2001 – B2-cafelog was launched by Michel Valdrighi.

WordPress started because the development of an existing b2/cafelog blogging software was interrupted by their main developers. In 2003, two b2/cafelog users, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, decided to build a new platform on the b2/cafelog base.

2003 – Announcement: 0.7

On 27 May 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little announced the availability of the first version of WordPress. The new Software was immediately well received by the community. It was based on b2-Cafelog but with significant improvements. The first version of WordPress included a texturization engine, the link manager, XHTML 1.1 compatible templates, a new administration interface, the possibility to make manual extracts and new templates.
At the recent anniversary celebration Matt Mullenweng says this:

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

“On 27 May, 17 years ago, the first version of WordPress was introduced to the world by Mike Little and myself. It had no installer, no updates, WYSIWYG editor (or almost no Javascript), spam protection in comments, clean permalinks, caches, widgets, themes, plug-ins, business model or funding.

The main feedback we received at the time was that the blog software market was saturated and there was no space or need for anything new.

WordPress had a philosophy, an active blog, a license that protected the freedom of its users and developers, a love of typography, a belief that code is poetry, great support forums and mailing lists and IRC, and a firm belief that creating software is more fun when you do it together as a community”.

2004 – Version 1.0 – Davis

The official version 1.0 was the official version 1.0 which included among its new features the installation directly through a web browser, a permalink system for search engines, category support, an intelligent update process and improved imports to switch from other systems to WordPress. Also added support for editing posts and comments, as well as the start of many other features that would be the basis of its future.

2004 – Version 1.2 – Mingus

Version 1.2 presented itself as an ambitious project that offered users a mature, stable, easy and flexible platform with features that compete with their main competitors. The version introduced support for the plug-in architecture. This allowed users and developers to extend WordPress functionality by writing their own plugins and sharing them with the rest of the community.
It introduced hierarchical category support, OPML import and export, and initial support. It also introduced features such as automatic thumbnail creation, multiple update service ping and password encryption.
At that time, the market leader in blogging was Moveable Type. They announced new license terms that many of their users didn’t like. This forced many of their users to look for a new blog platform. WordPress was ready at this point and its usage rate skyrocketed in no time.

2005 – Version 1.5 – Strayhorn

Version 1.5 introduced the system we all know about the themes. An incredibly flexible system that adapted to users’ needs in a simple way, it included the header, footer and sidebar system so you could make a change in one place and see it immediately anywhere, you could also edit files at will and it introduced static pages, leading WordPress to be ready as a content management system.
A new theme was made available to show how the newly introduced system could be extended and used.

Hundreds of hooks were made available, allowing more control over the construction of plug-ins in key parts of WordPress.
The WordPress plug-in repository was created in a collaborative environment between plug-in developers and users.

2005 – Version 2.0 – Duke

Version 2.0 was introduced with persistent cache storage, a new user role system and a new back-end user interface. This new administration area has been a complete overhaul of the administration screens in WordPress.