Evolution of WordPress: B2/Cafelog to WordPress 1.0

July 14th, 2008

A few days ago we had told you what you should know about WordPress 2.6. The post described new features that will be introduced shortly in WordPress 2.6. Though there are several new features that you may like in this new version, there might be many that have gone unnoticed that were introduced in the earlier versions of WordPress. To quell the anticipation that users might have for the latest version, we wanted to write a series of posts that will cover WordPress from its infancy to WordPress 2.5 (the latest major version) that many of you use.

The WordPress team has been naming their major releases after popular Jazz legends and we will take a look at code names for the past releases.

B2 / Cafelog

WordPress is the official successor of B2/Cafelog which is a blogging platform created in early 2001 by Michel Valdrighi using PHP and MySQL. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little took over the development to come up with (fork?) the WordPress platform as we officially know it now in early 2003, giving birth to one of the best blogging platforms ever developed.

WordPress 0.7 – 0.71

The first version to come out under the new name was WordPress 0.7 which was released in May 2003, marking several changes over the B2/Cafelog software. WordPress 0.7 introduced several new features such as allowing users to add links to their blogrolls, new administration interfaces, manual excerpts, default templates and more.

WordPress 0.71 was just a minor revision but it brought incorporated many changes that form an integral part of WordPress as we know it today. WordPress 0.71 “Gold” introduced cool new features such as post status where users could mark the post state as draft, publish or private. A blog owner would also have greater flexibility over the comments by disabling them on a per-post basis. 0.71 also combined trackbacks, pingbacks and user written comments into a single category. There were several other changes including better administration, security fixes and more.

WordPress 0.72 added password protected posts, new xmlrpc APIs, a Blogger import and many other improvements. This version also included a new theme from Dave Shea.

WordPress 1.0

There were several minor versions in between WordPress 0.71 and WordPress 1.2 beside WordPress 1.0, which included WordPress 1.0.1 code named “Miles”. This was followed by WordPress 1.0.2 code named “Blakey” which was a smaller release based on bug fixes.

The much anticipated WordPress 1.0 was finally released on January 3rd, 2004. This version included several new exciting features (as usual). The most noticeable feature was the introduction of better search engine friendly permalinks which allowed users to structure their URLs to get better search engine visibility using mod_rewrite. The version also lifted the limitation of allowing only one category per post. This meant that users could assign several categories to a single post.

For all those who were worried about comment spam, this version included comment moderation where blog authors could moderate comments, before they would be viewable on the blog. Users could also edit pages or comments with the newly provided links. WordPress 1.0 also included support for ATOM based feeds. 1.0 was a very popular release.

There were several other new releases which we will take a look in other parts of this series. In the mean time, we would love to hear from users who had used these versions. How did the earlier versions of WordPress change your outlook towards blogging? Did those earlier versions make you a fan?

[EDIT] Fixed minor error in versions and added 0.72. Thanks Carson and Geof




  1. Geof F. Morris (13 comments.) says:

    Keith, I think you missed v0.72. :)

    I used b2 after using Greymatter; I remember Michel deciding that databases were the future on the old GM Support fora, which I helped to run back in the day. When it was obvious that GM was going to be static, I moved to b2, and then when Michel dropped off of the face of the planet, I rememeber giving this WordPress thing a try. Been using it ever since, but my database for is still named “b2″. Heh.

  2. GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

    Started off by using b2 0.6pre!

  3. Jason (75 comments.) says:

    In my case, the first time I had used WordPress was version 2.0.2, which was used on an intranet. Before that it was MT, but WordPress had much more flexibility and was quite a bit more user friendly.

    Although there have been some headaches, I’ve been with it ever since :)

  4. Emily (1 comments.) says:

    I just posted about this, in response to one of Lorelle’s blogging challenges.

    WordPress made it OK for me to step back and be a good poweruser instead of a crappy stressed-out pseudo-coder.

  5. Carson (46 comments.) says:

    Why do you want to quell anticipation for new versions? I thought you were a cheerleader for WordPress.

    Why did 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 come before 1.0?

  6. S.K (15 comments.) says:

    Invokes nostalgia!

    I was one of the earliest users of b2 after Micheal posted about it in Sitepoint forums..

    But I switched to b2Evo taking it as a natural successor. But finding WordPress fork the real one, I was naturally taken in by it.

    In the earlier versions, the most asked question was how to use it for multiple blogs. Several hacks were suggested before MU was released.

    Now the secondary business opportunities that WordPress has spawned – premium themes, plugins, WP tutorials and articles darwing droves of visitors with consequent ad revenue to the bloggers – is mind-boggling!



  7. iGraphiX Studio (1 comments.) says:

    Oh my God, I remember the B2 days. Things weren’t so easy as today. But if the developers of both B2 and WordPress read this: Guys, thank you!

  8. Chip (14 comments.) says:

    It was a long time since I’ve heard about WordPress and did not use it because I did not know what blogging REALLY was. Now I’m a regular blogger and WordPress is at the heart of it.

    I think I started from WordPress 2.0.x. Those were some days, as it seemed the perfect choice. Now I’m sure it’s the perfect choice. Little polishing is always necessary after a major version update.

  9. Ran Yaniv Hartstein (1 comments.) says:

    I posted something similar a few months back, on the fifth birthday – it’s a screenshot tour comparing the latest available b2/cafelog, WordPress 0.7, and WordPress 2.5. It’s in Hebrew so the text will be useless, but you can still enjoy the pictures :)

  10. Michael (2 comments.) says: includes some more information about the B2 to WordPress transition.

  11. Chris says:

    Wow, was it really 2001 when b2 came out? I’m still listed on the sites that are powered by b2 (

  12. Robert (2 comments.) says:

    Out of curiosity, I took a visit to the B2 site. On the front page sidebar, they have 10 random sites that are “powered by B2.” Out of those 10, One was on WP, one was on Tumblr, one was on Joomla and the rest no longer existed. Ouch, that’s embarrassing.

  13. James W. (2 comments.) says:

    I’m in the same boat at Geof Morris although he may remember me under another handle. Been a long time since Greymatter and b2 (in it’s in/out-of-development never-ending cycle).

  14. Xavier (4 comments.) says:

    Just so you know, Michel blogged about b2’s launch 7th anniversary on his French blog:

    I really like his title: “7 years of the_content()” – the WP template tags might indeed be the last remaining pieces of code that has not changed since the days of b2 :)

  15. The Linkback Project says:

    Why is it that I am still homesick for b2 though? Gosh, I remember the days when I wouldn’t even be caught landing on MT’s URL, for fear someone would think I actually considered downloading it. :-)

  16. J.T Dabbagian (1 comments.) says:

    I remember back in the day when I was playing with blogging software…my choices seemed to be either Blogspot or Nucleus. Then I came across b2/Cafepress, and I was sold…I think it was the auto-RSS generation that did it for me.

    Later on, when I wondered about starting another blog, I looked for b2, only to find it had become this weird thing called “WordPress.” Yeah, I was freaked, but then I learned to love it like its predecessor.

    Mid 2007, I got a account, and later, my own domain with WordPress. I’ve used Livejournal, Nucleus, Grey Matter, Blogger, and a few others…nothing comes close to the awesomeness of WordPress.

  17. Lori (5 comments.) says:

    I tried B2/Cafelog a few times and didn’t like it at all. Pretty buggy as I recall. I first tried WordPress at 0.7 and have been hooked ever since!

  18. Mike says:

    Wow, this is great, I love word press, and this is a kicking story.
    keep up the good work.

  19. John Sinclair says:

    Nostalgia galore. I marveled at GreyMatter. That was just after the turn of the millennium, and new thinking was at hand. Noah Grey, the original blogger, saw the possibilities, if not the results, of grassroots self-publishing.

    b2 was a grand step forward. SQL was hot stuff! back then. I love the word “Cafelog”; it sums up the purpose of our blogware, so widely used for so many purposes.

    Thanks for the article.

  20. Emily (1 comments.) says:

    All things are needed to change especially at this time, the time is so fast. WordPress is also evolving also it is good to see that they are updated that’s why there are a lot of people love to use WordPress.


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