The WordPress evolution has been a rapid one. It is currently the fastest growing CMS software, beating out many of its competitors, but this was not always the case.
The beginning: 2003
WordPress was released in 2003 primarily as an open-source blogging platform. Bloggers quickly took to WordPress, seeing its potential as a blogging tool.
In 2004, Version 1.2 Mingus was introduced. This updated version of WordPress came with encrypted passwords and cookies. WordPress also revealed, along with Mingus, a new plugin architecture.
Version 1.5 Strayhorn (February 2005) presented blog themes and site customization. A new default theme Kubrick was created. Version 2.0 Duke was released December of that year. The domain WordPress.com was launched, as well as a redesigned backend and WYSIWYG editing with TinyMCE.
2006 through 2007
Version 1.2 Ella was released in 2006. The years 2006 to 2007 were a slow period, but these were the years of the very first WordCamp, held in San Francisco.
Version 2.5 Brecker (March 2008) introduced tag management, built-in galleries and dashboard widgets. WordPress released Version 2.7 Coltrane that December, which achieved over 500,000 downloads within the first nine days. Coltrane included a customizable interface and automatic upgrades.
Version 2.9 Carmen was released the following year, in 2009. This version presented a built-in image editor and simplified video embedding. Carmen achieved over 10.3 million downloads.
In 2010, WordPress released Version 3.0 Thelonious, which gathered over 65 million downloads. 1,217 bug fixes were made and a new default theme Twenty Ten was created.
Version 3.1 Gershwin was released in 2011, complete with a new dashboard design and an option for a distraction-free mode. A new theme Twenty Eleven was released the same year. By this time, WordPress was powering 14.7 percent of all websites.
WordPress released Version 3.4 Green in 2012, along with a new retina-optimized design, a media upload feature, new theme customization options and a Twenty Twelve theme. Version 3.5 Elvin was released that same year.
Version 3.8 Parker was released in 2013. The admin dashboard got a full makeover and the interface became fully responsive. A newly designed Twenty Fourteen theme was also released.
Version 3.9 Smith (2014) introduced an improved visual editor and a gallery preview option. It achieved 25 million downloads in two months. Version 4.1 Dinah was released that same year. WordPress added a translation feature able to translate into over 40 different languages, and a new Classic 3.8 theme was released.
Right now: 2015
The most current version, released in 2015, is Version 4.2 Powell. Now, 23 percent of all websites is powered by WordPress. WordPress boasts over 37,000 plugins, 46 million downloads and over 350 WordCamps held in 48 countries. Version 4.3 is expected to arrive in August 2015, with improved password security and a focus on mobile optimization.
The WordPress evolution started with blogging. In just a little over a decade, developers expanded its functionality to create something more complicated and full-featured to stay ahead in a technologically advanced world.
Here’s a pretty cool Infographic of the WordPress evolution.