WordPress was officially released in 2003, as a sequel to the blogging program b2/cafelog. The program has undergone twenty-nine major releases and updates in the last thirteen years. This article traces WordPress’s evolution to the titan involved in a quarter of the websites online today.
The original version, 0.7, was released on May 27, 2003. It had the same file structure as b2/cafelog. It supported intelligent line breaks, a simpler interface, manual excerpts, new templates, and added speed and stability.
Version 1.0, Davis, was the first release named after a famous Jazz musician (in this case, Miles Davis), a custom that continues to this day. Davis released on January 3, 2004. Davis boasted permalinks that can be found in the search engine, and improved installation and upgrade. It also featured XFN and Atom support.
Version 1.2, Mingus, released on May 22, 2004. It added plugin support, sub-categories, import and export, and post preview.
Strayhorn, version 1.5, released on February 17,2005. Strayhorn debuted templates and customization, as well as comment moderation. It updated the dashboard, and debuted a new default code,Kubrick.
Version 2.0, Duke, debuted on December 31,2005. It added rich editing, improved backend, better admin support, better UIs, and tagging. There was also new editing and uploading features.
Ella,version 2.1, released on January 22, 2007. Ella boasted auto save, a tabbed editor for WYSIWYG and code editing, SML import and export, and spell check. Ella also included the ability to opt out of Google searches, and homepage updates.
Getz, version 2.2, released on May 16, 2007. Getz included new widgets for easy editing and functionality. Atom support was updated to full, and there was an “infinite comment stream”.
Version 2.3, Dexter, released September 24, 2007. 2.3 introduced better tagging, update notifications, neater URLS, and search engine optimization. 2.3 also updated WYSIWYG functionality.
Version 2.5,Brecker, released March 29, 2008. 2.5 featured an updated dashboard with widgets, the ability to upload more than one file at once, new search options, and the ability to edit tags.
Tyner, version 2.6, released July 15, 2008. Tyner introduced improved post revisions, mobile posting, previews for themes, and word count. Tyner also included the ability to insert captions into photos, and custom avatars.
Version 2.7, Coltrane, released on December 11, 2008. 2.7 introduced a new interface, with a focus on user ease.
Baker, version 2.8, released June 10, 2009. The update boasted faster speeds, one-click themes, redesigned widgets, and bug fixes.
Carmen, version 2.9, released on December 10, 2009. Carmen introduced the undo feature, easier video embeds, a built in editor for images, and batch update for plugins.
Version 3.0,Thelonious, released June 17, 2010. Thelonious merged WordPress with MU, and allowed users to run multiple blogs from the same account.
Version 3.1, Reinhardt, debuted February 23, 2001. Reinhardt introduced the ability to link multiple posts together, a new work interface, the ability to archive, and new tagging and query options.
Gershwin, version 3.2, released July 4, 2011. 3.2 featured a redesigned dashboard and improved speed. The new version also introduced “zen mode” with a simpler interface designed to allow bloggers to focus only on content. There were new options for conversations, and for photos and header images.
Version 3.3, Sonny, was released December 12, 2011. Sonny introduced new features such as the “drag and drop uploader”, import to Tumblr, new menus, toolbars, and touch screen support.
Version 3.4,Green, debuted June 13, 2012. Green, included the ability to customize and preview themes, and embed Twitter links.
Elvin, version 3.5, released on December 11, 2012. Elvin was a revamped way to upload photos and media, as well as a design geared toward mobile devices.
Oscar, version 3.6, was released August 1, 2013. Oscar focused on the blog side of WordPress, with new themes, improved autosave, a new revision process, embeds for media, and integration for Spotify and SoundCloud.
Version 3.7, Basie, released October 24, 2013. Basie had automatic updates, improved security features, and better support.
Version 3.8, Parker, released December 12, 2013. Parker focused on new design options and availability for all devices. Parker also allowed more control over themes and widgets.
Smith, version 3.9, debuted April 16, 2014. Smith focused on clearer editing for text and images, as well as options for other media such as video and audio. Previews were incorporated for widgets and headers, and themes were again updated and expanded.
Version 4.0, Benny, released September 4, 2014. Benny focused on media management, with photos and embeds receiving another update. A fresh new editor and more plugin options completed the update.
Version 4.1, Dinah, debuted December 18, 2014. Dinah went to “Just Write” as a distraction free editor, and allowed more languages, mobile logout, and embed options for Vine.
Powell, version 4.2, went live on April 23, 2015. Powell focused on easier sharing options, as well as new characters for languages, and symbols. Powell also included embeds for Tumblr and Kickstarter.
Version 4.3, debuted on August 18, 2015. Billie, supported site icons, shortcuts for formatting, the ability to turn comments off, and quick customization options.
Version 4.4, Clifford, released on December 8,2015. 4.4 allowed for automatic resizing of images, and more embed options.
The current version, 4.5, also named Coleman, debuted on April 12,2016. Coleman features inline linking, more shortcuts, and customization options for mobile and desktop devices, with preview. Coleman also allows site logos.