If you’ve ever clicked on a URL to WP.org and ended up on WPBeginner.com within the past two years, you’re not alone. It routinely happens on discussion forums like the Advanced WordPress Facebook group and Twitter where referencing WP.org turns into a link to WPBeginner.com.
A great example occurred in 2015 when Antti Kuosmanen tweeted that Nikolay Bachiyski is the WordPress project’s new security czar. In his tweet, he used WP.org to reference the project and Twitter automatically turned the URL into a link to WPBeginner.
— Viljami Kuosmanen ⭐ (@anttiviljami) June 26, 2015
When questioned why the domain points to WPBeginner, Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of the WordPress project, took part in the conversation by saying the behavior seems sketchy. This ignited a heated conversation among members of the community and whether the domain should be donated to the WordPress Foundation.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) June 26, 2015
Balkhi has a Change of Heart
When I talked to Syed Balkhi, Founder of WPBeginner.com, in June of 2015, he made it clear that he would not donate the domain to the WordPress Foundation. Today, in a complete change of heart, Balkhi announced that he has donated WP.org to the WordPress Foundation.
The donation is a result of gaining a new perspective on life after discovering his wife is pregnant with their first child, “From ironing out a new will to working on expanding my life insurance coverage, there’s a lot happening,” Balkhi said. “For the first time in my life, I’m thinking about unforeseen circumstances.”
Balkhi listed the things that are most important in his life and near the top of the list is WordPress, “It is my extended family, and you can see that if you meet me at any of the WordCamps,” Balkhi said. “I have been using WordPress for the last 10 years and WPBeginner has been around for almost 7 years. In other words, WordPress has been part of me for 40% of my life.”
He says donating the domain to the WordPress Foundation is the least he can do. It’s a huge gesture of good will and insures the domain won’t fall into the hands of the highest bidder or to a nefarious party.
WP.org is an incredible addition to Mullenweg’s domain portfolio that includes WP.com acquired in 2009. It’s also the perfect complement to the w.org domain obtained through Project94.org that is used to host images and other static assets on WordPress.org.