WordPress at 15

This weekend, May 27, marks the 15th anniversary of the first release of WordPress. It is an understatement to say that I am immensely proud of what this global community has become, and what it has created. More than 30% of the top sites on the web are now powered by WordPress, I’m writing this in our next-generation editor Gutenberg, and every day I meet someone who is building something interesting on WordPress or pushing our shared project in bold new directions. If you can believe it, growth has actually been accelerating.

There’s so much: A group of high school students bands together to build a national movement on WordPress; a president builds the foundation for his own next chapter on WordPress; the current WhiteHouse.gov switches over; or when someone like Hajj Flemings brings thousands of small businesses onto the open web for the first time, with WordPress.

To celebrate #WP15, hundreds of local WordPress communities around the world will be throwing parties. Go here to find a meetup in your area.

I am thankful to Mike for helping make WordPress a reality, many dedicated folks in the years since, and to all of you who are dreaming up the next 15 years. 😄

Many in the open source world are like Moses in that they speak of the Promised Land but will never set foot there. If I spend the rest of my life working and we don’t reach almost all websites being powered by open source and the web being substantially open, I will die content because I already see younger generations picking up the banner.

22 thoughts on “WordPress at 15

  1. Love WordPress man, been using it for 8 years now! just got done building a new site in WordPress and Shopify… and in the end chose WordPress (I knew I would), it looks and functions exactly how I wanted

  2. Congratulations Matt , Mike & Everyone at WP
    Fantastic product, Intuitive design and constantly evolving, I am so so pleased Tim Ferriss recommended you guys, one o his best recommendations. Here’s to the next 15!

  3. Congratulations from heart and thanks for being there for those guys with no programing skills. You made us. You made to live us. You made to dream us.

    The love for wordpress will never come to an end.


  4. Thanks Matt! The ability to create content without an outlet to distribute it was extremely frustrating to me as a struggling artist. I remember the first time I used WordPress, it was like a bomb went off: “now you can do what you want”. For someone with a design background like me, the ability to design websites I like because of WordPress has entirely changed the architecture of my life. Thank you!

  5. Thank you Matt and the entire community, is not an understatement to say that WordPress has improved my life and of my loved ones! Here is for another 15 years

  6. Thank for sharing this. I had the pleasure of meeting Hajj at WordCamp Detroit and speaking on a panel with him. What he is doing is remarkable. Congrats to WordPress for being a part of it!

  7. Happy birthday, WP! 🙂

    In the interest of protecting what the WP community has built, I have been noticing a potentially disturbing trend that is happening more and more lately. Plugins on the official WP Plugin Rep now contain what amounts to proprietary code. This wasn’t as much an issue before React, Vue and Gutenberg development become more popular.

    By this I mean, if something was compiled for distribution then it is “object code” and not “source code”, right? Code that is transpiled, webpacked, minified, etc is “object code” to me. Why? The GPL says this “The “source code” for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. “Object code” means any non-source form of a work.” I doubt very much that many prefer to make their modifications / develop on the packed / compiled versions. The PHP in the plugins is open but the JS parts are now obfuscated with no recourse.

    While ideal for distribution directly on the repo, you’d think that the additional react source code (for example) would be available on their public source code repository (github, for example). However, that’s too often not been the case. If you want the author to provide it and they decline ( I don’t expect this additional act to be free either as charging for delivery is permitted by the GPL ), isn’t this refusal then a violation of the GPL ( spirit ) ? Not having access to this sort code renders the code unable to be legitimately easily modified, forked, etc.

    I see a large amount of unmaintainable, closed source code eventually taking over the repository as we move away from mostly PHP plugins and begin adding in more javascript specifically that of reactive frameworks like React and Vue.

    The Gutenberg Team has done an excellent job at setting the standard with their Github repo and perhaps there needs to be more education about how this should be done. While there will always be those that license their code as GPL just to benefit from being on the WP Plugin Repo with no intention of ever providing full source, there are also those that may not have ever considered how their changes in development tooling / environment can negatively affect the WP / Open Source community.