WordPress & Matt Mullenweg: Struggle, Success and Beyond
WordPress started off as a simple blog creation platform and has grown to become the biggest website creation platform in the World. Millions of websites all over the world are running on WordPress.
Over the years we have seen the development cycle of WordPress and its emergence of WordPress as the superpower and engine that drives the internet and website design industry.
WordPress has over One Hundred million web pages on the internet and more are being created daily, It is also the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world.
WordPress was launched In 2002 from a previous program called the b2/cafelog. B2/cafelog was a program designed for blogging and to create weblogs and beautiful news updates before it was later abandoned by its creator. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little decided to form a partnership.
They modified the code for b2/cafelog and improve it to what is now known as WordPress. Matt having had experience in Web and software development decided to take the core of the b2/cafelog to and enhance it to what is today known as The biggest Content Management Systems in the world.
A Quick Overview of WordPress’ Struggles and Obstacles
The original creator of b2/cafelog was Michel Valdrighi, he built the software to serve as a blogging site which was later discontinued after he became unavailable. After several efforts to reach him proved abortive, Matt Mullenweg decided to continue with the program by creating a new program that will allow users to create a simple blog in one simple step.
He made a post about creating a new platform from a fork of b2/cafelog on 24th January 2003, a day after Mike Little proposed a partnership with him Matt Mullenweg, this was the beginning of a life long relationship that created one of the greatest internet inventions since the creation of the internet. That was how WordPress was founded.
After creating this platform, Matt Mullenweg needed a new name for his innovation, Matt’s friend Christine Tremoulet suggested a name for the new invention that was how WordPress came into existence. Finally, WordPress was eventually launched on May 27, 2003.
Since its launch, WordPress had experienced lots of obstacles and hurdles on its way to becoming the greatest Content Management system of all time.
WordPress: Expectations vs Primary Challenges
WordPress started off as a pet project based on Matt’s passion for creating content and sharing his works and portfolio. However, Over the years WordPress has faced some challenges and issues of vulnerability and compatibility with some of its releases and some other time, WordPress has been discovered to have some security glitches.
Over the years WordPress has encountered so many obstacles such as lawsuits, anti-freedom of speech movements, sanctions, funding problems, etc WordPress has also encountered security glitches, downtimes, and program errors.
However, through all these, WordPress has grown to mitigate these problems. WordPress has also suffered issues in some countries as a result of censorship. However,
Matt Mullenweg is committed to making sure WordPress.com promotes freedom of speech and also ensure people are not being shut down by any party for what they could term as uncomfortable thoughts or ideas.
This has led them to be challenged, sanctioned and blocked in so some countries.
A Major Sanction from China
In may 2009, WordPress witness a major sanction from China which led to WordPress being blocked in China after Matt’s unwillingness to comply with the Chinese government censorship. The action taken by the Chinese Government through its Golden Shield Project witnessed the loss of some Chinese sites from the use of WordPress and also prevented future use of WordPress.com by anyone from China.
In 2003, when WordPress was launched, it was a basic news blogging system that only allows easy sharing of posts. However as they grew and with the help of the large online community, they built a version that became more flexible and user-centric.
In 2007, WordPress suffered major security exploit that globally affected users running on old versions of WordPress or outdated or unsupported plugins.
In 2008 a web development company called Happy Cog joined the WordPress project to help create a new, better and improved WordPress admin dashboard after conducting a study on the design and admin user interface.
AT first, there were also challenges monetizing this new platform which is supposed free and open-source, that was why Matt Mullenweg created the WordPress.com version under the company called Automattic to be able to monetize the platform. The Company is currently worth over a billion dollars.
Since WordPress is the biggest Content Management Systems (CMS) in the World, it is prone to attacks, this is why Matt Mullenweg always ensures the site is updated from time to time.
WordPress: Stories of Success
WordPress’s success stories can be described as one of a humble beginning. A project that started as a result of Matt’s passion for sharing what he loves has become the biggest content management system In the World.
Since its introduction in 2003, it has been downloaded over one hundred million times making it the first-ever Content management system to achieve this feat. Its success can also be seen all over the world as it currently powers over one-third of the internet. WordPress is available in over 120 countries around the world and it is available in sixty different languages. WordPress powers 76 million blogs.
In 2006 Mullenweg recruited the former Yahoo executive Toni Schneider as the CEO of Automatic which led to Automattic raising an investment fund of about One Million One Hundred thousand dollars from Top Investors like Polaric Venture, Radar Partners, True ventures and CNET.
However, in 2014, Mullenweg became the new CEO of Automattic where he raised another one Hundred and Sixty Million dollars ($160,000,000) additional funding.
WordPress: Awards and Recognitions at a Glance
WordPress has received lots of awards and recognitions all over the world. Here are some of the notable awards
- 2008 WordPress won the Infoworld’s Best of open source software awards: Collaboration
- 2009: Winner of the Open Source CMS award for overall best Open Source CMS
- 2010 Hall of fame CMS category Open source award by Digitalsynergy
- 2011: Bossie Awards for best open source software by Infoworld’s
- 2015: Best CMS for personal website Award – CMS Critic Awards
Matt and His Team
As we all know that Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic; the company responsible for the development of wordpress.com, Askimeth, Jetpack, Longreads,vaultPress, Gravatar, Crowdsignal, cloudUp etc We can not talk about Matt Mullenweg team without first getting to know who this great genius is. Now the question is who is Matt Mullenweg?
About Matt Mullenweg
Mathew Charles or Matt Mullenweg as he is fondly called is an American born serial online entrepreneur who is known for creating the world’s biggest content management systems known as WordPress.
He started WordPress after he dropped out of the University of Houston, he worked briefly with CNET network between 2004 and 2006 before he decided to start Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress.com Blogging platform.
Matt Mullenweg also runs an angel Investment firm called Audrey Capital which has provided funding to over 30 startups and companies.
The Matt Mullenweg Team
The Matt Mullenweg team is made up of the Board of Directors, the core team and the numerous contributors. The Matt core team is made up of over Nine hundred staff from over seventy different countries around the World.
The Automatticians as they are fondly called is made up of a team of project managers, software developers, Engineers, Programmers, Graphic designers, UX/UI designers, etc.
WordPress Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is made up of the Directors who are responsible for making decisions and ensuring the company follows due process in all they do. The board is made up of five members which include:
Phil Black is the co-founder of True Ventures, a company with investment in WordPress. He is one of the Board of Directors of Automattic.
Tony Conrad is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington. He has been serving as a board member since 2005. He is also a partner at True venture. He is the founder of about.me and Sphere.
Another member of the WordPress Automattic Board of Director is Ann Dunwoody, a former veteran of the United States Army who served in the American Military for 37 years. She is a retired General, and the first woman in the United States Military history to achieve four-star rank. Ann Dunwoody is an author and presently the president of First 2 Four, LLC, a leadership mentoring and strategic advisory services organization.
Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress and the founder and CEO of Automattic, the company that owns the wordpress.com hosted services.
Toni Schneider is also a core member of the Automattic board of directors. He is a partner at True Ventures and the former CEO of Automatic though he still works in the company as a team leads responsible for creating new products, innovations, and technologies.
The Matt Mullenweg Core Team – Automatticians
The WordPress Core team is made up of website developers, testers, programmers, project managers, and lead developers. Some of the lead developers are Matt Mullenweg, Helen Hou-Sandí, Dion Hulse, Andrew Ozz, Mark Jaquith, and Andrew Nacin.
The Popularity of WordPress
The popularity of WordPress has grown over the years to become the most popular Content management system (CMS) in the World. In May 2003 when WordPress first launched the WordPress Version 0.7 down to 2019 WordPress has significantly grown. WordPress now the biggest and most used website builder.
The popularity of WordPress compared to other CMS platforms is far apart.
No doubt, WordPress is the biggest Content Management System in the world majestically powering more than a quarter of the World’s website. It boasts of powering over a hundred Million web pages.
There is no dispute to the fact that WordPress is a big giant in the online community. It started off as a simple blog creation platform and has grown to become the biggest website building tool.
What makes WordPress So Popular
There is no doubt that WordPress is one of the biggest things to happen to the internet. One in every four websites in the world runs on WordPress. It offers easy flexibility, it is easy to use, comes free without a cost to the user.
1. WordPress is free and Open source
WordPress offers a free and easy to use content management system that allows users to create simple and robust website application for free.
Its Simplicity: Its simplicity in terms of design, development, and use makes it easy to use and create stunning web applications.
2. Responsive and mobile-optimized
WordPress is built with mobile optimization in mind, WordPress is mobile responsive that is it loads well on all mobile devices.
3. Easy to Customize and manage
WordPress platform is generally easy to use and customize because of its simplicity.
4. It is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly
WordPress sites are search engine optimized and WordPress also has lots of Search Engine optimization plugins to ensure your site can be visible on search engines.
5. Safe and secure
One of the things that made WordPress stand out is the fact that it is safe and secured. No wonder the WordPress community ensures the site is updated from time to time to ensure the utmost security.
6. It has huge support from the WordPress community
Since WordPress is open source and has lots of contributors from all over the world, it received lots of supports from its online communities.
7. It accepts different data type
It doesn’t matter whether it is a text, image, graphics, PDF file, video, animation, no matter the file type, WordPress is compatible with the majority of file type extensions.
8. Single-click installation
One of the best parts of WordPress is its easy installation. WordPress offers a one-click installation which can be done by anyone without prior knowledge of programming or technical skills.
9. Different theme and plugins
Another great benefit of WordPress is the fact that there are thousands of themes and plugins that can be used to create a robust system.
10. Pre-made templates
The WordPress theme comes in sizes and shapes, from a simple blog to a more robust and sophisticated theme. WordPress has lots of ready-made themes for different web development projects
Interesting Facts about WordPress
1. It powers over 30% of the internet
2. It is the most popular content Management system in the world
3. It is available in 56 languages
4. WordPress Updates are named after Jazz Musicians
5. Over forty percent (40%) of online stores run on WordPress Woocommerce
6. There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins
7. It takes less than five minutes to install WordPress
8. WordPress contents are published in over 120 different languages
9. About 40% of all online stores in the world run on WordPress
[This is the 2nd part of my WordPress Story. Stay with me to learn all about WordPress, eCommerce and beyond. Check the 1st part here.]