5/5 - (1 vote)

As of May 2024, 43.4% of all websites used WordPress. The platform is one of the most used in web design internationally and is the market leader in CMS (content management systems), holding 62.8% of the market.

As prolific as it now is, WordPress didn’t immediately gain millions of users right after launching on the market. Like with most things, it started with humble beginnings and on the back of frustration at commercialized CMS providers and the exit of a market leader.


WordPress’s Beginnings

At its birth in 2003, blogging was becoming a prevalent pastime for millions of people worldwide. Aspiring bloggers widely used the user-friendly CMS provider b2/cafelog as few viable and free alternatives were available.

Written using PHP alongside MySQL, b2 (as it is more commonly known) was developed by French programmer Michel Valdrighi in 2001. Due to its open-source nature, the platform was quickly adopted and had more than 2,000 active users by 2003.

Shortly before hitting this milestone, the project announced that it was shutting down, and Michel was no longer interested in pursuing it further. With thousands of users left in the lurch after support ended, the industry needed an alternative.

Some alternatives already existed but failed to offer the same user experience as b2. One of the platform’s users, Matt Mullenweg, quickly partnered with fellow blogger Mike Little to create a viable alternative.

In May 2003, the first version of WordPress was released. Offering little more than an interface allowing text posts featuring limited links and images, the CMS was programmed in much the same way as b2 and is often referred to as a fork of b2/cafelog.

A year later, WordPress 1.2 launched and opened itself to the community as a fully open-source platform. At the time, the industry was dominated by Moveable Type, which announced new fee structures. Unwilling to pay premium fees for this, thousands of bloggers flocked to WordPress, and the snowball effect that grew the platform was set in motion.

Between 2004 and today, many things have set WordPress apart from competitors’ platforms and helped it gain the top spot in the CMS industry. These things, listed below, continue to make the platform the go-to option for millions of users.


True to its vision of providing a simple blogging platform for the masses that is accessible to everyone, WordPress has remained free since its inception. This allows users to access the system and start a website regardless of their financial status.

While specific themes and plugins designed for the system incur costs, the base platform remains free. This has helped millions start their websites and expand them as and when their finances allow.

Open Source

There is no denying that one of the (if not the biggest) factors helping WordPress grow is its open-source nature. This status has allowed millions of developers to improve, patch, and generally upgrade the system over the years. It has also led to a sprawling array of custom-made themes and plugins that bring entirely new features to the platform and help facilitate more interactive websites.

Alongside these improvements, the fact that the platform is open source has allowed it to be adapted to many uses beyond blogging. Due to this, WordPress is used in almost every type of site, from hair appointment bookings to e-commerce sites and everything in between. Here are a couple of suggestions demonstrating that, even in the iGaming and entertainment industry, some sites are built using WordPress.

Ease of Use

Alongside the constant development due to its open-source nature, another significant aspect that has attracted users to the platform is its ease of use. It has been meticulously designed since its inception to be easy to use by everyone, from professionals to homemakers who’d like to share a snapshot of their lives.

This user-friendly aspect was heightened even more in 2018 when WordPress integrated the Gutenberg block editor. Allowing users to create sites with more complexity and advanced design elements, the editor kept the system easy to use and manage while taking advantage of all the new features Gutenberg introduced.


Almost any website owner wants to create a unique and memorable site that will leave visitors with a lasting impression. WordPress allows this, providing users with the option to customize their website to exactly what they want, with plenty of native options and the ability to add additional customization plugins.

One of the defining features of the CMS platform is the ability to customize a website to look completely different from other sites also built using WordPress. This has allowed users to create millions of unique sites vastly different from each other, all with the same ease and freedom to bring their vision to life.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

One of the last things that has made WordPress king of the CMS kingdom is its native support and friendliness toward SEO. No website, regardless of how incredible it is, is much unless it has a regular stream of visitors. Without proper SEO, ending up with a site that meets this description can be all too easy.

To mitigate the chances of this happening, WordPress has native SEO support and writes code with semantic markup. This means that Google and other scrapers can quickly identify and index WordPress websites, making them among the first to be shown in searches.


Numerous other CMS platforms are available to bloggers and website owners alike, including Joomla, Magento, Drupal, TYPO3, Concrete5, Ghost, and Content Hub. While each has unique selling points, they fall short of the incredible features of the industry leader, WordPress.


  1. WordPress Development Agency

    This article was incredibly informative and engaging! I had no idea how extensive the journey of WordPress has been. The historical context you provided really helped me understand its rise to prominence. Great job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Summer Sale Get 50% OFF for your purchase on today! Coupon code: SUMMER2024 Redeem Now
Summer Sale Get 50% OFF for your purchase on today! Coupon code: SUMMER2024 Redeem Now