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Template:About Template:Pp-move-indef Template:Infobox software WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and publishing platform powered by PHP and MySQL. It is often customized into a content management system (CMS).[1] It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet's "top 1 million" websites and as of August 2011 powers 22% of all new websites.[2] WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet.[3][4]

It was first released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg[5] as a fork of b2/cafelog. As of December 2011, version 3.0 had been downloaded over 65 million times.[6]



File:Wordpress Template Hierarchy.png
WordPress template hierarchy

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 or installation without altering the informational content. Themes may be installed by using the Wordpress "Dashboard" administration tool, cPanel, or uploading theme folders via FTP.[7] The PHP and HTML code in themes can also be edited for more advanced customizations.


One very popular feature of WordPress is its rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install; WordPress has a database of over 17,000 plugins[8] with purposes ranging from SEO to adding widgets.


Widgets offer users drag-and-drop sidebar content placement and implementation of many plugins' extended capabilities. Users can rearrange widgets without editing PHP or HTML code.[9]

Multi-user and multi-blogging

Prior to WordPress 3.0, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multi-User (WordPress MU, or just WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation that is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with a website to host their own blogging community, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MU adds eight new data tables for each blog.

WordPress MU merged with WordPress as part of the 3.0 release.[10]


Native applications exist for Android,[11] iPhone/iPod Touch,[12] iPad,[13] Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry[14] which provide access to some of the features in the WordPress Admin panel and work with and many blogs.

Other features of note

WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, 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 article.


b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress.[15] 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.[16] The name WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck, a friend of Mullenweg.[17]

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.[18][19] 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.[20]


In 2007 WordPress won a Packt Open Source CMS Award.

In 2009 WordPress won the Packt best Open Source CMS Award.

In 2010 WordPress won the Hall of Fame CMS category in the 2010 Open Source Awards.[21]

In 2011 WordPress won the Open Source Web App of the Year Award at The Critters.[22][23]

Removal of sponsored themes

On July 10, 2007, following a discussion on the WordPress ideas forum[24] and a post by Mark Ghosh in his blog Weblog Tools Collection,[25] Matt Mullenweg announced that the official WordPress theme directory at would no longer host themes containing sponsored links.[26][27] Although this move was criticized by designers and users of sponsored themes,Template:Citation needed it was applauded by WordPress users who consider such themes to be spam.[28] The official WordPress theme directory ceased to accept any new themes, including those without sponsored links, shortly after the announcement was made. Sponsored themes are still available elsewhere, as well as free themes with additional sponsored links added by third parties.[29][30]

On July 18, 2008, a new theme directory opened at It was styled along the same lines as the plug-ins directory,[31] Any theme that is uploaded to it will be vetted, first by an automated program and then by a human.

On December 12, 2008, over 200 themes were removed from the WordPress theme directory as they did not comply with GPL License requirements.[32] Today, author mentions are permitted in each theme but the official policy does not allow for sponsorships or links to sites distributing non-GPL compatible themes. Non-GPL compliant themes are now hosted on other theme directories.


Most WordPress releases are code named after well-known jazz musicians starting after version 1.0.[33]

Version Code Name Release Date Notes
0.70 27 May 2003 contained the same file structure as its predecessor, b2/cafelog, and continued the numbering from its last release, 0.6.[34] Only 0.71-gold is available for download in the official WordPress Release Archive page.
1.2 Mingus 22 May 2004 It's notable for containing the support of Plugins. The same Plugin identification headers are still used unchanged in the latest WordPress releases.
1.5 Strayhorn 17 February 2005 Strayhorn added a range of vital features, such as the 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.
2.0 Duke 31 December 2005 This version added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, an improved import system, and completely overhauled the back end. WordPress 2.0 also offered various improvements to plugin developers.[36]
2.1 Ella 22 January 2007 In addition to correcting security issues, version 2.1 featured a redesigned interface, enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), and improved content management options.[37]
2.2 Getz 16 May 2007 Version 2.2 featured widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.[38]
2.3 Dexter 24 September 2007 Version 2.3 featured native tagging support, new taxonomy system for categories, and easy notification of updates. 2.3 also fully supports Atom 1.0 along with the publishing protocol, and included some much needed security fixes.[39]
2.5 Brecker 29 March 2008 Developers skipped the release of version 2.4 so version 2.5 contained two releases worth of new code. WordPress 2.5 saw a complete overhaul of the administration interface and the WordPress website was also redesigned to match the new style.[40]
2.6 Tyner 15 July 2008 Tyner contained new features that made WordPress a more powerful CMS: you can now track changes to every post and page and easily post from wherever you are on the web.[41]
2.7 Coltrane 11 December 2008 It once again saw the administration interface completely redesigned. It also introduces an automated upgrade feature, and automatic installation of plugins from within the administration interface.[42]
2.8 Baker 10 June 2009 Baker offered improvements in speed, and automatic installation of themes from within the administration interface. It also introduces the CodePress editor for syntax highlighting and a redesigned widget interface.[43]
2.9 Carmen 19 December 2009 Carmen offers a global undo feature, a built-in image editor, batch plugin updating, and numerous under-the-hood tweaks.[44]
3.0 Thelonious 17 June 2010 Thelonious offers a new default theme called "Twenty Ten" along with new theme APIs; the merge of WordPress and WordPress MU, creating the new multi-site functionality; and numerous under-the-hood tweaks.[45]
3.1 Reinhardt 23 February 2011 Reinhardt is most notable for the addition of the Admin Bar, which is displayed on all blog pages when the admin is logged in. Also significant is the introduction of Post Format, best explained as a Tumblr like micro-blogging feature. It provides easy access to many critical Wordpress functions, such as comments and updates. This version also includes internal linking capabilities, a newly streamlined writing interface, and numerous other changes.[46]
3.2 Gershwin 4 July 2011 Gershwin was released only four months after version 3.1, reflecting the growing speed of development in the WordPress community. The focus for this release was making WordPress faster and lighter.
3.3 Sonny 12 December 2011 The focus for Sonny release was making WordPress more friendly for beginners and for tablet users.


After the release of WordPress 3.0, the development team took a release cycle off from the WordPress software to focus on expanding and improving the WordPress community.[47][48] WordPress 3.1 was subsequently released in February, 2011. With version 3.2, released on July 4, 2011, the minimum requirement PHP version and MySQL were raised as well.[49]


Many security issues[50][51] were 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".[52] Secunia maintains an up-to-date list of WordPress vulnerabilities.[53][54]

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.[55] 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.[56]

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.[57]

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.[58]

Since then, WordPress has improved in terms of security and the latest versions are more secure with only minimal security issuesTemplate:Citation needed. The last major security issue was found on WordPress 2.7Template:Citation needed, released in 2008.

Individual installations of WordPress can be protected with security plugins such as Better WP Security, WP Security Scan and many others.[59]

Development and support

Key developers

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were co-founders of the project. The core contributing developers include Ryan Boren, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, and Peter Westwood.[60]

WordPress is also developed by its community, including WP testers, a group of volunteers who test each release. 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 (including the software and archives for plugins and themes), bbPress and BuddyPress.

WordCamp developer and user conferences

"WordCamp" is the name given to all WordPress-related gatherings, both informal unconferences and more formal conferences.[61] The first such event was WordCamp 2006 in August 2006 in San Francisco, which lasted one day and had over 500 attendees.[62] The most recent event was WordCamp San Francisco in August 2011, which ran for three days and had over 1,000 attendees.[63] The first WordCamp outside San Francisco was held in Beijing in September 2007.[64] Since then, there have been over 150 WordCamps around the world, for an average of nearly one a week.[64] WordCamp San Francisco, an annual event, remains the official annual conference of WordPress developers and users.[65]


As a free and open source platform, WordPress relies on peer support. The primary support website is[66]

See also




External links

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