Interview with Matt Mullenweg as WordPress Celebrates Ten Years

Readers of this blog and anyone else hosting theirs on WordPress will appreciate this San Francisco Chronicle interview with the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, as the site celebrates its 10 year anniversary (yay!):

Q: It’s been 10 years. What’s been the most significant change for WordPress?

A: The big shift has been how it’s changed from being just something that people used just for blogs to being something that they build entire websites or applications on top of. People are now using WordPress for things I never could have imagined even five years ago.

The result of this has been that because there’s so much more flexibility and so many more options for customization, it started to gain some significant market share of the top websites in the world, actually over 18 percent now.

That’s obviously a big responsibility, because that’s lot of the Web that’s dependent on the work we do. I also think there’s a huge opportunity because the tools we’re building have the opportunity to democratize Web publishing and make it so everyone is on equal footing, and has an equal opportunity to create a really amazing website.


Q: What’s next for WordPress?

A: I think the key is taking things that are possible now, if you are a developer, and making them so that they’re easy for anyone, so you don’t need the “WordPress for Dummies” book.

I don’t think it’s a goal. I don’t think it’s something you wake up and say that you did it. I think it’s really a process. It’s constantly and tirelessly iterating every aspect of the software to make it more accessible.


Q: Take me back 10 years ago. What was it like?

A: It wasn’t super exciting. It was mostly me. I moved out to an apartment and I ate A&W fast food. I was in school studying political science, but I was way more excited about online stuff. To bootstrap WordPress, I did pretty much everything. I was on the support forums. I was writing the code and doing the design and marketing. Over the next couple of years, people came in and said, “Hey, I can do that better” and they were right. So it was just building up that community, and getting people to work together.

Had no idea about this staggering statistic:

Q: Why do you think WordPress has endured and others have not?

A: It has that resilience of being something that matters to a lot of people. There are 20,000 people who make their living from WordPress. They want to see it continue to grow.

I recommend to everyone I meet if they want to start a blog. Here’s to ten more years, Matt and the entire Automattic team!

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