WordPress Versions: Essential for the Serious to understand

Probably you’re thinking what is the use of reading such an article on WordPress version whereas we’re always using latest version of WordPress?

Yes, you needn’t read it if you know WordPress only as one of the Content Management Systems among many. But if you’ve already loved WordPress and know WordPress to be unparalleled in the industry, you must want to have the general know-how of its version history and how its major releases changed WordPress time to time and and shaped present appearance.

This article is for such WordPressers for simple understanding of WordPress versions throughout its development till today.

By learning WP version, you can-

  • Know gradual structural development of WordPress.
  • know which versions of WordPress still support and which don’t.
  • know which is the current stable version.
  • know why latest version of WordPress is important for you.
  • Meet WP-version related challenge without help of technologist.
  • Remove darkness of WP structure.

Introduction to WordPress versions

WordPress versions focus

WordPress which is the most popular website, blog and app builder software first started its journey in 2003. However it first came into being as a blogging tool. Over 16 years of glorious history in 2019, WordPress has stood as the most powerful CMS.

In this long journey of its development, many versions were released to update and upgrade WordPress which has made it most flexible and adaptable for the purpose of building any kind of websites.

Noted, WordPress is an open-source software and is managed, updated and distributed by WordPress.org. Many WordPress core developers are engaged to contribute to this glorious project. Don’t confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. Check out the following link to get it clarified-

However, let’s look at the key-points for WordPress versions

  • The first version of WordPress (version 0.7) was released in May 27, 2003. The latest stable version is 5.2.1 (as on May 21, 2019).
  • The major releases of WordPress versions are determined as x.x which means 2.0, 3.1 or 4.5 etc. And minor releases and updates under main releases are numbered as x.x.x meaning 3.2.5, 1.3.2 or 4.0.1 etc.
  • Every major releases are also code-named after jazz musicians, a well-known music genre originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. For example, code name of 5.2 is Jaco Pastorius.
  • A major release occurs every four months or so.
  • It is essential for a WordPress user to keep updated with latest version of WordPress for full functionality and security reason.

Focus characteristics of different major WordPress versions

This section lists the most important updates that were made to fulfill the demand of time with different major releases of WordPress-

  • Version 1.0: Released in Jan 3, 2004. Added search engine friendly permalinks, multiple categories, comment moderation system.
  • Version 1.2: Released in May 22, 2004. Support of Plugins was added.
  • Version 1.5: Released in Feb 17, 2005. Added template/Theme system equipped with a new default template.
  • Version 2.0: Released in Dec 31, 2005. Important features are addition of rich editing, better administration tools and image uploading system.
  • Version 2.2: Released in May 16, 2007 with addition of widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support etc.
  • Version 3.0: Released in Jun 17, 2010. Created new multi-site functionality. New default theme “Twenty Ten” was added.
  • Version 3.1: Released in Feb 23, 2011. Included the Admin Bar, displayable on all blog pages.
  • Version 3.6: Released in Aug 01, 2013. Important additions- New default theme “Twenty Thirteen”, new revision system, autosave.
  • Version 4.0: Released in September 4, 2014. Important developments- media management improvement, language changing, compatibility with PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6.
  • Version 4.1: Released in Dec 18, 2014. Importantly added Twenty Fifteen as the new default theme, distraction-free writing option, easy language switching.
  • Version 4.9: Released in Nov 16, 2017. Important additions- including scheduling, autosave revisions, new gallery widget and updated text and video widgets.
  • Version 5.0: Released in December 6, 2018. Significant addition- New block-based editor Gutenberg with new default theme “Twenty Nineteen“.
  • Version 5.2: Released in May 7, 2019. Important inclusions- Site Health Check, PHP error protection.

As on May 7, 2019 all the version upto 3.6 are unsupported old version. Versions from 3.7 to 5.1 are still supported versions and 5.2 is the latest stable version.

You can download previous supported versions of WordPress from WordPress.org.

Hope you got more enlightened about WordPress versions after reading this post. If so, don’t forget to share.

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