Today marks 19 years since 19-year old Matt Mullenweg partnered with Mike Little to release the first version of WordPress based on the b2/cafelog software. The blog where he shared his thoughts on life and tech was starting to get more traffic and he wanted to ensure its future after the b2/cafelog’s main developer disappeared.
Mullenweg had the vision for what WordPress should be, even before it had a name. It centered on extensibility, a hallmark feature that has made the platform as popular as it is today:
What should it do? Well, it would be nice to have the flexibility of MovableType, the parsing of TextPattern, the hackability of b2, and the ease of setup of Blogger.
Matt Mullenweg – The Blogging Software Dilemma, January 24, 2003
Although Textpattern, the interesting new publishing tool at the time, had everything Mullenweg might want in a blogging tool, he wasn’t sure about its licensing at the time. He decided to fork b2/cafelog, which lives on today in a different form as WordPress, thanks to its GPL licensing. Mike Little joined the effort and the rest is history.
The highlight of this year’s anniversary celebrations is the wp19.day website created by David Bisset and his daughter Olivia Bisset, who also managed the project. WordPress users and contributors from all over the world left their heartfelt greetings to celebrate the occasion. Reading through, it’s easy to get a sense of the tremendous good WordPress has done for the world, giving so many a voice, a livelihood, and a chance to live their dreams.