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WordPress and WordPressMU Merged: Whoa!

WordPress and WordPressMU Merged: Whoa!

WordPress CommunityWordCamp San Francisco 2009 this past weekend was a resounding success, but there is some major confusion coming from the presentation on the State of the Word by about the “merger” of WordPress and WordPressMU.

In his presentation, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, told the more than 700 attendees news about WordPress and its relatives under the umbrella, a form of stockholders report. He also announced that – the ORG part of WordPress – would be merged into .

Many, including Ozh of Planet Ozh, The Theme Lab, and Aaron Brazell were quick to announce their thoughts about the “merger of WordPress and WordPressMU,” misunderstanding the story they were getting across the live blogs and twit-stream from WordCamp San Francisco.

While I’m waiting confirmation, my understanding from Matt’s announcement is that the long time home of all things WordPress, known by many as the WordPress dot org site, will become a site, with nothing impacting the downloadable versions of WordPress.

With the site’s move to WordPressMU, combining the WordPress driven informational site with the driven , the site will also incorporate the hot new kit, a combination of WordPressMU specific Plugins that turn a site into a social media community platform, often called “Facebook in a box.”

This is a huge undertaking, with possibly million of registered users, testing WordPressMU, BuddyPress, bbPress, and the WordPress Community as the site undergoes the changes.

Building a Real WordPress Community

In the earliest days of , I really looked forward to the community part of bloggers rising up out of the multiple blogs hosted by Global tags brought some people together, but individually, not by common interest.

With the move of the site to include the profiles and group “friends” and “followers,” I see that dream of a WordPress Community coming true.

Jane Wells has been working on building a stronger WordPress Community set of volunteers and contributors, moving beyond coders and hackers to every day WordPress fans to help contribute to the development of WordPress in a variety of non-technical ways, from translations to simply their opinion and feedback. Imagine having access through the BuddyPress profiles on to information on the talents, abilities, and interests of all the WordPress users! The WordPress development team could directly consult with those expressing an interest in a specific area of WordPress.

What about WordPress Plugin authors all interested in the Google Maps API. Imagine them working together to create some new mapping feature for WordPress. Or WordPress members living in a region or community wanting to get together to create a WordPress Meetup or Users Group, or maybe a WordCamp.

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I’ve found that people who use WordPress want to work with people who use WordPress. They also want to play with them. Think of the possibilities of creating a special interest group on car racing, a sport, knitting, book reading, or whatever interest you have and/or blog about. Why not? I’d love to connect with people interested in what I’m interested in, learning from and with each other by a common bond.

This is what I believe is the intention of converting the official site to WordPressMU and adding BuddyPress. It serves as a fantastic testing ground for BuddyPress, just as does for WordPress and WordPressMU, and will help unite WordPress users in new and exciting ways. With BuddyPress interaction, this may also change WordPress support in some very interesting ways as people may be able to reach out for support directly from the WordPress Community, and not just through the WordPress Support Forums.

I also see embracing BuddyPress as well, hopefully. That would really make my dream come true for the community I so long for from among my millions of brothers and sisters on It is such a vibrant and mixed community, I’d love to really get to know who they are and what their interest are beyond the Google or search or tags.

In the future, it will be easier to install or “flip a switch,” as many are calling it, between the single self-hosted version of WordPress and WordPressMU, but for now, I believe Matt’s intention was to announce the site going WordPressMU and BuddyPress.

It’s exciting times for the WordPress Community!

View Comments (17)
  • You could be correct about the confusion, but I also remember Automattic uses the term “” to refer to the self-hosted WordPress platform—not just the website itself— to differentiate itself from the hosted platform, “”.

  • Hey Interesting thoughts,
    To be honest I still havn’t fully got my head around the whole wordpressmu thing, but the way your describing it here, it sounds like a fantastic oportunity to take wordpress to even greater heights.
    good posts thanks

  • Since I wasn’t actually at the WordCamp, I was relying on other people’s information on this supposed merger, mainly through Twitter. This reminds me of the “telephone” game, as in the information gets distorted as it moves down the line. This is an interesting interpretation, although I hope Matt or some other member of the Automattic team clarifies this on an official medium to put an end to the confusion.

  • The use of the word “merge” is probably what made it seem like the codebases would be combined. will be run by WPMU would have been way more clear.

  • So let us know if Automattic confirms your suspicions. I don’t buy it. I think the codebases are merging, but I have my own inquiries in. Personally, I wouldn’t find your interpretation all that worthy of a WordCamp announcement (not that it’s a bad idea – just more of an internal sort of thing). But we’ll see.

    • Thanks, Matt, for responding. Donncha has been working hard with a great team to get WordPressMU “inline” with the current version of the stand alone, so it is natural to see the two combined, but it will be very interesting to see which MU features will become Plugins or really fit within the core programming. I’ll be eagerly watching. Thanks for the clarification.

      And I can’t wait to see BuddyPress on

  • While will include more BuddyPress features, that was a separate announcement from the elimination of MU and bringing its code into core WP.

    Aaron, remember Automattic and are separate entities, it’s wrong to conflate them.

  • Right. I understand that. It looks like my first comment is still awaiting moderation or that would have been more clear, I suppose.

    My suspicion is that (not the domain, not Automattic… the software) will be folded into WPMU. The glaring weakness of (the software) is that it does not have multiple blog capability as all of its competitors do. From this perspective, a merge of the codebases (or rather, since MU already has the WordPress 2.7 [at this time] codebase, an addition of MU-capabilities) makes absolute sense.

    This article, however, calls that idea into question suggesting that (the site) will get the WPMU codebase. Though there are compelling reasons for this, they are largely internal enhancements to then – and probably something better severd on the blog announcing userbase benefits, etc than at WordCamp SF. But I don’t know. That’s why we need some kind of clarification.

    That clarification should come from you, Matt. Even though you’re Automattic, you made the announcement and inquiring minds want to know what the hell you’re talking about. :-)

    Care to elaborate?

  • Oh come on. I was there, and he made it very clear, the CODE BASE of wordpress and wordpress MU are merging, since they aren’t totally in synch. He said that turning a site MU will just be a few checkboxes.

    This has nothing to do with the site going MU, but there is going to be more in the way of multi user functionality on that site too, with people able to have profiles and that kind of stuff.

    When matt said he was referring to the open source WordPress code (as opposed to the free wordpress site –

  • Based on the comments here and in the article, perhaps they might look to adopt an effective communications/PR strategy. Announcing major changes like that at a conference without some simultaneous announcement on the site or something is just stupid.

  • For those of you still confused…

    1. “WordPress” is the blog software, which you can download from

    2. “” is the free instant-blog service, which is run by Automattic.

    WordPress is called “WordPress,” and doesn’t need to be differentiated with a “.org.” It’s the commercial site, which is officially called “” that is different.

    Sorry, this misunderstanding just bothers me a lot… :)

  • All of the WordPress related sites already share a user database. One can login to,,,,,, and, plus any and all of the trac’s for each of the products, with the same login and password.

    That means, that it doesn’t matter what merges, what goes MU, or what does what.

    The code base “merging” isn’t ANY different than what happens with each new version of MU. The previous .ORG code gets merged into MU, and then seasoned to taste. If anything, this will just be a more elaborate installation process that will say “Would you like to have more than one blog? If so, check this for a multiple user installation.”

    My prediction for 2 years from now, is that everything-Press will come together as one package, and you can just choose which parts you want to install to start with, with the option to install or activate the individual parts later.

    There’s already people creating MU like behavior with normal installations, even incorporating BuddyPress. The code base is SO similar, that it’s almost silly to have them be separate. MU could just as easily have been a plugin for .ORG rather than a whole other version, but for developmental reasons I think it made sense to branch it at the time.

  • While will include more BuddyPress features, that was a separate announcement from the elimination of MU and bringing its code into core WP.

    Aaron, remember Automattic and are separate entities, it’s wrong to conflate them.
    tuyen dung
    viec lam
    tim viec

  • I’m really looking forward to the merger of WP and MU into one. I’m not sure what the point of having the two version was to begin with.

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