ClickCease Who Owns WordPress: Why People Are Confused About It
Who Owns WordPress

The ownership of WordPressWordPressOpen-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites and blogs.
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is not straightforward. WordPress software, hosted at WordPress.org, is a non-profit, open-source project that belongs to the community. However, the WordPress trademark is owned and managed by a non-profit organization called the WordPress Foundation. On the other hand, Automattic, a for-profit company founded by Matt Mullenweg (one of two co-founders of open-source WordPress), clearly owns and operates WordPress.com. Understanding these distinctions can be confusing, but it’s essential to differentiate between the two when discussing ownership details related to all things connected with WordPress. Who owns WordPress? Let’s dive in!

By the way, if you are looking forward to building a WordPress website and wondering how to get started, we have prepared a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create a WordPress website by yourself. Feel free to check it out and bookmark it for further reference.

Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Before addressing the question of “Who owns WordPress?” it’s crucial to distinguish between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. These two platforms are distinctly different, with separate owners, which is often confusing.

WordPress.org is a widely known content management system (CMSCMSA content management system is software aiding users to create, manage, and modify website content.
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) that offers extensive customization options and is completely free. It’s also called self-hosted WordPress due to its flexibility in creating various websites using plugins and custom themes.

On the other hand, WordPress.com provides web hostingHostingThe process of storing and serving website files on a remote server, making them accessible to visitors around the world.
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services with a simplified version of WordPress tailored for blogging purposes. However, it lacks certain features, such as plugins and custom themes.

Are you looking for custom WordPress and WooCommerce development services?

Who Owns WordPress.org?

WordPress is an open-source project, meaning it’s collectively owned by the community rather than a single owner. From a technical perspective, the WordPress trademarks are owned and managed by the WordPress Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2010 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.

The foundation’s primary aim is to ensure perpetual free and open access to the WordPress software. Although officially holding trademarks on paper, it’s important to consider that this software is shaped by countless global contributors and millions of users within its community.

Before 2010, Automattic—a for-profit company—controlled the WordPress trademarks. However, there was always an intention to transfer them from Automattic to the non-profit WordPress Foundation. This transition marked a significant change in ownership concerning maintaining an open nature for this widely utilized platform.

How WordPress.org Operates

WordPress.org serves as the official platform for self-hosted WordPress installations. This open-source and free software allows for universal use and modification, developed by a community of contributors continuously enhancing its technical and visual features.

Built on PHPPHPHypertext Preprocessor is a programming language primarily used for web development.
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and MySQLMySQLA widely-used open-source relational database management system (RDBMS).
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, WordPress is licensed under the GPLv2. It empowers users to create anything from personal stories to global movements. It caters to both non-technical users looking for an “out-of-the-box” solution and tech-savvy individuals seeking extensive customization options.

As the core of the entire ecosystem, WordPress.org champions unrestricted usage without constraints. As a self-hosted platform, users must obtain their hosting and install WordPress accordingly.

Where Does WordPress.org Get the Money?

WordPress.org is a free platform that does not directly make money. However, its commercial counterpart, WordPress.com, generates revenue. Automattic company officially owns WordPress.com and is led by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder and lead developer of WordPress.org software. On WordPress.com, users can access hosting services, domain names, themes, plugins, and enterprise-level dedicated services.

Although WordPress.org remains free as an open-source platform for development support, it indirectly comes from Automattic’s commercial activities through WordPress.com.

Who Owns WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is a property of Automattic, a for-profit company that owns popular WordPress plugins like WooCommerceWooCommerceA free, open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress.
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and Jetpack and other properties such as Tumblr, Gravatar, Pocket Casts, and WordPress VIP. Automattic’s founder is Matt Mullenweg, one of WordPress’s co-founders, along with Mike Little.

Before the establishment of the non-profit WordPress Foundation in 2010, Automattic held control over the trademarks for the open-source WordPress project. However, since its inception in 2010, despite playing a significant role in the open-source project’s development process, Automattic has operated independently from the foundation.

It’s important to note that some news organizations may inaccurately state that “Automattic owns WordPress,” which can be attributed to the misunderstanding between “WordPress” and “Wordpress.com.”

Matt Mullenweg

who is wordpress owned by

Matthew Charles Mullenwe is a well-known American entrepreneur and web developer. He is most famous for creating free and open-source WordPress software and founding Automattic. In January 2003, at just 19 years old and a freshman at the University of Houston, he initiated WordPress as a fork of b2.

In addition to his work on WordPress, Mullenweg established Automattic, which oversees WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Tumblr and currently holds a valuation exceeding one billion dollars. His contributions have significantly raised the bar in the tech industry by making online content creation accessible to all.

Conclusion

Now you’ve got the answer to the“Who Owns WordPress?” question. 

The ownership of WordPress depends on whether you’re referring to the open-source WordPress project or the WordPress.com service. For the open-source WordPress project (WordPress.org), it’s best to consider it owned by the WordPress community. However, technically, the non-profit WordPress Foundation owns and manages the trademarks.

On the other hand, Automattic owns WordPress.com. It is a privately held for-profit company founded by Matt Mullenweg, who remains in control.

In conclusion, while it’s most useful to think of the open-source project as owned by its community and managed by a non-profit foundation; Automattic holds ownership over WordPress.com.

If you enjoy WordPress as much as we do and look forward to launching an outstanding WP website, contact the IT Monjs team for help! With more than 12 years of experience, we know how to create custom WordPress and WooCommerce websites that get noticed. Do not hesitate to fill out a brief form below, and we’ll contact you shortly to discuss your project!

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