Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of WordPress’s first release on May 27th, 2003 – this release was a happy creation that led to a lot of new blogs, businesses and services.
Various celebrations were held around the world, with the nearest and largest being in Manchester last night. interconnect/it did, of course, support and take part in the event. If it’s WP related, we’re usually there!
One of the key draws to this particular event was that co-founder Mike Little was in attendance and going to be interviewed on stage. He joined in early on with Matt Mullenweg and helped to create the early releases of a system that started small and eventually became a dominant CMS. We’ve used it to help manage some major sites, from Telecoms.com to The Spectator.
It was also great to meet up with old WP friends.
My own first brush with WordPress was in 2005, some time after the first release, but still relatively early on. I wanted to blog my trip to South America and went looking for suitable software. The web was a slow, clunky place back then, and so was much hosting. My own didn’t support certain features, which meant that as I worked through the list of blogging platforms nothing worked right. I found a couple that did work, but were awful. With despair, and running out of options, I installed WordPress. It. Just. Worked.
I blogged, I got traffic. Not a lot. My Mum, mostly. I still blog. I still think most of my traffic comes from friends and family!
Almost a year after that first touch of WP, I decided to get out of corporate systems and into something new that I’d enjoy. I partnered up with James Whitehead and off we went. The original plan was a low cost, managed PC supply business, but we quickly realised there were a lot of barriers to that approach – it would be Value Added PC Retailing – not a cheap business to get into as you need a lot of numbers to add up. But of course, to do that we’d need a website. We built something, using WordPress because… well, why not – it was a great platform and solved many problems? We showed the site to a couple of friends, and got asked to do some more websites. And some more.
Before we knew it, we had a web design and development business. Soon after we decided to specialise in WordPress. Smart move – it got us into Informa, The Telegraph, and many more. These guys had heard about WordPress and wanted to scope it and see if it could work for them. My enterprisey background turned out to be useful here, and I could understand the blocks and problems faced in larger organisations. We were off – we now had a reputation. WordPress helped make interconnect/it what it is now, and I’d like to thank all the wonderful contributors, theme authors, plugin developers and more who helped make it the tool it is. It’s helped our clients dramatically increase traffic and revenue. It’s made visitors happy. It’s made us happy too.
WordPress – here’s to the next ten years!