I had the pleasure of writing the second volume of the WordPress history book last year. The new book, called Building Blocks: The Evolution of WordPress, reviews the history of WordPress, the software and the community from 2013 to 2023.
You can download a free copy at Github.
What’s up with WordPress?
The past decade has seen many technological improvements, enormous growth in the community, and serious market share dominance for WordPress. WordPress now powers 48% of the websites online, and 30% of the top 10 million websites. If we look only at websites that use a content management system, WordPress Powers more than 63%. Its closest competitor is Shopify, with a mere 5.6% and then Wix with just 3.7%.
In other words, WordPress has no serious competitors.
There’s a reason WordPress has such a high degree of market dominance. We used to be platform agnostic ourselves. I write in English and I was happy to work on sites in Joomla, Drupal, Squarespace, Mango, or whatever. Then we built our first WordPress site. Rosie and I were looking at the performance of all our websites a few months later. The WordPress site was dwarfing the other sites.
“Why aren’t we using WordPress for our company site?” she asked.
“Why aren’t we using WordPress for all our sites?” I responded.
Since we are all about results, we never looked back. We persuaded our designers to learn WordPress, became experts in it ourselves, and even allowed Automattic to hire one of our people away from us. (We still love you, Josepha!)
WordPress websites perform better. They’re also easier to manage in-house, if that’s something you want to do with your business website. The level of support from the community is amazing, and WordPress is open source and ethically managed.
The history of WordPress
So it was a pleasure for me to write up the history of the past decade with WordPress. I had the opportunity to talk with a lot of interesting people and to learn a lot about many complex topics as well as some rather funny episodes.
I hope you will download a copy of the book for yourself — or, if you prefer print, get a copy once it has a physical presence and read it. I hope that reading it will not only give you insights into the history of the technology, but also encourage you to participate in the WordPress community. A surprising number of people told me that they found this a life changing experience.
We’ve spent a lot of time at WordCamps and WordPress meetups over the years and our local WordPress community is just getting back to in-person events after the pandemic. If you happen to be in Northwest Arkansas, we’d be delighted to welcome you into the group. Your own local community probably has a WordPress meetup group, too. Check it out.
You can also read the book online.