On 27 May 2003, WordPress got officially released by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Before that, the b2/cafelog was widely used as a blogging tool that got launched in 2001 by French developer Michel Valdrighi. PHP, along with MySQL, was used for developing the b2. This tool was mainly meant for writing blogs.
B2 used MySQL to manage databases that offer a search option in the middle of the blogs in the database. It was licensed under GPL as an open-source tool but had an unmaintained site.
How WordPress Came to Origin
WordPress, being the successor and source-code extracted from b2/cafelog, was founded by Mike Little along with Matt Mullenweg. Matt Mullenweg, the son of a software engineer and a user community member of b2, installed b2 in his system for his personnel use in 2002.
As Michel Valdrighi stopped providing updates of b2, Matt was determined to fork the tool b2 and make it more prominent for his blogging. He wrote a blog where he announced to fork the source-code of b2, and Mike Little replied affirming that he will join Matt in forking and work together. Later, they formed a team of developers, and fewer than ten team members succeeded in creating their own version of WordPress on April 1, 2003, and the name of the WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Matt.
Releases of WordPress
It was the first version of WordPress, i.e., version 0.7, released on May 27, 2003. A subsequent version was released in January 2004, called the Davis version of WordPress. After few months of the release of WordPress, b2++ was developed by Donncha O Caoimh from Ireland and Francois planque from France. But, due to multiple forking is done on b2, on 29th May 2003, Michel was sure to make WordPress the official division of b2.
WordPress is now the most popular CMS tool and is expanding day by day. New features are getting incorporated into each subsequent version. At present, it is the leading and most used self-hosted blogging tool in the world, having more than millions of users using it on a daily basis.
The popular and widely used WordPress has been licensed under GPLv2, which is abbreviated as GNU General Public License (Richard Stallman designed GNU software), which makes it free of charge and is also open-source software. The predecessor blogging tool from where WordPress originated, i.e., b2/cafelog, was also licensed under GPLv2. Every copy of WordPress contains a license with it. Making WordPress license under GPL allows the freedom to install, modify, and distribute its source-code to others, also making it flexible enough to use.