Imagine this: you’ve just crafted the sleekest, most user-friendly website—it’s a digital Mona Lisa. But then it dawns on you—who’s the power behind the throne? Who actually owns WordPress, the CMS working its magic under the hood?

Delve into the maze of the web, and you’re met with a twist: WordPress isn’t your typical kingpin scenario.

It’s a communal labor of love, backed by a chorus of coders and a maestro named Matt Mullenweg. Wrapped in open-source tapestry, WordPress straddles a line—a dual identity of dot-com and dot-org intrigue.

Fasten your seatbelt, because by piecing this together, you’re unlocking more than just a name.

You’re unraveling the DNA of a GPL-licensed beast that powers a third of cyberspace. By the end of our expedition, you’ll grasp not just the “who” but the how and why—the gears that turn behind a platform synonymous with web presence and the spirit of digital craftsmanship.

No fluff, just the good stuff—discover the guardians of the platform, the Automattic enigma, and the WordPress Foundation‘s ethos that fuels a community-driven odyssey. Here, the blueprint to your online empire awaits.

Ownership and Management of WordPress

Let’s untangle the web around the question, “Who owns WordPress?

The WordPress Foundation

One would think that a tool as powerful and widespread as WordPress is the brainchild of some giant tech corporation.

But, nope!

The primary guardian of WordPress is actually a nonprofit organization called The WordPress Foundation.

Role and Responsibilities

Their mission? To ensure that WordPress, the open-source software, remains free and accessible to all.

They’re kind of like the custodians, taking care of the open-source project, ensuring its longevity, and protecting the freedoms that come with it.

Open-Source Nature of WordPress

When we say that WordPress is “open-source”, it means that its source code is freely available for anyone to study, modify, and enhance.

This means that developers across the globe can contribute to its development, making it better day by day.

Automattic Inc.

But there’s another player in the game: Automattic Inc.

Relationship with WordPress

Automattic is the commercial company founded by Matt Mullenweg, one of the original developers of WordPress.

They are a significant force in the WordPress universe, contributing to the development of the open-source software while also offering a range of WordPress related products and services.

Ownership of

Remember when we talked about the two types of WordPress?, the commercial version, is owned and operated by Automattic.

They take care of all the backend stuff, from hosting to security, giving you a worry-free way to launch your website.

Key Individuals Behind WordPress

Let’s not forget the individuals who were instrumental in creating WordPress.

Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg, in particular, has played a pivotal role in the journey of WordPress. He co-founded the open-source project and later started Automattic. The guy sure loves WordPress!

Mike Little

Mike Little is the often-unsung hero of WordPress. He co-founded the project with Mullenweg, and together, they’ve changed the face of the internet.

Financial Aspects of WordPress

Given its massive scale and influence, you might be wondering how WordPress makes money. And more importantly, who owns WordPress and reaps the financial benefits?

How Does WordPress Make Money?

WordPress follows a freemium model, which is pretty clever, if you ask me.

Freemium Model Explained

Under the freemium model,, the open-source software, is free for anyone to use. It’s like getting the base game for free.

Revenue from Premium Services

But if you want to level up your game, you might need some premium add-ons. These could be special themes, plugins, or services like managed hosting, premium support, etc., that are sold by various businesses in the WordPress ecosystem, including Automattic.

Automattic’s Funding and Valuation

As a private company, Automattic’s funding and valuation might not be as publicly visible, but we know that it’s backed by various investors.

Investment Rounds

Since its inception, Automattic has gone through multiple rounds of funding, attracting capital from some of the big names in the tech investment world.

Current Valuation and Future Prospects

Although the exact valuation isn’t always disclosed, it’s safe to say that Automattic is a unicorn company (valued over $1 billion). Given the continued dominance of WordPress in the CMS market, the future prospects seem quite promising.

WordPress in the Broader Tech Ecosystem

Let’s step back and look at how WordPress fits into the larger tech ecosystem.

WordPress’s Market Dominance

Despite numerous competitors popping up over the years, WordPress has managed to hold a strong market position.

Market Share and Competitors

Think about it, more than one-third of all websites run on WordPress. That’s market dominance, right there!

Future Growth Prospects

Given its open-source nature, robust community, and the continuous efforts towards improving the software, WordPress is poised for future growth.

Recent Acquisitions and Partnerships

To stay at the top of the game, WordPress, or rather Automattic, has made some strategic moves.

Acquisition of Tumblr

One such move was the acquisition of Tumblr, a popular blogging platform. This move has expanded their portfolio and reach within the content creation world.

Partnership with Salesforce

Automattic also partnered with Salesforce, the CRM giant, to boost their customer service capabilities.

FAQ On Who Owns WordPress

Is WordPress owned by someone or a company?

Automattic Inc. is behind, but don’t get it twisted., where the real open-source wizardry happens, is a free platform.

Managed by the non-profit WordPress Foundation, it’s a global workshop—no single overlord in sight. Sure, Matt Mullenweg played a key part in the founding, but today, it’s the community that drives this beast.

What’s the difference between and

Think of it like twins with different personalities. is the more hands-off sibling, offering hosted service ease and Automattic’s backing. is your do-it-yourself twin, the open-source version where you grab the wheel—total control but also more responsibility. It’s the spot for themes, plugins, and full customization.

How does Automattic fit into the WordPress picture?

Pull back the curtain on and there’s Automattic, the parent company steering the ship. It’s a for-profit gig, founded by WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg.

Big on web publishing tools, Automattic manages’s services, ensuring your digital creations stay afloat and thrive.

What role does Matt Mullenweg have with WordPress?

Matt Mullenweg is like the composer, co-creating WordPress back in the early days. Fast forward, he’s the maestro at Automattic and plays a big part in the broader WordPress ecosystem.

His vision? Keep pushing WordPress towards an elegant, user-friendly future—a symphony of code, if you will.

Does the WordPress Foundation own the software?

I’d call it the guardian rather than the owner. The WordPress Foundation safeguards the open-source principles of the software.

It’s their calling to ensure free access and to perpetuate the spirit of sharing and collaboration. Ownership, though? That’s the realm of the community. It’s shared, it’s spirited, it’s collective.

Can Automattic make changes to

Here’s a brain teaser. While Automattic influences, stands as its own entity, with its own core team and contributors.

Automattic folks can chime in, sure—like any community member—but there’s no VIP pass. Changes are voted on—a democracy of developers.

Who profits from WordPress?

It’s a kaleidoscope of earning potential. Hosts, developers, theme creators, plugin magicians—they all find their niche. Automattic profits from’s premium services.

But That’s a goldmine for the community—open for all to mine, albeit with sweat, smarts, and elbow grease.

Is WordPress truly open-source?

In the realm of CMSs, it’s as open-source as it gets. Licensed under the GPL, it’s a testament to fluid collaboration and innovation. Tinker, tailor, transform—a world where anyone can contribute and where the fruits of labor are for sharing. WordPress is communal gold.

Can WordPress be sold to another company?

The part, with enough corporate mingle, could theoretically change hands—Automattic holds those reins. But No, that’s like trying to bottle the ocean.

Its open-source nature and the WordPress Foundation’s stewardship make it a public trust of sorts—built by many, owned by none.

What powers do WordPress users have?

As a user, imagine yourself with a toolbox—open, vast, interconnected. You’ve got plugins at your fingertips, themes to dress up your site, and a community hub buzzing with solutions and support.

Modify, extend, express—it’s your canvas, and the open-source script means the pen’s in your hand.


So, we’ve circled the runway, right? Got super cozy with the question tickling every curious mind: who owns WordPress. Bet you didn’t see this narrative twisting into a communal tapestry woven with the threads of open-source ethos, did ya?

We touched down on the twin realms— and .org. Unpacked the corporate suitcase of Automattic and even peeked into Matt Mullenweg’s contribution. Sure, we recognized Automattic for the web publishing heavyweight it is. But let’s not mix the paints— is a different masterpiece. It’s a community canvas, GPL’d to the core, with users and contributors holding the brush.

  • Automattic steers the .com ship.
  • WordPress Foundation guardians the open-source treasure.
  • GPL enshrines the community’s collective wisdom and effort.

The upshot? WordPress is less about a single who and more about a vast, interconnected how. It’s a beacon of digital collectivism painted on a canvas of endless web potential. Now, take this palette of insights and paint your own web skyline.

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