Back in 2006 blogging was still in its infancy and I remember searching for a platform to launch my first blog. TypePad and Blogger were both big at that time, WordPress.com was around and growing, and Moveable Type, Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.org were also good options. In fact there were so many good options that it was difficult to decide what foundation I would use for what I hoped to be my new job.
For my first few months of blogging I actually went with TypePad, but quickly found that it was very limited and wasn’t a good fit for my needs. I went back to the drawing board at that point and knew I needed something that was flexible and was also going to be around for the long haul. At that time open source was really starting to take off in the mainstream and WordPress.org was leading that charge in the blogging niche, so I decided to align myself with the WordPress community and re-launched my first blog. Between the WordPress plugins and both the free and premium WordPress themes available, I knew I had made the right choice and was able to quickly make a custom design with little work on my end. The flexibility and the excellent open source community was the key to creating a great experience for me, and many I talked to felt the same way.
Fast forward 7 years and WordPress continues to meet my needs and validate my early decision. One report I use to determine this is released annually by Royal Pingdom, which has done a study of the Top 100 blogs each year since 2009 and recently published their 2013 report. This report shows WordPress continues to grow as the top choice among the most prominent blogs. Initially back in 2009, WordPress was on 32% of the Top 100 blogs. Last year it was up to 48%. For 2013, WordPress is now on 52% of the Top 100 blogs, and I expect that percentage to continue to grow over the coming years thanks to its flexibility and the fact that it is very user friendly.
According to Wikipedia, WordPress is used by over 14.7% of the top 1 million websites and manages over 22% of all new websites created as of August 2011, boasting a total of over 60 million websites. Its hard to imagine what these numbers will look like next year or several years from now.
Back in April 2009, we wrote about Automattic purchasing WP.com. At the time there was a lot of speculation about what the role of this incredible new domain would be. It has now been a few months since they took over possession and it looks like we finally have some hints about what the role of this domain may be.
As of the publishing of this post, it looks like WP.com still redirects to WordPress.com, but if you visit their Get WordPress subdomain, you can see the following splash page promoting their hosted service, as well as a quick comparison to WordPress.org:
It will be interesting to see what they decide to do with the root of the domain. I can’t help but wonder if it would be a good idea to move WordPress.com to a shorter domain like WP.com, giving their bloggers a smaller URL for their hosted blogs. In the age of Twitter it would be nice to have a domain like xxxx.wp.com instead of xxxx.wordpress.com.
What would you like to see WP.com ultimately used for?
With the recent release of WordPress 2.8 this past week, there has been a number of complications and/or frustrations from the WordPress community, leading to a lot of discussion about how long you should wait to upgrade WordPress when a new branch is released. Historically the WordPress team has always done a great job of testing their releases, which I think lead to a strong confidence from the WordPress community when it was time to upgrade. Combine that with the one-click upgrade option that is now built into WordPress and the annoying tag reminding you to upgrade, and you’ve got a huge number of people who upgraded to WordPress 2.8 immediately upon its release.
Unfortunately, with each new WordPress branch comes changes which sometimes break WordPress plugins, create problems with the WordPress theme you are using, and usually includes changes to the code. If you upgrade before the themes or plugins you rely on have been updated, this can cause problems. The iThemes team recently touched on this subject with their post, When Should I Upgrade WordPress? Their post also includes five helpful things that need done BEFORE you do your one-click upgrade:
- Make a backup of all your site data
- Upgrade of all your plugins
- Visit plugin and theme author websites
- Disable all plugins
- Ask yourself if you need to upgrade now
I also recommend waiting a week or so to view feedback before upgrading.
I know several of you haven’t upgraded WordPress to 2.8 yet. How long do you plan on waiting until you upgrade your WordPress installation? Please include which version of WordPress you are currently using with your comment!
For all you fans of WordPress, this weekend has been a good one. Although I personally wasn’t able to attend the WordCamp San Francisco event, many were able to go and we’ve been receiving a lot of great information.
As a result, I wanted to do a quick post to bring to your attention a couple of the things we are hearing from the event, and in particular, from Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” address, which he does at each WordCamp event:
- WordPress 2.8 Coming VERY Soon!
- There have been hints from the WordPress team about adding a section to their theme repository for GPL-compliant premium themes (paid themes which comply with GPL). I haven’t gotten clarification yet if their will also be a similar site setup for premium plugins that comply with GPL.
- WordPressMU and WordPress.org will be merging.
To those of you that attended the event, let us know about anything we missed in the comments!
- The WordCamp Report from the event.
- Various tweets from a number of web desginers in attendance.
Being a long time domainer, I’ve always understood the value of a strong domain name. It can literally make or break a product before it even launches! Automattic appears to understand domains as well, and wants to protect their brand. In a brilliant move, it seems they recently completed the purchase of WP.com, the common abbreviation for WordPress, which was previously owned by Yahoo.
Here is what Matt had to say about the acquisition of WP.com:
Yes it’s true, Automattic is now the proud owner of WP.com, which we acquired from our buddies over at Yahoo! We’ve been using WP.com as internal shorthand for this site for years now, and ever since we figured out four or five years ago that Yahoo had that domain (as opposed to the Washington Post or something) we’ve been doing our best to get it, a journey that culminated in ultimate success a few days ago.
WP.com seemed like a great fit: people’s attention spans are getting shorter every day. Wow the weather is great in San Francisco today. Also it’s seven keystrokes shorter to type in, which multiplied by the hundreds of millions of times people visit the site every year will be a huge productivity boost to our troubled economy and prevent RSI in a large percentage of the population.
Matt has also thrown a question out to the WordPress community. What should they do with this outstanding domain name? You can leave a comment on their post here with your suggestion!
My recommendation? People are going completely mobile these days for everything and that trend is only going to continue over time. After seeing what is in store for the iPhone 3.0 and the BlackBerry Storm 2.0, I am as convinced of this as ever. At the same time, people are also loving Twitter and sending Tweets from their phones.
Why not take WP.com and build it into a mobile blogging platform, or a Twitter competitor of some sort that ties into your WordPress.com blog? What other ideas do you guys have?
Note: It appears Automattic has also acquired Blo.gs. It will be interesting to see if they decide to try to improve or somehow integrate this service.