WordPress Featured on Wall Street Journal Business International


of , , the self-hosted version of , was featured today on the Wall Street Journal Business talking about the fact that WordPress now supports 14% of all websites in the world, approximately 1 in 6 globally.

Matt Mullenweg interviewed by Wall Street Journal international business about WordPress.

Click to view video on Wall Street Journal site.

In my own research on WordPress stats, 25% of all websites are published with WordPress, though this is based upon the statistic that more than half of these are on WordPress.com, where people come and go and set up test sites on a regular basis and abandon them, so Matt’s number may represent a more accurate number of active sites.

Matt Mullenweg and Toni Schneider were interviewed by Forbes in September talking about the impact of 60 million websites running WordPress. They also covered how WordPress makes money and why there is not WordPress “office” for their employees scattered around the world.

I discuss this in a little more detail in “WordPress Featured in Wall Street Journal” on .

The History of WordPress

WordPress logo began with a humble question from to the world in January of 2003:

My blogging software hasn’t been updated for months, and the main developer has disappeared, and I can only hope that he’s okay.

What to do? Well, Textpattern looks like everything I could ever want, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be licensed under something politically I could agree with. Fortunately, b2/cafelog is GPL, which means that I could use the existing codebase to create a fork, integrating all the cool stuff that Michel would be working on right now if only he was around. The work would never be lost, as if I fell of the face of the planet a year from now, whatever code I made would be free to the world, and if someone else wanted to pick it up they could. I’ve decided that this the course of action I’d like to go in, now all I need is a name. What should it do? Well, it would be nice to have the flexibility of MovableType, the parsing of TextPattern, the hackability of b2, and the ease of setup of Blogger. Someday, right?

Mike Little in England responded to the 18 year old in Houston, Texas:

If you’re serious about forking b2 I would be interested in contributing. I’m sure there are one or two others in the community who would be too. Perhaps a post to the B2 forum, suggesting a fork would be a good starting point.

By May 30, 2003, the world of web publishing was changed forever.

It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened fast.

As explained in the About WordPress on the , the online manual for WordPress Users:

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

Everything you see here, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your cat’s home page to a Fortune 500 web site without paying anyone a license fee and a number of other important freedoms.

WordPress is unique because it is an open source project created by the users, its own community. All these years later, little has changed. In August of 2005, with the creation of , the free hosted version of WordPress, was created, a commercial company dedicated to all things WordPress and supporting the WordPress Community. Continue reading

What is WordPress?

WordPress logo is an open source publishing platform for the web. It allows easy content management and publishing via the web browser to the web. There are three versions of WordPress.

WordPress – Self-Hosted Version

, the self-hosted version of WordPress, is often called “dot org” or “full version.” It is the version of WordPress used by those with paid hosting services or “self-hosted.”

The is the most flexible of the WordPress versions as the user can choose from any WordPress Theme and customize it fully or create their own, and add any WordPress Plugin, script or custom code to their site. The self-hosted version of WordPress can be used by beginner or expert.

This version is appropriate for any individual or company.

WordPress.com – The Hosted Version

WordPress dot com logo is the hosted version of WordPress, a blog hosting service where anyone can sign up for a free blog and have their say on the web. Millions of blogs are hosted by WordPress.com and many blogs host multiple authors.

WordPress.com is often called the “limited” or “free version” which is not completely true. WordPress.com is limited only in the fact that you must comply with the WordPress.com Terms of Service and cannot install WordPress Plugins or unapproved WordPress Themes, but much of the most popular WordPress Plugin features and needs of typical bloggers are provided such as integrated stats, social media integration, comment spam protection, writing and linking help options, and more through built-in options and optional WordPress Widgets. Users can pay a small annual fee to customize their WordPress Themes for original designs, breaking the template look many hosting services offer. A variety of custom options are available for a small annual fee such as domain remapping (having your own dot com and not subdomain URL), additional space, video uploading and storage, unlimited private users, etc.

WordPress.com is often thought of as the “baby” beginner version of WordPress as it requires no technical expertise to use, however do not underestimate its lack of code interaction. It is a WordPress blog with its own powerful abilities under the hood. It is exceptionally SEO-friendly and updated more frequently and faster than the self-hosted version of WordPress which requires administrative action to update. Thus it is a safe and secure publishing environment.

WordPress.com is also the demo and testing version of WordPress for the WordPress Foundation development team. New features are often tested in a limited or widespread across the WordPress.com network before they are included in the final release for the self-hosted version of WordPress.

WordPress.com also offers a VIP version where site owners can literally get hand-holding service from WordPress.com staff and developers. This doesn’t come cheap but for many companies, it’s cheaper than their current hosting plans and services. Examples include CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, All Things Digital, Time Inc., People Magazine, Flickr, NFL, and many more. Free WordPress.com users benefit from the funding these companies provide as well as the code developed through those sites and services.

This version is appropriate for any individual or business.

WordPress MS or Blog Network Version

The third version of WordPress is called WordPress MS, Multisite, or Blog Network. Built into the self-hosted version of WordPress and the engine running WordPress.com, WordPress MS allows site owners to host more than one blog on their site as subdomains. This is ideal for businesses with different departments, schools, non-profits, and companies wishing to offer compartmentalized content run by different administrators and authors.

WordPress MS is not for those who wish to run or install multiple blogs from one interface. There are several WordPress Plugins that make this process easier. WordPress MS creates two levels of users. The Super Admin manages the entire network, controlling the various options and features each individual blog or the entire network has access. Individual blog “owners” or administrators control their own blogs and generally have no access to the other sites on the network. The Super Admin can set the site to look seamless between subdomains, or allow each subdomain administrator to design their own look and feel, much like WordPress.com blogs.

While the option to choose a single installation WordPress or the multisite installation is only a few click option during the WordPress install, choosing the multisite version is not for the faint-hearted and code-phobic folks. It requires familiarity and some expertise with WordPress, PHP, JavaScript, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, and web hosting. Those using a blog on WordPress MS require none of that expertise.

Which WordPress to Choose

If you just want to have your say, choose .
If you want to play with code, choose .
If you wish to have ads and monetize your site, choose WordPress.
If you wish to have multiple authors and no wish for ads, choose WordPress.com.
If you wish to have an intricately designed site with a customized Theme, choose WordPress.
If you wish to have multiple authors with complete control over their independent blogs, choose WordPress MS.
If you wish to have various departments or agencies represented with their own sites within the network, choose WordPress MS.