Automattic, the company behind WordPress, acquires WooThemes, the company behind WooCommerce

(and possibly challenges Magento to become the next leading eCommerce Platform)

WordPress is a free and open-source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) used by more than 23% of the top 10 million websites. It was born in 2003 when Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked the b2 Cafelog opensource code to create a personal publishing platform. It has since become the leading Content Management System worldwide (CMS Platforms by Marketshare).

Although WordPress is Opensource and free to download and use, there is a parent company behind it that runs the community and derives income from certain key services that support WordPress. Services like (a WordPress hosting platform) and the VIP WordPress service used by clients likes, CNN, Time and others. Automattic is also behind some key WordPress plugins like Jetpack, Akismet and BuddyPress.

Woo Themes announced to their mailing list today that they are joining the Automattic team. In fact Automattic is buying Woo Themes outright in a move to make eCommerce sites more plentiful, and also I’d say, to own the next leading eCommerce Platform. WooThemes’ flagship product, WooCommerce, already powers over 24% of online stores. It is outdone only by Magento in terms of marketshare in the eCommerce space (more here).

Magento is an amazing eCommerce platform and a mediocre CMS. It is essentially limitless and was built from the ground up to support the operational requirements of the largest online enterprises in the world. This also adds a level of complexity and expense that makes Magento complete overkill for any small or medium enterprises (and many large ones too). I see Woocommerce giving Magento a run for it’s money over the next few years, following the same model that WordPress did as it evolved from a nice blogging system to the leading platform for deploying new websites worldwide.

Some further reading: