JULY | 2017
WordPress is an open source project not owned by any company, it does not have a CEO. The project is run by volunteer developers from all over the world. There is a thorough decision making process in place which allows anyone to submit bug reports, patches, suggest features, and so on.
WordPress is released under GNU GPL license, which allows anyone in the world to download and use it. The source code is freely available for anyone to study, use, modify, and build upon.
In order to protect the freedoms offered by open source, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg created the WordPress Foundation. This non-profit organization owns the ‘WordPress’ trademark, and protects freedoms offered by the software’s open source license.
Hundreds of companies and thousands of professionals from all over the world sell WordPress based products, services, and solutions. WordPress provides excellent opportunities to thousands of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to build their businesses upon WordPress.
WordPress plugin downloads crossed 1.48 Billion total downloads in 2016. That’s 48% increase since 2015 when plugin downloads surpassed 1 Billion mark.
WordPress powers thousands of government websites in all parts of the world. The list includes dozens of US Federal and State government websites, counties, small towns, high schools, etc.
WordPress is used by thousands of universities, colleges, and schools all over the world. The open source license allow students and academia to study, modify, learn, and contribute to the development of WordPress core, plugins, and themes.
Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. There are currently more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins available for download. From creating an online store to adding a contact form, whatever you want to do there is a good chance that you will find a plugin for that.
In 2014, non-English WordPress downloads surpassed the English version. In later years, WordPress made it possible to install language packs from the WordPress admin area. In the final release of 2016, WordPress added the language switching feature for users on a WordPress site.
WordPress is fully translated into 68 languages, and it is partially translated into dozens more. Many popular WordPress plugins and themes are also available in different languages. It can also be used as multi-lingual platform with the help of plugins like WPML and Polylang.
WordPress meetups are smaller events organized by local communities under the umbrella of the WordPress Foundation. In 2016, there were 3193 WordPress meetups, in 58 countries, attended by 62,566 users.
The community behind WordPress also runs sister projects like bbPress, BuddyPress, and GlotPress. They are all open source software built on top of the WordPress core and principles.