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Web Design & Development Guide

WordPress

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WordPress
Image:WordPress logo.png

WordPress's default configuration
Developer: Matt Mullenweg
Ryan Boren
Donncha O Caoimh
Latest release: 2.2.2 / 5 August 2007
OS: Cross-platform
Platform: PHP
Genre: Blog publishing system
License: GNU General Public License
Website: http://wordpress.org/ and http://wordpress.com/

WordPress is a blog publishing system written in PHP and backed by a MySQL database. WordPress is the official successor of b2\cafelog, developed by Michel Valdrighi. The name WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck, a friend of lead developer Matt Mullenweg.

The latest release of WordPress is version 2.2.2, released on 5 August 2007.[1] It is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

Features

  • Generates standards-compliant XML, XHTML, and CSS
  • Integrated link management
  • Search engine-friendly permalink structure
  • Extensible plugin support
  • Nested categories and multiple categories for articles
  • TrackBack and Pingback
  • Typographic filters for proper formatting and styling of text
  • Static Pages
  • Multiple Authors
  • Supports LaTeX [2]

History

b2, the precursor to WordPress, was also written in PHP for use with MySQL by Michel Valdrighi, who is now a contributing developer to WordPress. Though WordPress is the official successor, another project, b2evolution, is also in active development.

WordPress first appeared in 2003 as a joint effort between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to create a fork of b2.[3]

In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package was changed by Six Apart, and many of its users migrated to WordPress - causing a marked, and continuing, growth in WordPress's popularity.[4]

Releases

WordPress's administration interface
WordPress's administration interface

WordPress releases are named after well known jazz musicians. WordPress 1.0 was codenamed Mingus (after Charles Mingus).

WordPress 1.5 was released mid-February 2005 and codenamed Strayhorn after Billy Strayhorn. It added a range of new vital features. One such is being able to manage static pages. This allows content pages to be created and managed outside the normal blog chronology and has been the first step away from being simple blog management software to becoming a full content management system. Another is the new template/theme system, which allows users to easily activate and deactivate "skins" for their sites. WordPress was also equipped with a new default template (codenamed Kubrick after the late Stanley Kubrick[5]) designed by Michael Heilemann.

WordPress 2.0 was released in December 2005 and codenamed Duke after jazz pianist and composer Duke Ellington. This version added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, an improved import system, and completely overhauled the back end. WordPress 2.0 also offered various improvements to plugin developers.[6]

On 22 January 2007, another major upgrade, WordPress 2.1, codenamed Ella after jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald, was released. In addition to correcting security issues, version 2.1 featured a redesigned interface and enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), improved content management options, and a variety of code and database optimizations.

WordPress 2.2, codenamed Getz after tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, was released on 16 May 2007. Version 2.2 featured widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.[7] Wordpress 2.2 was initially slated to have a revised taxonomy system for categories, as well as tags, but a proposed revision led to the feature being held back from release.[8]

Vulnerabilities

In January 2007, many high profile Search engine optimization (SEO) blogs, as well as many low-profile commercial blogs featuring Adsense were targeted and attacked with a WordPress exploit.[9]

A separate vulnerability on one of the project site's web servers allowed an attacker to introduce exploitable code in the form of a back door to some downloads of WordPress 2.1.1. The 2.1.2 release addressed this issue; an advisory released at the time advised all users to upgrade immediately.[10]

In May 2007, a study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs being run are exploitable.[11]

In a June 2007 interview, Stefen Esser, the founder of the PHP Security Response Team, spoke critically of WordPress's security track record, citing problems with the application's architecture that make it unnecessarily difficult to write code that is secure against SQL injection vulnerabilities, as well as other problems.[12]

WordPress MU

WordPress supports one weblog per installation, though multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables.

WordPress MU is a fork of WordPress created to allow simultaneous blogs to exist within one installation. Wordpress MU makes it possible for any one with a website to host their own blogging community, control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. Notable communities that use MU are WordPress.com and Harvard University.[13]

Developers

WordPress development is led by Ryan Boren and Matt Mullenweg. Mullenweg and Mike Little were co-founders of the project.

The contributing developers include:

  • Dougal Campbell
  • Mark Jaquith
  • Donncha O'Caoimh
  • Andy Skelton
  • Michel Valdrighi
  • Peter Westwood

Though developed much by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, where some of WordPress's main contributing developers are employees.[14]

WordPress is also in part developed by its community, among which are the WP testers, a group of people that volunteer time and effort to testing each release. They have early access to nightly builds, Beta versions and Release Candidates. Upgrading to these versions, they can find and report errors to a special mailing list, or the project's Trac tool.

Sponsored themes

On 10 July 2007, following a post by Mark Ghosh in his blog Weblog Tools Collection[15], Matt Mullenweg announced that the official WordPress theme directory at http://themes.wordpress.net would no longer host themes containing sponsored links[16]. Although this move was criticised by designers of sponsored themes, it was widely applauded by WordPress users, many of whom consider such themes to be spam.[17]

See also

References

Further reading

  • Douglass, Robert T.; Mike Little, Jared W. Smith (2005). Building Online Communities With Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress. New York: Apress. ISBN 1-59059-562-9. 
  • Hayder, Hasin (2006). WordPress Complete. United Kingdom: Packt Publishing. ISBN 1-90481-189-2. 

External links


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