Background and history

Additional background information on ProcessWire including its history, what the term “ProcessWire” means, and more.

ProcessWire history

ProcessWire was released as an open source project in October, 2010. ProcessWire 3.x and 2.x originally evolved from Dictator CMS (2003) and ProcessWire 1.0 (2006). Despite intentions to do so, neither product was ever released open source, though powered numerous large scale websites for many years. ProcessWire 2.0 (2010) was the first open source version, and it is architecturally much stronger than the CMSs that preceded it. ProcessWire 3.x represents the current iteration of the software and it continues to build upon the framework introduced in ProcessWire 2.x.

Below is the video where ProcessWire was originally released as an open source project in 2010. While ProcessWire has evolved a lot since then, everything in this video remains true to this day and it continues to serve as useful introduction to the platform:

What does the term “ProcessWire” mean?

Conceptually: wiring your processes together

ProcessWire is the “wire” that delivers the electricity to your “process”. The term “ProcessWire” refers to bringing everything together simply, easily and securely. Specifically, bringing together all the processes involved in building a website or application and wiring them all together to create something whole and complete.

ProcessWire enables you to make all these connections intelligently, efficiently and easily. It is the timeless tool that works with your existing processes (whatever they may be) and seamlessly wires them together into something much greater than the sum of its parts.

In addition to the conceptual definition, you'll also find the term “ProcessWire” refers quite literally to the code that it is built from…

Literally: structure of core, modules and classes

The term “Process” refers to the type of module that ProcessWire is designed to execute as an application in order to serve an http request. All http requests in ProcessWire are served by one type of Process module or another, and there are more than a dozen of them in the core (with many more available 3rd party).

For instance, all requests on the front-end of your site are served by the ProcessPageView module, while pages are edited with the ProcessPageEdit module, just as examples. Think of a Process module kind of like an executable (.exe file) in the Windows world, or an Application in the Mac world, and think of ProcessWire as the underlying operation system that connects and executes them.

The term “Wire” refers to ProcessWire's core, since it is effectively the wire that connects everything and the wire that delivers the “electricity” to power a website or application. As such, everything related to the core literally lives in a /wire/ directory. By the way, this directory can be replaced with the same thing from any other version of ProcessWire (without touching your own website files), making upgrades a simple matter.

Finally, “Wire” is also the name of the base class for everything in ProcessWire. From an object-oriented programming perspective, almost everything in ProcessWire descends from this Wire class. As a result, everything in ProcessWire has a common and predictable base which serves as the foundation for making it all modular and hookable. Any given Wire-derived class can “wire” another Wire-derived class, which is referring to the type of dependency injection used by ProcessWire. In addition, Wire-derived classes can hook before or after the methods of other Wire-derived classes (where allowed), add new methods or properties, and replace existing methods when necessary.

Twitter updates

  • ProcessWire 3.0.142 has a lot of updates but the biggest is the addition of custom fields support for file and image fields. In this post, we take a closer look at that, and also outline all of the new features in the just-released FormBuilder v40— More
    11 October 2019
  • This week’s dev branch version brings you improvements to ProcessWire’s input->cookie API variable, plus it adds the ability to modify system URLs and paths at runtime. This post also includes some examples to demonstrate just how useful this can be— More
    20 September 2019
  • New post: This week we’ll take a look at a new version of FormBuilder that's on the way (with a screencast), as well as the latest version of the core: ProcessWire 3.0.140— More
    6 September 2019

Latest news

  • ProcessWire Weekly #283
    The 283rd issue of ProcessWire Weekly introduces ProcessWire 3.0.142 and FormBuilder v40, highlights some conference content, and features a new weekly poll continuing with the #processwireworks theme. Read on!
    Weekly.pw / 12 October 2019
  • ProcessWire 3.0.142 core updates
    This latest version of the core on the dev branch has a lot of updates, bnd the biggest is the addition of custom fields support for file and image fields. In this post, we take a closer look and also outline all of the new features in the just-released FormBuilder v40.
    Blog / 11 October 2019
  • Subscribe to weekly ProcessWire news

“We were really happy to build our new portfolio website on ProcessWire! We wanted something that gave us plenty of control on the back-end, without any bloat on the front end - just a nice, easy to access API for all our content that left us free to design and build however we liked.” —Castus, web design agency in Sheffield, UK