WordPress Celebrates 20 Years of Open Source Success
WordPress, the open source content management system, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The software has been downloaded more than 2.8 billion times and boasts a staggering 112,000 contributors, past and present, who have improved and energized WordPress with their passion, talent, and hard work. The project’s success can be attributed to the inspiration and leadership of co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, who worked in a distributed way from day one, creating the foundation for a global contributor base that now supports 43% of the world’s websites.
WordPress has had a profound impact on the lives of millions of users, giving them a voice on the web and the tools to launch businesses, create jobs, and bring ideas to life. The #WP20 hashtag is replete with stories of how WordPress and its community have given people a place of belonging and launched them into successful endeavors.
However, as WordPress enters its third decade, it faces two major challenges: capturing the hearts of the next generation of builders and maintainers, and preserving the open web where WordPress has thrived. The project’s 2022 annual survey showed that the respondent demographic is aging, with the percentage of respondents under age 40 decreasing every year. Ensuring that WordPress remains resilient and relevant to future generations has required some courageous leadership decisions, like introducing the block editor, and may bring some significant shifts down the road, as we enter a new era of AI-powered innovation.
Despite these challenges, WordPress remains a scrappy, irrepressible force of good on the web that users can count on for years to come. Major milestones are a good time to acknowledge the efforts that made all of this possible. Thank you, dedicated contributors, for lending WordPress a little bit of your fire and a lot of your patience, nurturing, and support.