WordPress 2010: A Year in Review

Today’s 12 Days of WordPress comes to you from Sarah Gooding, a web designer and developer, specializing in open source content management systems and social networking architecture.

She writes a daily blog about WordPress, Multisite and BuddyPress for us at WPMU.org and also enjoys working on projects through her company Untame.

With 2010 almost behind us, it’s the season of getting together with friends and family to reflect over the past year. Since 2009, it’s been my honor to keep my finger on the vibrant pulse of the WordPress community. I’ve had the privilege of featuring many excellent and innovative works from some of you, and I want to say thank you all for such a brilliant year of contributions. Let’s remember a few major milestones and see how far WordPress has come in just one year.

Early 2010 Milestones

BuddyPress in bloom
The big news at the beginning of January 2010 was that BuddyPress Now Supports WordPress Single User: No WPMU Required!. Was it really just one year ago that BuddyPress only supported WPMU? This new compatibility vastly increased the number of BuddyPress communities out in the wild.

Beautiful BuddyPress sites started popping up everywhere and we did our best to document them visually throughout the year in posts such as:
10 of the Latest and Greatest Inspirational BuddyPress Sites and 13 Fantastically Creative BuddyPress Site Designs.

In February the BuddyPress Template Pack started making it easier for sites with regular WordPress themes to incorporate community features. The BuddyPress platform was rapidly becoming a seroius option for users wanting to build unique, niche social networks.

Later in the year when NING announced that it was discontinuing its free service, BuddyPress was in prime position to welcome floods of new users.

WordPress 3.0 Changed Everything

wordpress logoWhen the 3.0 beta was released in April, everyone was getting an early start with WordPress 3.0, trying it after hours, biting their nails and praying that it wouldn’t break everything, especially WPMU site administrators. The merge of WPMU into the single user WordPress core was probably the most impactful change for many of us.

The first release candidate was pushed out at the very end of May and many of us scrambled to learn how to update our installations.

Suddenly there was an explosion of CMS plugins popping up in the repository- plugins that put WordPress 3.0’s new features right at your fingertips.

WordPress.org forums added a new “Multisite” category for support questions.

A month after WordPress 3.0 was released a plugin was available to let you enable multisite in just one click.

Things started to calm down a bit, as users began exploring everything WordPress 3.0 has to offer.

A New Direction for bbPress

In mid-July we found out that a bbPress plugin is coming to WordPress.

Shortly thereafter it was announced that bbPress forums will be removed from the BuddyPress download package. The bbPress project was stuck in limbo, so WordPress picked it up and made it into a plugin that is just now ready for testing.

The Growing Family of WordPress

WordPress 3.0 has already been downloaded over 27 million times and continues to power more and more websites around the web.

More than 60 WordCamps were held in 2010, from New York to Poland to Malaysia, bringing together developers, entrepreneurs, contributors and enthusiasts from all over the globe. WordCamp Central also launched its new blog so that WordPress users everywhere can stay up to date with upcoming events.

This was a pivotal year for WordPress, as 3.0 brought many changes that greatly improved CMS capabilities. It’s exciting to be working alongside experts in this ever-improving publishing platform. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my fellow WordPress users. Let’s all keep working together to make 2011 the best year yet!