Quick Reference Guide For Those Writing About WordPress

After participating in the WordPress community for several years, it’s easy to forget there are new users entering the community every day. As someone who writes about WordPress for a living, it’s frustrating to come across errors such as the incorrect spelling of WordPress or the incorrect logo being used. However, I’ve discovered that most of the time, they just don’t know any better. Even established websites make simple mistakes such as labeling Automattic as the parent company of WordPress.

The following cheat sheet for newcomers and veterans of WordPress quickly addresses some of the most common mistakes often made when writing about WordPress. It also has general information about the project for quick reference.

  1. WordPress is camel cased meaning the P is capitalized. It’s spelled WordPress.
  2. WordPress is a registered trademark. As such, you’re not allowed to have WordPress in the domain name without explicit permission.
  3. Here is the correct WordPress logo to use. Notice the short and squat versus the tall and eloquent.
  4. correct-wordpress-logos
  5. WordPress the open source project is free (free as in speech) and licensed under the GPLv2
  6. Automattic does not own WordPress and is not the parent company of WordPress. It’s the parent company of WordPress.com.
  7. WordPress.org is a free open source project anyone can use. WordPress.com is a hosted platform. A good analogy is to think of WordPress the open source project as a house that you can manipulate any way you want. WordPress.com is like an apartment complex. This guide explains the major differences between the two.
  8. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little are the creators of WordPress. For historical purposes, read this post and the first comment which is considered the birth of WordPress.
  9. WordPress the open source project was started in 2003 and is over 10 years old.
  10. Matt Mullenweg is the CEO of Automattic, the founder of the non-profit WordPress Foundation, occasional lead developer for the open source WordPress Project, and owner of investment company Audrey.co.
  11. The WordPress.org support forum is staffed by non-paid volunteers.
  12. The recommended place to download WordPress themes and plugins is from their respective directories. Every theme and plugin hosted on WordPress.org is free of charge.
  13. 13. It’s Automattic with two t’s. via Michael Quinn

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have any tips or suggestions, please add them in the comments. I’ll keep the post updated so it can be a relevant, living guide. By the way, if you read an article about WordPress that contains a mistake, respectfully point the author in the right direction.

12 Comments


  1. Always learn something when I come over Jeff.

    “WordPress is camel cased meaning the P is capitalized. It’s spelled WordPress.”

    I knew that the P was capitalised but I didn’t know that was called “camel cased”.

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    1. There used to be a cool site that jokingly showed off the capital P dangit filter but it’s offline :(

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  2. I have never seen any free beer! lol! If you know where I can get some let me know! Anyway nice post Jeff!

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    1. This sites title tag says the following: “WordPress Tavern: Where Every Drink Is On The House” so you’re in the right place.

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  3. Am I the only one who sees the 500 lb gorilla in the room…
    “Who is paying the bills / owns WordPress.org?”

    Someone is being paid a salary for engineering support of servers, daily task management, book keeping, etc. Whomever’s name appears on the top of that check effectively owns WordPress.org, its infrastructure, its scripts and the option to turn the infrastructure off, or sell it as they wish.

    WordPress is a trademark of Automattic Inc.
    http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4803:18p6k0.2.5

    This is an honest question. It’s something that remains unclear to me, and given that so much of my sweat and tears goes into supporting WordPress, I’d like to know who may be responsible for either pulling-the-switch or selling the operation (to a potentially less altruistic buyer) in future.

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  4. If only USPTO.gov site ran on WordPress, that URL might’ve been a functional permalink!

    Automattic is listed as the registrant, which is because they’re the original owner of the trademark. But the WordPress Foundation is the last listed owner, meaning they currently own it.

    It was transferred a few years ago: http://ma.tt/2010/09/wordpress-trademark/

    Edit: This was meant to be a reply to this comment by Jim, must’ve forgotten to click the correct reply button.

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  5. For point 5—the GPL (and WordPress) is explicitly free as in speech, not as in beer. Hence the 4 freedoms.

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