What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source blog publishing application and can be used for basic content management. It was first released in May 2003 by its co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as the successor to b2/cafelog. It is powered by PHP and a SQL data backend. As of September 2009, Wordpress is used by 62.8 million websites in the US and 202 million websites worldwide.
The latest release, 2.8.6, appeared in November 2009.
In 2007 WordPress won a Packt Open Source CMS Award.
b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress. 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. The name WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck, a friend of Mullenweg.
In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package were changed by Six Apart, and many of its users migrated to WordPress – causing a marked and continuing growth in WordPress's popularity. By October, 2009, the 2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report reached the conclusion that WordPress enjoys the greatest brand strength of any open source content management systems. That conclusion was based on an extensive analysis of rate of adoption patterns and brand strength and was backed by a survey of users
WordPress has a templating system, which includes widgets that can be rearranged without editing PHP or HTML code, as well as themes that can be installed and switched between. The PHP and HTML code in themes can also be edited for more advanced customizations. WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; multiple author capability; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters that provide for proper formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes) are also included. WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article. Finally, WordPress has a rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install.