WordPress: 14 Years

So… tomorrow (May 27th) is WordPress’s observed 14th anniversary. Back on May 27th, 2003 the first version of WordPress was released.

My How Big You’ve Gotten!

Hard to believe it’s been 14 years. Also hard to believe that after 14 years, WordPress has now reached 28.0% marketshare.

We Don’t Party Like We Used To

I haven’t heard alot of talk about this particular anniversary in the community or on social. My theory is after a certain point you start celebrating 5 and 10 year milestones like crazy and let the single milestones get the “that’s great, but next year is 15!” treatment. Evidence: last time we REALLY celebrated WordPress was on it’s 10th anniversary. I’ll have to admit – i’ve been married for 15 years and our 14th anniversary was basically “let’s go out to dinner today but do a cruise next year”. In any case, i think it’s worth a brief mention now and we’ll save our big party for 2018.

Personally, I’ve been involved with WordPress since 1.5. My first CMS was Movable Type but honestly that was really just well suited for my personal blog – it wasn’t for most client sites I was working on at the time. I did try Joomla and Drupal at the time (along with PHPNuke). I found them ok, but simply not in conditions where you can hand them off to non-developer clients after you were done. WordPress has it’s faults too – it was still mainly for blogs back then – but seemed better suited for my client base. Plus the ease of setting it up you couldn’t beat.

WordPress is Barely Out of Diapers

Example of growth pains: possible decision on JavaScript framework moving forward

14 years is forever in Internet years. By one measure WordPress should be getting it’s AARP membership and get a senior discount at the movie theater. But on many respects, WordPress is barely into it’s teenage years. My daughter turns into a teenager next month, so I can relate to what that means. Teenage years are filled with wonder but also it’s a time to start determining your direction in life, work on self-control and patience, and suffer through all the mistakes you’ll be making. It’s a great, but awkward time.

Minimum PHP versions, focus of goals and leadership, coding issues – just a few of the things WordPress still needs to tackle. Not to mention it’s perception to some outside of the WordPress community. Like a teenager, it will try to wrestle with these issues – sometimes well, other times perhaps not so well. But it’s still growing, and will get more mature.

What I Would Like To See In The Next Year

My opinions don’t mean jack and maybe i’ll go into them more in future posts, but if someone asked me what i’d like to see this is what’s off the top of my head:

1. I would love to see more examples of the REST API being used to inspire others.
2. More awesome work with accessibility, multi-language, and the overall admin experience (writing experience in particular).
3. I would love to make more WordCamps accessible to smaller sponsors with smaller-than-hosting-company budgets.
4. I wouldn’t be a WordCamp Organizer if i didn’t put out an invitation to everyone – from Matt M to Mike L to that young person learning WordPress for the first time – to come down to WordCamp Miami in 2018 for our 10th anniversary. We’ll show you a good warm time when the rest of the country is cold. 🙂

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Congrats to WordPress for 14 years. You’ve provided a means to support myself and my family, a means to provide my local community with education via meetups and WordCamps (WordCamp Miami will soon be celebrating 10 non-stop years!), and a means to develop relationships with wonderful and interesting people in a community is among the best in tech. Thank you Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg for starting something wonderful 14+ years ago – something that now covers 28% of the web.

Other Links

Here’s a list of posts that are celebrating 14 years of WordPress. Ping me on twitter or leave a comment and i’ll keep the list updated:

14 Years Of WordPress Playlist (SiteGround)

Armchair WordCampers Now Have Their Own Site

Not sure if anyone was using the term “Armchair WordCampers” before me, but I’ve been using the term on Twitter when there are WordCampers you can monitor online. Monitoring WordCamps online isn’t close to being at the event, but some conferences have great coverage. Both pictures and useful/humorous tweets. Monitoring a conference via hashtag is ok, but not the best experience for many conferences. You might miss some action happening on other social networks, plus watching TweetDeck make my eyes go nuts.

So I keep working on my “wparmchair” theme, which had it’s beginnings as the WordPress 10th Anniversary site. It existed prior to that in various forms too.

In any case, I bought wparmchair.com and hosted WordCamp Seattle’s social presence (with blessing from organizers) this year. Now i’ve upgraded the theme a bit for WordCamp San Francisco. Here’s the site.

Here’s the improvement, in case anyone cares or is watching:

  • Instagram Video: If you shoot video on Instragram, you can see the video on the site now just like Vine videos.
  • HTML5 fullscreen added. There’s a link below the “status message” if you have a sharp eye. Fullscreen is nice if you want to project the live stream of items on a large monitor or projector.
  • “View Only Photos” – See all the Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and user-submitted photos in a nice gallery.
  • Featured Posts Slider – I normally don’t like these, but it’s a nice way to see the best of what you’ve missed in the last hour or two. It might change in the future, i’m not completely happy with it.
  • Retweets – Retweet button allows you to do an oldschool retweet. It’s convenient enough.
  • Livestream Support – You can show a livestream video instead of a featured posts slider (however WCSF live streams are paid only so of course those won’t be on this site).

This site or concept isn’t meant to replace live streaming – mainly those already glued to their social media streams. I encourage anyone not physically attending WordCamp San Francisco to buy a live stream sticket. And maybe drop in on Armchair WordCampers too.

Note: Keep in mind things are in “beta”. At times, i’m wearing a pink sombrero. I can see the site fine (minus nav bar issues) on an iPhone. Don’t judge.


GPL / WordCamp Twitter Drama Wrapup

Interesting day. It all started with Jake Caputo’s Automattically Blackballed post and Twitter exploded (or resurged, if you prefer that term) with debates over GPL and who can (or who no longer desires to as a result) sponsor or speak at official WordCamps. This blog post isn’t to share my views (so if there’s more below of one side vs. another, it’s just concidencse). I simply am sharing the best tweets of today.