Out of cruiosities sake, I browsed to the WordPress release archive and picked out the oldest version available which is 0.71 released on May 27th, 2003. I use WampServer on my PC which lets me turn my machine into a local web server. Because this version of WordPress is so old, I ended up having to install an older version of Apache (2.0.63) along side an older version of PHP (4.4.8). Come along for the ride as we look at WordPress when it was just a baby.
My initial reaction to seeing the WordPress administration area was filled with amusement. In this archaic version of the software, there is no dashboard, no fancy boxes and no area dedicated for news from within the WordPress community. Upon entering the administration area, the first thing that is loaded is the Post/Edit screens allowing you to get right to work on creating content. The following screenshot is what the write panel looks like.
For those of you wondering what the editor formatting buttons looked like, here you go.
Configuring this version of WordPress is of course much simpler than todays version. To highlight just how simple configuring WordPress was, look at the configuration options in the following screenshot.
Next up is category configuration. The interface provides a quick and easy way to add or delete categories. In today’s version of WordPress, categories that are deleted which contain posts within them are moved to a category called Uncategorized. In WordPress 0.71, posts were moved to a General category. Also, there is no way to configure a category slug or various other options we take for granted today.
Editing templates in WordPress 0.71 is a rudimentary process but it’s nice to see that the live template editor in .71 is still available in todays version of WordPress. For the developers out their or for those curious, here is some of the code that appears in the live template editor.
Next up is the link manager. Even the old link manager had support for importing blog rolls. Also worthy of note is that WordPress .71 also had a Link This bookmarklet to easily add links to your blogroll. There is a somewhat humorous message at the bottom when describing the bookmarklet: “You can drag link this to your toolbar and when you click it a window will pop up that will allow you to add whatever site you’re on to your links! Right now this only works on Mozilla or Netscape, but we’re working on it.”
Interestingly, the next link in the administration panel is called My Profile. Clicking it actually opens a new window and doesn’t load the configuration options within the admin panel. In fact, the window now opens up in a static sized FireFox window that is really annoying. Thankfully, that is not the case in todays version of WordPress. Here is what the profile manager looked like.
The next two links in the administration panel are View Site and Logout. In this screenshot, you can get a glimpse as to the administration navigation.
I was not aware of WordPress or in this case, B2 at the time. I was still caught up in the PostNuke, PHP-Nuke and e107 content management systems. I never became aware of WordPress until 2007. I always find it interesting to dive into the WordPress Codex to see articles for versions of WordPress that are 3-4 years old to see the thought process of that time period. As you can tell, WordPress has evolved significantly in the past 5 years in all aspects. Bits and pieces of .71 are still in 2.6.2 in some way or another and I believe WordPress will continue to blow us away in the months and years to come.
Do you have any nostalgic moments relating to WordPress? Perhaps you have memories of what things used to be like before WordPress 2.6.2? Tell me how you first came about using WordPress in the comments!