You did it and I think congratulations are in order! You, dear WordPress enthusiast, have helped WordPress thrive for the past 20 years. It’s an incredible accomplishment, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Did you know: WordPress is seven years older than TikTok (2016), came four years before Tumblr (2007) and the first iPhone (2007), beat Facebook to market by about a year (2004), and is about five weeks older than Tesla (July 2003).
May 27, 2023, marks exactly 20 years since Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked b2/cafelog to create WordPress Version 0.70. Quite a bit has taken place in the past 20 years, and imagine how much more we can accomplish together in the next 20!
You can read about the first 20 years of WordPress in two parts:
Milestones: The Story of WordPress (2003 – 2013)
Building Blocks: The Evolution of WordPress (2013 – 2023)
Whether you celebrate at one of the 100+ meetup events, are strutting your stuff in some limited edition WP20 swag, or joining in a collective reflection on WordPress in your unique way on social media, WP20 is a celebration of you – the WordPress community.
A Common Legacy
As I scroll through the amazing photos and memories shared on social media of past WordCamps and meetups, I think about the people who got WordPress to where it is today. The thousands of contributors who patched bugs and tested new features; organized events and fostered community; or wrote documentation and translated strings — how those contributions paved the road we travel today. A road that allows more people across the globe to use WordPress and contribute to WordPress, advancing the mission of democratizing publishing and giving us a little more freedom in the world. To the giants on whose shoulders we stand, those unsung, tireless, and passionate committers working through long nights and longer weekends: all of WordPress thanks you!
The dedication to and support of open source software has and will continue to ensure that WordPress endures for another 20 years and beyond.
the freedom to build.
the freedom to change.
the freedom to share.
The more our community invests in itself and supports one another, the stronger WordPress and the open source software movement becomes. And WordPress benefits, not just the present community, but future generations of contributors, entrepreneurs, educators, and enterprises large and small alike.
A Shared Future
If the last two decades are any indication of what lies ahead, then wow, the opportunity to innovate, lead, and sustain a versatile publishing platform will be profound!
Looking ahead at the next few years, our community will navigate Gutenberg Phases 3 and 4 together, delivering features that bring easy collaboration and multillingual support directly into the software. These next steps for WordPress will ensure our legacy of creating useful, relevant, and reliable software remains strong while keeping in mind the core elements of our mission regarding accessibility, performance, and stability.
By renewing our emphasis on the Five for the Future program, and continuing to elevate our standing, we can make WordPress the household name it deserves to be. We can be more recognizable in known growth markets such as the enterprise and education sectors, but also every community beyond the open source and developer communities. Opportunity abounds!
When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
There is no time like the present to invest in the future of WordPress. The community is the greatest asset within the WordPress ecosystem. This means every WordPress user, from casual bloggers to enterprise extenders, is invited to rediscover all that our community means and does, and how each one of us can further our positive impact.
Through all our planning, both short- and long-term, we can ensure that WordPress never loses sight of its user. Each one of us individually, and together, can do our part to make WordPress better, just as we have done each day for the past 7,305 days.