WordPress.com Parent Company Automattic On Track To Make $45M In Revenue This Year

Automattic, the software company best known for running the for-profit fork of the WordPress blog publishing system, is perhaps the best proof out there that blogging can be a real business.

The company, which was founded in 2005 by 28-year-old WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, disclosed some big numbers in an interview published today by AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes. Automattic is profitable and on track to make $45 million in revenue this year. WordPress — both through its open source software and the WordPress.com platform — now powers 70 million sites (Disclosure: TechCrunch is one of them, by the way.)

That represents serious growth, even from a near-term perspective. Some 16 months ago in December 2010, Mullenweg told our own Alexia Tsotsis that Automattic’s revenue was around $10 million. At that time, WordPress was powering 30 million publishers.

It makes sense then that Automattic has hired its first full-time finance executive to concentrate on those numbers. Stuart West, who was previously chief financial officer at educational software company Kno, has joined Automattic as CFO. The company has also brought on Paul Sieminski to serve as its first general legal counsel (or, as Mullenweg has characterized the role in his own blog post announcing the executive appointments, “Consigliere/Automattlock.”) Meanwhile, Mullenweg still serves as the company’s president, and the CEO role has been occupied by Toni Schneider since 2006.