Blog no.13

Happy birthday, WordPress

May 10, 2023

Today is WordPress’s 20th birthday.

I was a fairly early adopter of WordPress. In mid-2005, say around August, I was profoundly, emphatically pregnant. And I had recently redesigned my department’s website to be the first on campus to use table-free CSS layout. Which was great! Except that a) nobody cared; and b) nobody else in my department was anywhere near as invested as I was in semantic HTML and table-free CSS, because they had more important things to do, like make sure the mail server that supported half the university didn’t crash.

So I needed to come up with a way to make sure that someone could update our website while I was out on maternity leave.

I started out by writing my own CMS. It worked, sort of, but it was probably more hackable than the average BonziBUDDY. I was already using Movable Type for a couple of projects, but it cost money, and I didn’t have any for this project.

And then I found WordPress, and there it was. It wasn’t yet set up for static pages, but if you knew a little PHP, you could make it work.

Love it or hate it, WordPress has changed the web. So happy birthday, WordPress.