability

WordPress offers a vast library of themes and plugins that allow users to customise the look and functionality of their websites.

  1. Content management

WordPress provides a robust CMS that simplifies the organisation and management of content. 

  1. SEO-friendly

WordPress is designed with SEO in mind. It generates clean and semantic code, which search engines can easily crawl and index. 

  1. Mobile responsiveness

With the increasing use of mobile devices, WordPress has adapted to ensure websites are mobile-responsive.

  1. Community and support

WordPress has a large and active community of developers, designers, and users who contribute to its development and provide support.

There are numerous success stories of bloggers, journalists, and content creators who have achieved great success and increased their online presence from their WordPress websites. Here are a few examples:

The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond)

Ree Drummond started her blog, The Pioneer Woman, in 2006 using WordPress. She shared her experiences and recipes, eventually gaining a massive following. Her blog’s success led to multiple cookbook deals, a Food Network show, and a thriving business empire.


Mashable, a popular news and entertainment website, was launched on WordPress in 2005. Over the years, it has grown into one of the most influential digital media outlets, covering technology, culture, and more. Mashable’s WordPress-based platform allowed them to scale their content and reach a global audience.


TechCrunch, a leading technology news website, has been powered by WordPress since its inception in 2005. It has become a go-to source for tech-related news and analysis, and its WordPress platform has enabled seamless content publishing and management.


WPBeginner is a widely recognised resource for WordPress tutorials and guides. Syed Balkhi started the website to help beginners learn WordPress, and it has grown into a popular resource for millions of users. WPBeginner showcases the power and flexibility of WordPress as a publishing platform.

Future Outlook

The future is bright for WordPress as the world’s most used CMS. It is at the forefront of web development and content management and will lead the way in technological advancements for CMSs. From improved user experience, AI integrations, enhanced mobile capabilities and advanced customisation to enhanced security measures, deeper ecommerce integration and integration with blockchain, the platform will continue evolving to meet the changing needs of creators and businesses. 

WordPress has indeed had a profound impact on the web development landscape throughout its 20-year journey. It has democratised web publishing, created an open-source WordPress community, dominated the world of content management, impacted web design and development, established an ecosystem of plugins and extensions and had a major impact on blogging and content creation. 

Unlock the Potential of WordPress with Cariad Web Design 

Cariad Web Design is your trusted partner for WordPress websites. We only provide the best CMS for our clients and with WordPress, you don’t have to be a technical expert or developer to manage your site. There are no limits to what kind of website you can have with WordPress. Check out our growing portfolio of stunning WordPress sites that we’ve built. We will provide you with everything you need to get started with your pay monthly website from full WordPress training to many add-ons like Support & Maintenance. Get in touch today to become part of the WordPress community!

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