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WordPress celebrates tenth anniversary

Expert expects WordPress adoption growth to power ever more of the web

WordPress is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a series of meet-ups around the world. The 1.0 release of WordPress arrived on May 27, 2003, and the tool has since grown to power over 60 million websites. The company hopes today's meet-ups will be a chance for developers, designers and fans to share knowledge, hang out and have fun, and it's promised swag bags for larger gatherings.

Beyond turning ten, WordPress has other things to celebrate. At the time of writing, WordPress’s own counter stated version 3.5 alone had been downloaded over 21 million times. Version 3.6 will soon arrive, offering post formats, post locking, revision locking, better menu administration, and a new theme—the surprisingly bold and colourful twentythirteen.

Additionally, the Yahoo!/Tumblr deal resulted in a big spike in switchers. WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg recently wrote on his blog that the usual 400–600 post imports per hour had at one point risen to 72,000. He also mulled over how Tumblr would fare and what it could have achieved had it stayed independent, clearly making the comparison with WordPress's own situation: “I think we’re at the cusp of understanding the ultimate value of web publishing platforms, particularly ones that work cross-domain, and while Yahoo’s all-cash deal by some metrics, like revenue, is very generous, I think it’s a tenth of the value that will be created in these platforms over the coming years.”

Those heavily invested in WordPress seemed to agree with this assertion. WordPress expert Jesse Friedman told .net that a sixth of the web is now powered by WordPress, and no other tool can make such an impact, yet remain so accessible to everyone: “Think about it for a second. As a developer, I can contribute to core; as a writer, I can contribute to the codex; as a user, I can submit bugs and make the product better. The product, being WordPress, in effect being a sixth of the entire internet!”

Friedman’s own work has in recent years veered heavily towards WordPress, and on its tenth anniversary, he was keen to pay further tribute: “As a developer, I have several tools at my disposal for getting the job done, yet WordPress is so much more than that. I've made an entire career working with and teaching others WordPress. Today, I develop far less than I used to, and now run a team of ten. We are all WordPress developers at different levels. That's the beautiful thing about WordPress.”

He elaborates that the entire ecosystem and those involved with working on it is really what makes WordPress special, rather than literally just the tool itself. “The community, the plug-ins, the themes, the people… it is all built to encourage new adopters and help them do great things. There are so many cool projects built with WordPress and yet I'm not sure that we've really seen the full potential it has to offer,” he said. On that potential and WordPress’s future, Friedman’s understandably optimistic; he reckons WordPress will continue to see huge growth, receive big advancements and yet become easier to use: “More adoption and more contribution will mean an even better, more powerful product. I am very much looking forward to that!”

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