WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day. Those run through its cloud-hosted service, which lets anybody create a free website online, attract 330 million visitors who view 3.4 billion pages every month.
Given the ubiquity of WordPress, why isn’t founder Matt Mullenweg, now 28, a billionaire?
Since its founding in 2005 Automattic has chosen scale over scratch, giving away much for free. Only 1% of WordPress.com devotees pay. Not among them: users of WordPress.org (the open-source version), who run servers and implement the software themselves. A small percentage has only recently been coaxed into paying for additional features like file backups. Automattic implemented an ad-sharing service–on a limited basis–just last year.
The company is profitable, he adds, having doubled sales every year since 2005. Yet Automattic projects just $45 million in sales for 2012, a small whorl of its enormous footprint.
[AS: STweM is proud to be powered by WordPress.com. I chose it as my CMS in 2008 because it was the best option available, not because I was aware of, or understood, the founder's principles.
Four years later, it is much more than just a CMS, and a leading a social business case study, and a force for social good.]