Day 1 – Origin story #WP20

As part of the WordPress 20th Anniversary, I’ve decided to take up this challenge of 20 days of small, WordPress-related actions. Which in my case will likely be mostly blogging.

Prompt 1/20

It all started in 2004 on WordPress 1.0.1 “Miles”, not quite the full 20 but not that far off either. I think this was even before plugins existed.


No idea, I’d been messing with WordPress for a few months. I had set up a little comedy blog with some mates in 2003 on WordPress. So when it came to building my blog I decided to use WordPress (I might have had a blogger prior to that). Completely forgotten where I had heard of it, but was reading blogs / Weblogs at that point so maybe via one of those ( Most likely I had read about someone that had migrated from MovableType over to WordPress and I thought that sounds like fun. Who knows.


My first post was a quote from Jean Baudrillard on 10th March 2004, in a (slightly) pretentious ‘I read philosophy’ stage of my mid 20s I liked a lot of the French postmodernists writings. But in many ways the post still stands up now:

“Virtuality, being itself virtual, does not really happen. One lives in the very Rousseauistic idea that there is in nature a good use for things that can and must be tried. I don’t think that it is possible to find a politics of virtuality, a code of ethics of virtuality because virtuality virtualizes politics as well: there will be no politics of virtuality, because politics has become virtual; there will be no code of ethics of virtuality, because the code of ethics has become virtual, that is, there are no more references to a value system.”

Jean Baudrillard in Cyberspace: Internet, Virtuality, and Postmodernity


The first timestamp I could find on the original blog theme was 20th February 2004 (it still exists, more on that closer to the 20th Anniversary). Given this is over 19 years old it’s not entirely unrecognisable.

The loop is there. Still here.

It’s CSS / HTML / PHP and a sprinkling of JS (image hover effects mostly) so a lesson there. Use fundamentals.

Yeah, there is some XML / XSLT showing its age somewhat but I was surprised how stable it all still is.

But check out this CSS.

#container3 {
	width: 475px;
	margin: 0 auto;
	padding: 0;
	text-align: left;
	background-color: RGB(255,255,255);
	border-top: 10px;
	border-right: 10px;
	border-bottom: 1px;
	border-left: 10px;
	border-style: solid;
	border-color: RGB(255,255,255);
	position: relative;

475px!!! We were still optimising for 640px back then, CRTs and similar ancient tech. 256 colors (well 216 really), also I appear to be using borders as padding. Now given I still struggle with the box model this is not surprising. Also I wonder why I used RGB rather than HEX?

Nothing too surprising in the CSS although this stood out.

#menu1, #menu2, #menu3 {
	display: block;
	width: 493px;
	height: 19px;
	voice-family: "\"}\"";   /* Need we explain? */
	voice-family: inherit;   

WTAF. ‘Need we explain?’ yes, yes we should. I forgot how many weird hacks we used to have to do. Netscape 7, IE6. It was crunchy. Very crunchy. I was so used to having to do weird shit I forget how blessed we are today.

Anyways, that’s the start. 2004.

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