20 years of WordPress
Can you imagine that WordPress is 20 years old? I can't. I still wear the t-shirt that was created for WP's 15th birthday. I also remember how we celebrated those birthday in Kalisz, during a WordUp. A lot have changed during those years.
5 years ago, I worked at Osom Studio as a WordPress developer, and now I'm a DevRel at Kinsta. Back then, WP was taking 100% of my time; now - not so much. But it doesn't change the fact that I owe a lot to WordPress and to its community and that it always will have a special place in my heart. Let me share a bit about how my adventure began and what I wish WordPress in the upcoming years.
How it began
A long, long time ago, I decided to write my own CMS (like every developer). It was horrible, and I quickly learned that creating all the required modules yourself is impossible. This was the moment when I discovered Open Source. I tested all the cool CMSs back then - Joomla, Drupal, PHP Nuke, Typo 3, and WordPress. I fell in love with WordPress because of two things:
It had amazing documentation. Also, this documentation was alive, thanks to the comments. Sadly those comments are gone, and the documentation isn't that great (but I know that Milana and many contributors are doing everything to make it great again).
It didn't use any templating language. Just pure PHP templates. It is funny looking at how I love Timber now.
And I started "hacking" it. Looking at docs, installing different themes, and learning from them.
If I remember correctly, my adventure with WordPress started around 2005, which means the admin panel looked like this:
WordCamps - the biggest adventure
First WordCamp I ever visited was WordCamp Wrocław, and... it was a disaster. I really remember it as a waste of time with horrible lunch. This stopped me from visiting WordCamps for a while because I considered them a waste of time. And then WordCamp Kraków happened and changed everything. I came back from realizing that I knew nothing. But it also inspired me - I dived deep into Sage, SCSS, Bedrock, Twig, etc. Together with Agnieszka (my wife), we really improved our flow.
I also started making friends in the community. Since then, I have only missed one Polish WordCamp (last year).
Another big thing was WordCamp London. Our first non-Polish WordCamp. This was an amazing event, and I met two WordPress legends - Alain Schlesser (I still remember how helpful he was during the contributor day) and Mike Little.
There are also some specific WordCamps that have a special place in my heart:
WordCamp Poznań - my first WordCamp where I had a workshop session (cheers Krzysiu for active help during this)
WordCamp Łódź - that I co-organized
WordCamp Prague - I was speaking there in English for the first time (big thanks to Eva for chatting with me before my talk - it relieved most of the stress)
WordCamp Porto - I lead workshops at the flagship WordCamp
My workshops at WordCamp Porto
It's not only WordPress anymore
Last year I wrote a post, The world outside of WordPress, in which I described that I plan to concentrate less on WP than before. And I'm keeping my promise. While writing this, I'm at a CodeEurope event learning about different stuff (like debuggers for Commodore 64 or hacking Teslas). Of course, that didn't stop me from being a speaker at WordCamp Gliwice (I talked about headless WP).
As I mentioned at the beginning, WordPress has a special place in my heart, but I'm not entirely happy with where it's going. Some great WP-related projects are still happening (WordPress Playground, everything that Roots.io is doing, Timber, etc.), but I feel it's all covered up with talks about blocks or FSE.
What I wish WordPress
On WordPress' 20th birthday, I have some wishes for it:
to have this amazing community for the next 20 years
to give this community a louder voice in deciding WordPress' future
to grow the number of people who really care about WP and make it more important than the market share
to lose some market share - maybe this will enable WP to make so more radical moves
to believe in people who advocate for some serious PHP changes
to focus a bit more on developers, not only users
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