Celebrate Seventeen

May 27th, 17 years ago, the first release of WordPress was put into the world by Mike Little and myself. It did not have an installer, upgrades, WYSIWYG editor (or hardly any Javascript), comment spam protection, clean permalinks, caching, widgets, themes, plugins, business model, or any funding.

The main feedback we got at the time was that the blogging software market was saturated and there wasn’t room or need for anything new.

WordPress did have a philosophy, an active blog, a license that protected the freedom of its users and developers, a love of typography, a belief that code is poetry, fantastic support forums and mailing lists and IRC, and firm sense that building software is more fun when you do it together as a community.

We have relentlessly iterated across 38 major releases since then, and here we are.

If you’d like to celebrate with me, put on some jazz, eat some BBQ, light a candle for the contributors who have passed on, help a friend or stranger less technical than you build a home online, and remember that technology is at its best when it brings people together.

35 thoughts on “Celebrate Seventeen

  1. Happy birthday and huge congrats. 17 years must feel like it’s flown by in a heartbeat.

    There are so many great milestones and memories when i think back over the years, here’s to many more to come.

    I’d be interested to read about the origins of the brand name (why “WordPress”), early logo concepts and whether there’s a “logo through the years” or any desires to morph it in the future.

  2. If WordPress didn’t exist maybe I never write the stuff ’til today. WordPress is the comfortest than the others for free . You know Matt, you’re one of my inspirations to write. Thanks WordPress, Matt and Mike

  3. I remember discovering WordPress about 15 years ago, when I didn’t like where b2 was going, but wanted something more substantial than Xanga or LiveJournal. My first username on WP was “macchiatoamore”. I wish I kept my old blog (thank god for the Internet Archive!) which dated as a newer one to 2012 or 2013. But I am happy to be blogging again and being around for bday #17.

  4. Happy birthday 17th WordPress!

    Congratulations for becoming biggest market share on blogging platform & CMS.

    I remember there are some famous blogging platforms or blogging sites in 2000’s (t-blog, multiply, posterous, ….) but now they are not in the internet anymore. So, Congratulations for achieving 17 years. (Same congratulation will be for Google Blogger too for achieving 20 years).

    And thank you, Matt, for your caring to blogging platform. Acquiring Tumblr is one example. Even you show support for newer
    platform like Subvtle as can be seen in this thread:

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6251362 (you are photomatt, right?).

  5. Happy 17th Birthday to WordPress!

    I got introduced with WordPress because I just wanted a blog myself. Since I discovered in 2010, I have never looked back. Glad to say, my career has also turned me to WordPress. What a phenomenal journey! <3

  6. I remember, I started with WordPress loving the calendar on the sidebar. I was using a different product then, and moved to WordPress.com. Eventually I wanted to learn and tweak things, and purchased a hosting, and started exploring. The famous 5 minutes setup wasn’t a joke, especially a noob then trying to understand, MySQL, PhP from C++ developer’s perspective. In fact these were the baby steps I took to understand web, and learned a lot.
    Beyond the product, Matt, WordPress team and contributors continues to inspire me being distributed, open source, and powers up majority of the web. As you rightly mentioned, Freedom, Typography and Code is a poetry. Congratulations for 17 years, and more years to come.

  7. WordPress has been the Real Turning Point in my career. An couple of hours session for beginners arranged by #WordpressTrivandrum changed my life. After that session now it’s 3+ years, and I successfully run a web design and digital marketing company. Thanks Matt and Team.
    I may be just ONE among a Million, who got transformed by WordPress.

  8. 15 years, 2 months and one day ago I did my first WordPress blog post on my first blog Adult ADD Strengths.

    ADD Strengths, The Beginning.

    7 years, 8 months and 18 days ago I did my second WordPress Blog BCADHD.

    ADHD Awareness Week October 14-20th 2013. Want To Help Change Some Minds?

    And about just a week before the shutdown of the Global Pandemic, I finally finished converted my 17-year-old HTML Dreamweaver website to WordPress. (not the greatest time to do a site launch)


    Thanks to Matt Mullenweg, all the WordPress developers and WordPress support forum posters and other bloggers and theme and plugin makers for making WordPress available to us all and all their constant innovations.

    And in hindsight, I deeply regret 17 years ago I did not do my first adult ADHD website in WordPress but in Dreamweaver and HTML.

    WP was too new, seemed a bit too buggy and not quite ready for prime time, and I did my first Macintosh website in Adobe Pagemill in 1998 I think, when I was selling Apple computers so I was somewhat familiar with HTML and not familiar at all with PHP.

    If I would have known then what I knew later, and instead started my first blog in WordPress would mean I would not have to spend 2 years grinding away manually converting a 180 page dreamweaver HTML site that was not https and was not mobile friendly to WordPress and Thrive Themes.

    I would not have had spent the previous several years procrastinating on moving the site because of the enormous overwhelming amount of work I thought it was, and it really was, to move it, and and the years of google harming me in the SERPS because I didn’t move it earlier because it was not https and mobile friendly.

    I’m glad the WordPress team ignored the warnings and kept persisting.

    Thanks eh? And keep up the good work

  9. Thank you, Matt, for WordPress! Back in 2008 when I first started with WordPress, it was out of frustration with Drupal. My laboriously done Drupal site was broken due to a major version update.

    Hence, WordPress. And boy, WordPress has come a long way.

    Thanks for your leadership in steering the ship. And buying WooCommerce was an amazing thing. WooCommerce has blossomed under Automattic. Long may it be so.

    I’ve written a tribute to WordPress on its 17th birthday 🙂 appreciate your comments/feedback


  10. Happy birthday to WordPress and thanks to you and all the WordPress crew. I was a relatively early adopter of WordPress (Aug 2004) and still use it today!

  11. In 2006 I created my first website (with my own domain) using Dreamweaver. Later, in 2007 I installed WordPress and used the Kubrick theme, I was excited about this as I don’t have to update my templates and upload everything whenever I did a change. The last 13 years I have earned most of my living from WordPress. (Except for the 1 year I worked for a company and they didn’t use WordPress).

    WordPress gave me the freedom to start creating websites and sell them, and still does!

    I also learned about some jazz songs by searching for the names of the releases.

    Thanks and Happy Birthday WordPress!