WordPress had more to celebrate this weekend than Memorial Day. They turned up the grill and opened a beer both in memory of our fallen soldiers and in celebration of their birthday. Yesterday WordPress turned 10.
Still going strong at the age of 10 is no small feat in the Internet age. Companies and websites that are popular are relevant now can become uncool and outdated in a matter of months. Companies like Myspace, Blackberry and Groupon are dreading their birthdays and worrying that they’ve peaked. WordPress seems to understand this, and chose to talk about the birthday with announcements about what’s happening in the future and what users can look forward to.
In any tech or online industry, it doesn’t matter where you came from or if you’re currently the coolest thing on the block, companies that stop innovating start losing the race.
Of course, sometimes another company’s misstep becomes your company’s win. WordPress received an early birthday present this year in the form of 72,000 subscribers switching from Tumblr because of the Yahoo acquisition. Oh, and those 72,000 subscribers? That was only one hour’s worth of Tumblr users that made the switch. Matt Mullenweg, founding developer at WordPress, says the site averages 400-600 new users an hour imported from Tumblr, so the 72,000 was just a nice bump from the norm.
Mullenweg handles these successes with the grace of the Most Interesting Man in the World. On the topic of Tumblr users switching en masse to WordPress:
News like this, whether from a friend or a competitor, is always bittersweet: I’m curious to see what the creative folks behind Tumblr do with their new resources, both personal and corporate, but I’m more interested to know what they would have done over the next 5-10 years as an independent company.
And then on WordPress turning 10 over the weekend:
You’re my muse; you inspire me, and I’ve seen you inspire others. You become a part of their life and they become a part of yours. I hope we grow old together.
Mullenweg knows that while fans might have briefly lost their faith in Tumblr, the site has potential to grow with the help and resources of Yahoo. Blogger has also made strides this year in improving its online presence by letting users comment from their Google+ profile instead of needing a separate account. The race isn’t over just because you’ve reached a mile marker.
Enjoy the glory WordPress, you’ve come farther than most companies do and aren’t showing signs of slowing down yet. With 22 out of every 100 new domains created running through WordPress, now is your time to shine – don’t let it go to your head.
Happy Birthday WordPress!