10 years ago, shortly after my High School graduation, I felt the blogging bug bite me. Now at that point in time, I had a Ujournal, which was basically some other company’s attempt at the LiveJournal software. But I wanted more. I wanted something I could control.
And I wanted something with RSS capabilities. LiveJournal couldn’t accomodate it at the time, neither could most other engines.
Then I discovered a friend of mine running something called b2. The moment I figured out what it was, I fell in love with it. It was slick, it looked professional, and best of all, it had RSS ability. I had to have it.
Later, that program would be changed and take on another name: WordPress.
Unfortunately, my broke student self was unable to afford decent web hosting, and while free options existed, few of them offered the requirements to handle WordPress, mainly PHP and MySQL. But I relented, and I eventually ended up finagling free hosting from the Lycos UK version, which offered PHP and MySQL, unlike its US version.
I was familiar with web-based programs, having installed PHPBB several times beforehand, but now I had WordPress, and I found it easy to install as well.
Sadly, I ended up leaving my WordPress install behind, as school had taken over my life. But I continued to desire it, and in 2006, I learned about WordPress.com and immediately signed up. It felt like I had reunited with an old friend, and I immediately took a liking to it. At that time, I had finally decided to no longer represent myself with pseudonyms and use my real name, so it had my name in the blog as well….my first online site I could truly claim. But I wanted more.
In 2007, as a graduation present to myself, I purchased JTDabbagian.com. I also got web hosting, and with that, my first true self-hosted WordPress installation. Time had changed since the last time I had used it though…Plugins and themes that often took countless hours to install could now be uploaded immediately through FTP and activated. I immediately became obsessed with my installation, constantly updating, tweaking and modifying it. It was heaven.
Then grad school came. I had to neglect my blog and the community I loved for papers, presentations and other stupid things I regret. Seriously, never go to grad school.
In 2009, I had to allow my hosting to expire because I couldn’t pay for it. Losing my WordPress site felt like another blast to my heart in a year filled with blasts to my heart.
But I persevered, and in 2010 restarted another WordPress.com account, after a brief stint with Tumblr. Time passed, and I was able to afford hosting once again in 2011. Shout out to Hostnine. I’ve had minimal problems with them over the last 2 years, and my installation has shined on.
Today, I champion the cause of WordPress. Just last Saturday, I led a group class on how to use it. Next month, I plan to start a paid course. I feel like WordPress is the quickest way to get any small business on the web, and the best way for any blogger to get started. All of my sites run WordPress, and I’m even in talks with developing a website for a campus newspaper that runs WordPress.
I have used almost every blogging engine under the sun: LiveJournal, Blogger, Nucleus, MovableType, Vox and a few others to name a few. But every time, I found myself longing for WordPress. Even now, as RSS is considered a dying technology, I still consider it to be the greatest blogging engine ever developed.
Today marks WordPress’s 10-year-anniversary, and I want to celebrate. Because of all the web-based technologies I can think of, WordPress is one of, if not my top favorite of the bunch.
I know I haven’t been there for all of WordPress’s turning points, but I’m grateful for the software, and I’m grateful to Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little for this little Cafelog spinoff. Here’s hoping for another great 10 years, WordPress!