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WordPress logo.svg
Developer(s) WordPress Foundation
Initial release May 27, 2003 (2003-05-27)[1]
Stable release 6.2.2 / May 20, 2023; 4 months ago (2023-05-20)
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Blog software
Content management software
License(s) GNU General Public License v2[2]
Website WordPress.org

WordPress is a free open-source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet's "top 1 million" websites and as of August 2011 manages 22% of all new websites.[3] WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet.[4][5]

It was first released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg[1] as a fork of b2/cafelog. As of the end of March 2012, version 3.3 had been downloaded over 12.2 million times.[6]

Product history

b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress.[7] b2/cafelog was estimated to have been employed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003. 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.[8] The name WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Mullenweg.[9]

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.[10][11] By October 2009, the Open Source CMS Market Share Report reached the conclusion that WordPress enjoyed the greatest brand strength of any open source content management system.[12]


Most WordPress releases are codenamed after well-known jazz musicians, starting after version 1.0.[13]

Version Code name Release date Notes
0.70 none 27 May 2003 Used the same file structure as its predecessor, b2/cafelog, and continued the numbering from its last release, 0.6.[14] Only 0.71-gold is available for download in the official WordPress Release Archive page.
1.2 Mingus 22 May 2004 Added support of plugins; which same identification headers are used unchanged in WordPress releases as of 2011.
1.5 Strayhorn 17 February 2005 Added 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)[15] designed by Michael Heilemann.
2.0 Duke 31 December 2005 Added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, improved import system, fully overhauled the back end, and various improvements to plugin developers.[16]
2.1 Ella 22 January 2007 Corrected security issues, redesigned interface, enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), and improved content management options.[17]
2.2 Getz 16 May 2007 Added widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.[18]
2.3 Dexter 24 September 2007 Added 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.[19]
2.4 none none
2.5 Brecker 29 March 2008 Version 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.[20]
2.6 Tyner 15 July 2008 Added 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.[21]
2.7 Coltrane 11 December 2008 Administration interface redesigned fully, added automatic upgrades and installing plugins, from within the administration interface.[22]
2.8 Baker 10 June 2009 Had improvements in speed, added automatic installing of themes from within administration interface, introduces the CodePress editor for syntax highlighting and a redesigned widget interface.[23]
2.9 Carmen 19 December 2009 Added global undo, built-in image editor, batch plugin updating, and many less visible tweaks.[24]
3.0 Thelonious 17 June 2010 Added 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 many less visible tweaks.[25]
3.1 Reinhardt 23 February 2011 Added 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.[26]
3.2 Gershwin 04 July 2011 Focused on making WordPress faster and lighter. Released only four months after version 3.1, reflecting the growing speed of development in the WordPress community.
3.3 Sonny 12 December 2011 Focused on making WordPress friendlier for beginners and tablet computer users.
3.4 Green 13 June 2012 Focused on improvements to theme customization, Twitter integration and several minor changes.
3.5 Elvin 11 December 2012 Support for the retina display, color picker, new theme: Twenty Twelve, improved image workflow [27]
3.6 Oscar 01 August 2013 New theme: Twenty Thirteen; Admin enhancements: post formats UI update, menus UI improvements, revisions update, autosave and post locking
3.7 Basie 24 October 2013 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[28]
3.8 Parker 12 December 2013 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"[29]
3.9 Smith 16 April 2014 Live widget previews; New theme installer; UI refinements when working with media; Advanced display settings for images[30]
4.0 Benny 4 September 2014 Improved media management, embeds, writing interface, and plugin discovery.[31]
4.1 Dinah 18 December 2014 Twenty Fifteen as the new default theme, distraction-free writing, easy language switch, Vine embeds and plugin recommendations.[32]
4.2 Powell 23 April 2015 New "Press This" features, improved characters support, emoji support, improved customizer, new embeds and updated plugin system.[33]
4.3 Billie 18 August 2015 Focus on mobile experience, better passwords and improved customizer.[34]
4.4 Clifford 08 December 2015 "New features in 4.4 make your site more connected and responsive." Includes new Twenty Sixteen theme, responsive images, and improved embeds.[35]
4.5 Coleman 12 April 2016 "New features in 4.5 help streamline your workflow, whether you’re writing or building your site." Includes improved inline linking, embed templates, custom logo support, and image resizing.[36]
4.6 Pepper 16 August 2016 "New features in 4.6 help you to focus on the important things while feeling more at home." Includes improved plugin and theme updates, font support, editor, and performance.[37]
4.7 Vaughan 06 December 2016 "New features in 4.7 help you get your site set up the way you want it." Includes new Twenty Seventeen theme, theme starter tools, and REST API content endpoints.[38]
4.8 Evans 08 June 2017 "New features in 4.8 add more ways for you to express yourself and represent your brand." Includes improvements to links, media widgets, text widgets, and WP newsfeed.[39]
4.9 Tipton 16 November 2017 "New features in 4.9 will smooth your design workflow and keep you safe from coding errors." Includes improvements to contributor workflow management, code syntax highlighting, and error checking.[40]
5.0 Bebo 06 December 2018 "Our new block-based editor is the first step toward an exciting new future with a streamlined editing experience across your site." Also includes "Twenty Nineteen, a new default theme that shows off the power of the new editor."[41]
5.1 Betty 21 February 2019 "5.1 focuses on polish, in particular by improving the overall performance of the editor. In addition, this release paves the way for a better, faster, and more secure WordPress with some essential tools for site administrators and developers."[42]
5.2 Jaco 07 May 2019 "New features in this update make it easier than ever to fix your site if something goes wrong. There are even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors."[43]
5.3 Kirk 12 November 2019 "New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site. This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor."[44]
5.4 Adderley 31 March 2020 "More ways to make your pages come alive. With easier ways to get it all done and looking better than ever—and boosts in speed you can feel."[45]
5.5 Eckstine 11 August 2020 "[Y]our site gets new power in three major areas: speed, search, and security."[46]
5.6 Simone 08 December 2020 "WordPress 5.6 brings you countless ways to set your ideas free and bring them to life. With a brand-new default theme as your canvas, it supports an ever-growing collection of blocks as your brushes. Paint with words. Pictures. Sound. Or rich embedded media."[47]
5.7 Esperanza 09 March 2021 "With this new version, WordPress brings you fresh colors. The editor helps you work in a few places you couldn’t before without getting into code or hiring a pro. The controls you use most are right where you need them. Layout changes that should be simple, are even simpler to make."[48]
5.8 Tatum 20 July 2021 This release introduced block widget management and improved block widget editing, workflow management tools, and Global Styles and Global Settings APIs.[49]
5.9 Joséphine 25 January 2022 This release introduced whole site editing, a default block theme, site navigation blocks, and better block controls.[50]
6.0 Arturo 24 May 2022 This release enhances the writing experience, expands the new Style system, improves the list view, improves performance speed, adds more template choices, and adds additional design tools.[51]
6.1 Misha 01 November 2022 "Inside WordPress 6.1 you’ll interact with enhancements that continue to make site creation more intuitive while pushing your creative boundaries further than ever."[52]
6.2 Dolphy 29 March 2023 "This latest version of WordPress reimagines your site editing experience, introduces more ways to style your site, and offers a new distraction-free way to write. Discover improvements that give you more control and freedom to express your creative vision."[53]


Primary functions of WordPress include[54]:

  • W3C compliance
  • no rebuilding/regeneration
  • static pages
  • internal links
  • theme support
  • cross-blog communication
  • comment support and control
  • spam protection
  • built-in user registration system
  • granular post security
  • user-based security
  • import support
  • XML-RPC interface
  • typographical XHTML conversion
  • intelligent text formatting
  • bookmarklet support
  • Ping-O-Matic support

Hardware/software requirements

The the latest versions of Wordpress:

  • PHP version 7.4 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater -or- MariaDB version 10.1 or greater

For older versions of Wordpress:

  • PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.0 or greater

Additional requirement information can be found here.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Screenshots of WordPress can be found on the website.

An online demo of WordPress is located at OpenSource CMS.

Entities using WordPress

Examples of entities using WordPress include:

Administrative Council of the United States, Adobe, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Ben and Jerry's, Cookies for Kids' Cancer, Crossover Health, CURE International, Forbes, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, ILiveWithADisability.com, Intellectual Ventures Lab, Library of Congress, LIVESTRONG, Nokia, OpenView Labs, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Philips, Portuguese Office of the High Commissioner for Health, ResearchWorks, Samsung, The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, The University Of British Columbia, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Missouri College of Engineering,

A full directory of WordPress users can be found at the WordPress website.

Further reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mullenweg, Matt (27 May 2003). "WordPress Now Available". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/news/2003/05/wordpress-now-available/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  2. "WordPress: About: GPL". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/about/gpl/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  3. Rao, Leena (19 August 2011). "WordPress Now Powers 22 Percent Of New Active Websites In The U.S.". TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/19/wordpress-now-powers-22-percent-of-new-active-websites-in-the-us/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  4. "Usage of content management systems for websites". W3Techs. http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  5. "CMS Usage Statistics". BuiltWith. http://trends.builtwith.com/cms. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  6. "WordPress Download Counter". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/download/counter/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  7. Andrew Warner, Matt Mullenweg (10 September 2009). The Biography Of WordPress – With Matt Mullenweg (Podcast). Mixergy. Event occurs at 10:57. http://mixergy.com/the-biography-of-wordpress-with-matt-mullenweg/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. "b2 had actually, through a series of circumstances, essentially become abandoned." 
  8. "History - WordPress Codex". WordPress.org. http://codex.wordpress.org/History. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  9. Tremoulet, Christine Selleck (24 January 2008). "The Importance of Being Matt…". Christine Selleck Tremoulet. http://www.bigpinkcookie.com/2008/01/24/the-importance-of-being-matt/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  10. Manjoo, Farhad (9 August 2004). "Blogging grows up". Salon. http://www.salon.com/2004/08/09/six_apart/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  11. Pilgrim, Mark (14 May 2004). "Freedom 0". Mark Pilgrim. Archived from the original on 10 April 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060410125402/http://diveintomark.org/archives/2004/05/14/freedom-0. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  12. Water & Stone (17 December 2009). "Open Source CMS Market Share Report 2009". CMS Wire. p. 57. http://www.cmswire.com/downloads/cms-market-share/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  13. "Roadmap". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/about/roadmap/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  14. "b2". http://cafelog.com/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  15. "Kubrick at Binary Bonsai". Binarybonsai.com. http://binarybonsai.com/kubrick. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  16. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2005/12/wp2/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  17. "WordPress 2.1 - codex". Codex.wordpress.org. 22 January 2007. http://codex.wordpress.org/Version_2.1. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  18. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.2". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2007/05/wordpress-22/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  19. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.3". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2007/09/wordpress-23/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  20. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.5". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2008/03/wordpress-25-brecker/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  21. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.6". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2008/07/wordpress-26-tyner/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  22. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2008/12/coltrane/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  23. "WordPress › Blog » 2.8 Release Jazzes Themes and Widgets". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2009/06/wordpress-28/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  24. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 2.9, oh so fine". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2009/12/wordpress-2-9/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  25. "WordPress: Blog: WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious”". Wordpress.org. http://wordpress.org/development/2010/06/thelonious/. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  26. "WordPress: Codex: WordPress 3.1 “Reinhardt”". Wordpress.org. http://codex.wordpress.org/Version_3.1. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  27. "Wordpress: 3.5 Proposed Scope". Wordpress.org. https://make.wordpress.org/core/2012/07/18/3-5-proposed-scope/. Retrieved 04 September 2013. 
  28. "WordPress 3.7 Basie Release Notice". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/news/2013/10/basie/. Retrieved 07 January 2014. 
  29. "WordPress 3.8 Parker Release Notice". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/news/2013/12/parker/. Retrieved 07 January 2014. 
  30. "WordPress Blog: WordPress 3.9". WordPress.org. 16 April 2014. https://wordpress.org/news/2014/04/smith/. Retrieved 02 September 2014. 
  31. "WordPress Blog: WordPress 4.0". WordPress.org. 4 September 2014. https://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/. Retrieved 02 September 2015. 
  32. "WordPress Blog: WordPress 4.1". WordPress.org. 18 December 2014. https://wordpress.org/news/2014/12/dinah/. Retrieved 02 September 2015. 
  33. "WordPress 4.2 “Powell”". WordPress.org. 23 April 2015. https://wordpress.org/news/2015/04/powell/. Retrieved 02 September 2015. 
  34. "Version 4.3 Project Schedule". WordPress.org. 18 August 2015. https://make.wordpress.org/core/version-4-3-project-schedule/. Retrieved 02 September 2015. 
  35. "WordPress 4.4 “Clifford”". WordPress.org. 8 December 2015. https://wordpress.org/news/2015/12/clifford/. Retrieved 06 January 2016. 
  36. "WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”". WordPress.org. 12 April 2016. https://wordpress.org/news/2016/04/coleman/. Retrieved 02 May 2016. 
  37. "WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”". WordPress.org. 16 August 2016. https://wordpress.org/news/2016/08/pepper/. Retrieved 01 September 2016. 
  38. "WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”". WordPress.org. 6 December 2016. https://wordpress.org/news/2016/12/vaughan/. Retrieved 04 January 2017. 
  39. "WordPress 4.8 “Evans”". WordPress.org. 8 June 2017. https://wordpress.org/news/2017/06/evans/. Retrieved 06 July 2017. 
  40. "WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”". WordPress.org. 16 November 2017. https://wordpress.org/news/2017/11/tipton/. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  41. "WordPress 5.0 “Bebo”". WordPress.org. 6 December 2018. https://wordpress.org/news/2018/12/bebo/. Retrieved 13 December 2018. 
  42. "WordPress 5.1 “Betty”". WordPress.org. 21 February 2019. https://wordpress.org/news/2019/02/betty/. Retrieved 30 May 2019. 
  43. "WordPress 5.2 “Jaco”". WordPress.org. 7 May 2019. https://wordpress.org/news/2019/05/jaco/. Retrieved 30 May 2019. 
  44. "WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”". WordPress.org. 12 November 2019. https://wordpress.org/news/2019/11/kirk/. Retrieved 04 February 2020. 
  45. "WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”". WordPress.org. 31 March 2020. https://wordpress.org/news/2020/03/adderley/. Retrieved 05 May 2020. 
  46. "WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”". WordPress.org. 11 August 2020. https://wordpress.org/news/2020/08/eckstine/. Retrieved 26 August 2020. 
  47. "WordPress 5.6 “Simone”". WordPress.org. 8 December 2020. https://wordpress.org/news/2020/12/simone/. Retrieved 28 January 2021. 
  48. "WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza”". WordPress.org. 9 March 2021. https://wordpress.org/news/2021/03/esperanza/. Retrieved 04 May 2021. 
  49. "WordPress 5.8 “Tatum”". WordPress.org. 20 July 2021. https://wordpress.org/news/2021/07/tatum/. Retrieved 03 September 2021. 
  50. "WordPress 5.9 “Joséphine”". WordPress.org. 25 January 2022. https://wordpress.org/news/2022/01/josephine/. Retrieved 11 May 2022. 
  51. "WordPress 6.0 “Arturo”". WordPress.org. 24 May 2022. https://wordpress.org/news/2022/05/arturo/. Retrieved 19 August 2022. 
  52. "WordPress 6.1 “Misha”". WordPress.org. 1 November 2022. https://wordpress.org/news/2022/11/misha/. Retrieved 03 January 2022. 
  53. "WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy”". WordPress.org. 29 March 2023. https://wordpress.org/news/2023/03/dolphy/. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  54. "WordPress - Features". WordPress.org. http://wordpress.org/about/features/. Retrieved 29 March 2012.