While there are many open source content management systems, it is hard to argue that WordPress isn’t the most popular out there. Over 202 million Web sites use WordPress, and its own Web site ranks among the most popular in the U.S. and world.
WordPress started in 2003 as the creation of Matt Mullenweg, who forked the code from the b2 blogging software to start the project. Mullenweg was only 19 at that time, a freshman at the University of Houston. A year later he dropped out of college and in 2005 started focusing on WordPress and related projects full time.
Since that time, the number of Web sites that use WordPress has expanded tremendously with currently just over two percent of the most popular sites on the Web using it, according BuiltWith.com, which provides CMS usage statistics.
WordPress is also critically acclaimed, winning the 2009 Overall Best Open Source CMS Award from Packt Publishing. It also received First Runner-Up in the Best Open Source PHP CMS Category.
WordPress has an impressive list of companies that use it for content management on their Web sites. Some of these companies include: Fisher Price, Nikon, Pepsi, Nokia, Intel, OnStar, Best Buy and more. Furthermore, some of the Web sites that use WordPress for content management, while not Fortune 500 companies, are among the top Web sites in the U.S. and include: WordPress.com (ranked 19 in U.S. traffic by Alexa), GizModo.com (ranked 264), and MentalFloss.com (ranked 2,404).
WordPress’s latest release is WordPress 2.9.2, which came out February 15, 2010, and is based off of the December 2009 WordPress 2.9. All versions of WordPress, starting in 2004, feature names of famous jazz musicians. This latest version is named Carmen (for Carmen McRae). There have been 11 total versions of WordPress thus far, with names ranging from Strayhorn (version 1.5, for Billy Strayhorne) to Coltrane (version 2.7, for John Coltrane).