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This article is about the blogging software. For the blog host, see WordPress.com.
WordPress logo.svg
WordPress MP6 dashboard.png
WordPress Dashboard
Developer(s) WordPress Foundation
Initial release May 27, 2003; 11 years ago (2003-05-27)[1]
Stable release 4.1.1 (February 18, 2015; 41 days ago (2015-02-18)) [±][2]
Preview release 4.2 Beta 3 (March 26, 2015; 5 days ago (2015-03-26)) [±][3]
Development status Active
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform PHP
Type Blog software
License GNU GPLv2+[4]
Website wordpress.org

WordPress is a free and open-source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.[5] Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015.[6] WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web,[7] at more than 60 million websites.[8]

It was first released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg[1] and Mike Little,[9] as a fork of b2/cafelog. The license under which WordPress software is released is the GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation.[10]


WordPress has a web template system using a template processor.


WordPress users may install and switch between themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website and they can be installed without altering the content or health of the site. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present. Every WordPress theme should be designed using some standards with structured PHP, valid HTML and CSS. Today, JavaScript and jQuery are being used to add responsiveness to the themes. Themes may be installed using the WordPress "Appearance" administration tool or theme folders may be uploaded via FTP.[11] The PHP, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code found in themes can be added to or edited for providing advanced features. WordPress themes are in general classified into two categories, free themes and premium themes. WordPress users may also create and develop their own custom themes if they have the knowledge and skill to do so.


WordPress's plugin architecture allows users to extend its features. WordPress has over 30,000 plugins available,[12] each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from search engine optimization, to client portals[13] used to display private information to logged in users, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars. But not all available plugins are always abreast with the upgrades and as a result they may not function properly or may not function at all.[14]


Native applications exist for WebOS,[15] Android,[16] iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad),[17][18] Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.[19] These applications, designed by Automattic, allow a limited set of options, which include adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.[17][18]

Other features[edit]

WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign multiple categories to articles; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or an article.

Multi-user and multi-blogging[edit]

Prior to version 3, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multisites (previously referred to as WordPress Multi-User, WordPress MU, or WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with websites to host their own blogging communities, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MS adds eight new data tables for each blog.

As of the release of WordPress 3, WordPress MU has merged with WordPress.[20]


b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress.[21] b2/cafelog was estimated to have been installed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003.[22] 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.[23] Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Mullenweg, suggested the name WordPress.[24][25]

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.[26][27] By October 2009 the 2009 Open Source content management system Market Share Report reached the conclusion that WordPress enjoyed the greatest brand strength of any open-source content-management systems.[28]

Release history[edit]

Main releases of WordPress are codenamed after well-known jazz musicians, starting after version 1.0.[29]

Legend: Old version Older version, still supported Current version Latest preview version Future release
Version Code name Release date Notes
Old version, no longer supported: 0.7 none 27 May 2003 [30] Used the same file structure as its predecessor, b2/cafelog, and continued the numbering from its last release, 0.6.[31] Only 0.71-gold is available for download in the official WordPress Release Archive page.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.0 Davis 3 January 2004 [32] Added search engine friendly permalinks, multiple categories, dead simple installation and upgrade, comment moderation, XFN support, Atom support.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.2 Mingus 22 May 2004 [33] Added support of Plugins; which same identification headers are used unchanged in WordPress releases as of 2011.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.5 Strayhorn 17 February 2005 [34] 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).[35] designed by Michael Heilemann.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0 Duke 31 December 2005 [36] Added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, improved import system, fully overhauled the back end, and various improvements to Plugin developers.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.1 Ella 22 January 2007 [37] Corrected security issues, redesigned interface, enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), and improved content management options.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.2 Getz 16 May 2007 [38] Added widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.3 Dexter 24 September 2007 [39] 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.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.5 Brecker 29 March 2008 [40] 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.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.6 Tyner 15 July 2008 [41] 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.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.7 Coltrane 11 December 2008 [42] Administration interface redesigned fully, added automatic upgrades and installing Plugins, from within the administration interface.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.8 Baker 10 June 2009 [43] Added improvements in speed, automatic installing of Themes from within administration interface, introduces the CodePress editor for syntax highlighting and a redesigned widget interface.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.9 Carmen 19 December 2009 [44] Added global undo, built-in image editor, batch Plugin updating, and many less visible tweaks.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.0 Thelonious 17 June 2010 [45] 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 a refreshed, lighter admin UI.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.1 Reinhardt 23 February 2011 [46] 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.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.2 Gershwin 4 July 2011 [47] 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.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.3 Sonny 12 December 2011 [48] Focused on making WordPress friendlier for beginners and tablet computer users.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.4 Green 13 June 2012 [49] Focused on improvements to Theme customization, Twitter integration and several minor changes.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.5 Elvin 11 December 2012 [50] Support for the Retina Display, color picker, new Theme: Twenty Twelve, improved image workflow.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.6 Oscar 1 August 2013 [51] New Theme: Twenty Thirteen ; Admin Enhancements - Post Formats UI Update, Menus UI improvements, Revisions Update, Autosave and Post Locking
Old version, no longer supported: 3.7 Basie 24 October 2013 [52] 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
Old version, no longer supported: 3.8 Parker 12 December 2013 [53] 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"
Old version, no longer supported: 3.9 Smith 16 April 2014 [54] "New features like live widget previews and the new Theme installer are now more ready for prime time, so check 'em out.

UI refinements when editing images and when working with media in the editor. We've also brought back some of the advanced display settings for images."

Old version, no longer supported: 4.0 Benny 4 September 2014 [55] Improved media management, embeds, writing interface, and plugin discovery.
Older version, yet still supported: 4.1 Dinah 18 December 2014 [56] "We’ve made a lot of refinements over the last few weeks. RC means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. We hope to ship WordPress 4.1 on Tuesday, December 16, but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.1 yet, now is the time! (Please though, not on your live site unless you’re adventurous.)"
Current stable version: 4.1.1 Dinah 18 February 2015 [57] Fixes 21 bugs in version 4.1.
Future release: 4.2 TBA 22 April 2015 [58] New Standard and Secret Emoticons [59]


Matt Mullenweg has stated that the future of WordPress is in social, mobile, and as an application platform.[60][61]


Many security issues[62][63] have been uncovered in the software, particularly in 2007 and 2008. According to Secunia, WordPress in April 2009 had 7 unpatched security advisories (out of 32 total), with a maximum rating of "Less Critical."[64] Secunia maintains an up-to-date list of WordPress vulnerabilities.[65][66]

In January 2007, many high profile search engine optimization (SEO) blogs, as well as many low-profile commercial blogs featuring AdSense, were targeted and attacked with a WordPress exploit.[67] A separate vulnerability on one of the project site's web servers allowed an attacker to introduce exploitable code in the form of a back door to some downloads of WordPress 2.1.1. The 2.1.2 release addressed this issue; an advisory released at the time advised all users to upgrade immediately.[68]

In May 2007, a study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs being run were exploitable because they were running outdated and unsupported versions of the software.[69] In part to mitigate this problem, WordPress made updating the software a much easier, "one click" automated process in version 2.7 (released in December 2008).[70] However, the filesystem security settings required to enable the update process can be an additional risk.[71]

In a June 2007 interview, Stefan Esser, the founder of the PHP Security Response Team, spoke critically of WordPress's security track record, citing problems with the application's architecture that made it unnecessarily difficult to write code that is secure from SQL injection vulnerabilities, as well as some other problems.[72]

In June 2013, it was found that some of the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to common Web attacks such as SQL injection and XSS. A separate inspection of the top-10 e-commerce plugins showed that 7 of them were vulnerable.[73]

In an effort to promote better security, and to streamline the update experience overall, automatic background updates were introduced in WordPress 3.7.[74]

Individual installations of WordPress can be protected with security plugins.[75] Users can also protect their WordPress installations by taking steps such as keeping all WordPress installation, themes, and plugins updated, using only trusted themes and plugins,[76] editing the site's .htaccess file to prevent many types of SQL injection attacks and block unauthorized access to sensitive files.[77]

Developers can also use tools to analyze potential vulnerabilities, including Wordpress Auditor or Wordpress Sploit Framework developed by 0pc0deFR. These types of tools research known vulnerabilities, such as a XSS or SQL injection. Some vulnerabilities can not be detected by the tools, so it is advisable to check the code from other developers.


Independent analyst firm Real Story Group evaluates WordPress as a Web content management system.[78] In a 2014 analysis, the firm argued that growing enterprise demand for WordPress was part of a broader push for "embracing greater simplicity" in web publishing.[79]

Development and support[edit]

Key developers[edit]

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were cofounders of the project. The core lead developers include Helen Hou-Sandí, Dion Hulse, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, and Andrew Nacin.[80]

WordPress is also developed by its community, including WP testers, a group of volunteers who test each release.[81] They have early access to nightly builds, beta versions and release candidates. Errors are documented in a special mailing list, or the project's Trac tool.

Though largely developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg. On September 9, 2010, Automattic handed the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation, which is an umbrella organization supporting WordPress.org (including the software and archives for plugins and themes), bbPress and BuddyPress.

WordCamp developer and user conferences[edit]

A WordCamp in Sofia, Bulgaria (2011)

"WordCamp" is the name given to all WordPress-related gatherings, both informal unconferences and more formal conferences.[82] The first such event was WordCamp 2006 in August 2006 in San Francisco, which lasted one day and had over 500 attendees.[83][84] The first WordCamp outside San Francisco was held in Beijing in September 2007.[85] Since then, there have been over 350 WordCamps in over 150 cities in 48 different countries around the world.[85] WordCamp San Francisco, an annual event, remains the official annual conference of WordPress developers and users.[86][87]


WordPress's primary support website is WordPress.org. This support website hosts both WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation,[88] and WordPress Forums, an active online community of WordPress users.[89]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "WordPress 4.1.1 Maintenance Release". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "WordPress 4.2 Beta 3". WordPress.org. WordPress Foundation. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
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  75. ^ [1][dead link]
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External links[edit]