Many people aren’t aware of the people or company behind WordPress. They just know the single tool.
Automattic is a large company with employees based around the world. WordPress is far from the only service or tool the company provides to millions of users every day.
If you only know WordPress.com, you only know a small part of the story. While it could take hours to fully explain the company, an overview of Automattic should give you a good idea of how important this company is to the Internet.
Beginning With WordPress
Automattic had humble beginnings when a teenager decided to create his own unique blogging platform. The idea was to combine the best features of other popular blogging services and create something that was more user friendly. What started in 2003 quickly grew into a company that has continued to focus on user friendly products that are usually free or at least extremely affordable. If it wasn’t for the desire to create something better, Automattic or WordPress may have never been developed.
A Growing Company
Matt Mullenweg founded Automattic in 2005. As you might have noticed, he included a play on his own name within the company name. What started with only a few people has turned into a much larger company with 393 employees from 36 different countries. Don’t let the small number of employees fool you.
Automattic is well known for favoring Open Source and the large WordPress community is often responsible for helping the main staff create new features, fix problems and even create brand new tools and services based upon the source code for many of Automattic’s many services.
More Than Money
Even if you don’t look at any other services under the Automattic brand, you’d think WordPress.com alone would have made Mullenweg a billionaire by now. What’s important to remember is the WordPress.com is free to use and the self-hosted WordPress.org software is free too.
Currently, only 1% of WordPress.com users actually pay Automattic. This is usually for additional services such as domain names and the ability to edit their CSS. Those freely hosted sites are may also show occasional ads while some of the more popular sites are being invited to an ad-sharing service. Of course, this excludes WordPress.org users who download the software and buy their own hosting.
As of 2012, Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic, only projected $45 million in sales. Schneider did admit that monetization was still fairly new for the company. He also said sales had doubled each year since the company was founded.
Mullenweg is focused more on creating a quality product than earning millions. It’s one of the reasons he’s stood strong against numerous takeover offers that only sought to capitalize on the highly popular services under the brand’s label.
WordPress may be the company’s star service, but it’s not the only offering. Automattic has a long history of acquiring other services. Some have worked out well while others were never really heard from again. One of their first acquisitions was Gravatar in 2007. They merged Gravatar and their own WordPress avatar system into one service. Thanks to Automattic, Gravatar went from only 115,000 users in 2007 to processing more than eight billion avatar requests daily.
A few other notable services include:
- After The Deadline
Odds are, if you’ve used WordPress, you’ve probably used at least one of these additional services. In the future, Automattic will likely continue to acquire even more services that compliment WordPress. The more services they own, the easier it is for the company to ensure those services work seamlessly with their core product.
Automattic started with Mullenweg’s dream of a better blogging platform and turned into one of the most well known companies online. With a large portion of the Internet being powered by WordPress, it’s easy to see that Automattic is a company that bloggers and site owners needed. Thanks to the company’s desire to give users control, WordPress, along with Automattic, is continually growing as more users choose the platform to power their sites and online businesses.
Ready to give Automattic’s services a try? Contact StuartMedia today to find out how to create your own custom WordPress site.
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