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WordPress doesn’t get the respect it deserves. In one stroke of imaginative brilliance, it brought to the world, a great blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Building a blog or a top-of-the-line website has never been so easy since WordPress came around and it’s a very popular free open source platform.
It’s estimated that almost 70% of the developers use WordPress for building a blog or website. Tell designers that you want a website built cheap, yet with zero compromises on quality, they will suggest WordPress. Since, the time it made its appearance way back in 2003, it has keep adding to its repertoire, and its various releases have just made this platform bigger and better.
Let’s take a journey through the various WordPress releases and see how these updates revolutionized the way we blog and what we expect from a CMS platform.
Version 0.7 Released on May 7, 2003
Today, only the 0.71 Gold version is officially available for download from the WordPress Release Archives Page, nevertheless there is no doubt that its launch almost 10 years ago started a revolution. Developers could use features like Highly Intelligent Line Breaks, New Administration Interface, Manual Excerpts and New Default Templates, default plugins for better navigations etc. to create websites and blogs that were as good, if not better, than those built with proprietary software.
It can safely be said that the release of WordPress gave everybody who wanted an affordable online presence, the power to dream big, and dream cutting edge.
1.2 Mingus released on May 22, 2004
A year later, the Mingus update arrived, which added features like sub categories, for adding categories in a single sub category (great for ecommerce sites); another important addition was encrypted passwords and cookies, which offered better security; advanced comment moderation, was another feature that made blog commenting simpler and spam free; also bloggers could now view their post with the post preview feature; feature liker and Live Journal Importer ensured that blog followers are updated with the latest news from the blog or site. These and other features, further cemented WordPress’s position as a top notch blogging platform.
1.5 Strayhorn and 2.0 Duke Released in 2005
Two updates by the WordPress community in 2005 really set the ball rolling for some great open source website development. The Strayhorn update was more about blog management, managing latest updates, and customization of default templates. The Duke update gave a boost to the WordPress admin panel and made it faster; it offered a feature called Redesigned Backend which offered on- demand customization of the background; other features included spam and backup plugins, resizable editing, streamlined importing and lots more.
2.1 Ella, 2.2 Getz, and 2.3 Dexter Released in 2007
The expectations with WordPress kept growing, and to keep up with the demand, three versions were released in 2007.
Ella offered features like autosave, that saved your post automatically, a new search engine privacy option, that helped you indicate search engines shouldn’t index your blog, more AJAX integration, faster admin and more visual consistency and much more.
Getz was an update that offered security fixes and tried to plug all the big and small holes in the WordPress blog. An important change that it brought to WordPress is that widgets that were available as plugins were now made available in the core and default themes.
The Dexter update focused on next generation features like native tagging support that allowed users to tag their posts, update notification giving info about any plugin or WordPress update, canonical URLs, advance WYSIWYG and more.
2.5 Brecker, 2.6 Tynerand 2.7 Coltrane Released in 2008
Continuing the tradition of releasing a new update every four months, the WordPress community released three more in 2008. The focus here was upgrading the functionality of the platform and offering users a superlative experience. More designing templates made their appearance on the scene; you could now add videos and pictures to the website; and plugins could now get automatically updated through the administration interface.
2.8 Baker Released in 2009
In a break from tradition, only one update released in 2009, which was the 2.8 Baker. The most notable addition offered was that you could now go through the various themes, from the WordPress dashboard. The Theme Browser feature helped you specify columns, width, and color of the theme; redesigned widget interface, bug fixes, better speed, were just some of the many other features of this update.
2.9 Carmen, 3.0 Thelonious Released in 2010
The Carmen update came with features like Global undo/”trash”, allowing you to restore a deleted post or comment from trash; Built-in image editor allowed users to crop, edit, rotate, flip and scale images; better SEO with rel=canonical; easier video embeds wherein, you just need to paste URL for it to convert into an embeded code, and much more.
In the 3.0 Thelonious, features included a new default theme called Twenty Ten; developers had new APIs for easy implementation of headers, menus, post types etc.; new lighter interface; bulk updates, and many more.
3.1 Reinhardt, 3.2 Gershwin and 3.3 Sony Released in 2011
We are now back two three updates in a calendar year, beginning with Reinhardt, with this release the idea was to make WordPress a better CMS platform. Features like redesigned linking workflow, helping easier linking of existing posts and pages; admin bar to access popular dashboard pages quickly; post formats support for simplifying creation of portable tumblelogs; enhanced CMS capabilities for archiving pages for custom content types and many more made this a great CMS platform.
The sole focus of Gershwin was to boost the speed of WordPress and make it lighter. It offered a tight new dashboard design, an HTML 5 new Twenty Eleven theme, a redesigned post editor, distraction free writing or Zen mode, and other great features.
Honoring the Jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt, the 3.3 Sonny update offered features like pointer tips to new users of WordPress, better co-editing support, amongst many other improvements. Here the focus was also on ensuring that even tablet users have a satisfying user experience while using WordPress.
And finally, 3.4 Green, 3.5 Elvin released in 2012
The Green update included significant upgrades to image captions, Twitter embeds and theme customization.
3.5 Elvin focuses on offering next generation features like support for Retina Display, a new Twenty Twelve theme, improved image workflow and many more.
Through its decade of existence, WordPress has continuously made the effort to reinvent itself to suit the needs and demands of users and developers. This has made it into the platform it is today, and I am sure 2013 will see another update/s that will further enhance the features and functionalities of WordPress.
Check out our previous articles:
- WordPress Secrets that Enterprise CMS Vendors Don’t Want you to Know
- Do You Have Enough Bandwidth on Your WordPress Host?
- Free WordPress Themes Released in Summer 2012
- How To Add Google Analytics to WordPress Multisite
- Increase Social Media Traffic – 7 Free WordPress Plugins
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