Did you know that when WordPress launched back in 2003, it was a blogging platform? At the time, it was competing against the likes of Typepad, LiveJournal, and Blogger.
Today, WordPress has outgrown the limitations of those rudimentary blogging platforms and has played a huge part in changing the face of the web. That’s because WordPress is now — and has been for a long time — the most popular content management system in the world.
Today, we’re going to explore some eye-opening WordPress market share facts and statistics. For instance:
- How much of the CMS market share does WordPress own?
- What kinds of websites are being built with WordPress?
- How does WordPress maintain its position even with the slew of no-code editors, drag-and-drop builders, and other open source platforms out there?
And then we’ll take a look at what the future holds for the CMS.
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WordPress Market Share: Just How Popular Is WordPress? 📈
WordPress is a content management system that enables everyone — from business owners and freelancers to web designers and developers — to create a custom website.
There are two types of WordPress websites.
Hosted WordPress sites (usually smaller in scale) are built with WordPress.com. Self-hosted WordPress sites (which allow for total flexibility in development and customization) are built with WordPress.org:
Now, it’s one thing to tell you that WordPress is the most popular content management system. It’s another thing to show you how impressive the WordPress market share really is.
So, let’s have a look:
W3Techs tracks which CMS are used by websites. Because it’s unable to detect the CMS for 36.4% of websites, the information on WordPress market share depends on how you look at it.
For instance, the percentage of websites using WordPress on the Internet is 41.2%. That said, if we only look at the websites using a known content management system, then WordPress powers 64.8% of the Internet.
Even if we focus on the smaller of the two percentages, WordPress blows every other CMS out of the water. Shopify is the second most popular platform and it only owns 3.5% of websites online today.
Here are some other interesting facts about WordPress market share, provided by BuiltWith:
- 97% of all blogs are built with WordPress.
- Roughly 1/3 of the top 1 million sites in the world use WordPress.
Considering WordPress is going to turn 20 in just a couple of years, it’s insanely impressive that it puts up these kinds of statistics after all this time.
Who Uses WordPress? 🔎
Now that you know what a large percentage of websites use WordPress, I bet you’re a little curious about where all those websites are.
Obviously, this site is one of them. But what about big companies that use WordPress? Are there websites you frequently visit that run on the world’s most popular content management system?
Thanks to data from W3Techs and BuiltWith, we know what some of these sites are:
Famous brands also use WordPress to run their blogs. For instance:
Salesforce.com recently started using WordPress, too.
What About WooCommerce Market Share? 🤔
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress. According to WordPress.org, over 5 million websites have it activated:
According to W3Techs, WooCommerce is the most commonly used plugin in WordPress, with 19.4% of all WordPress sites using it:
Although WooCommerce is technically dependent on WordPress, we do have data on how much of the total ecommerce market share it owns.
More specifically, we have data on how prevalent WooCommerce is within the top 1 million ecommerce-enabled sites on the web, thanks to data from BuiltWith:
Now, we know what percentage of the internet uses WordPress compared to Shopify (41.2% to 3.5%). So it’s no surprise to see WooCommerce dominate ecommerce market share considering the sheer volume of WordPress websites.
Why is WordPress The Most Popular CMS? 🤷
There are many reasons for WordPress’s popularity.
This is a big one and it’s not always something people realize they’re giving up when they use trendy website builders. At least, not until it’s too late.
With WordPress, you control as little or as much as you want.
Design. Code. Features. Technology. SEO. WordPress is an open source platform that enables users to build their websites exactly as they envision them, without any restrictions.
Heck, even the self-hosted model gives WordPress users more control. By selecting the right web hosting plan, users can ensure that their websites are well optimized for performance, security, uptime, and resource utilization.
Of course, with more control comes a tradeoff of more to do to manage your site.
But that’s okay since companies like WP Buffs can help. Whether your agency wants help optimizing clients’ sites or editing content, we’ve got your backs.
If you look back at the CMS market share list, you’ll see that a lot of these platforms are meant for specific purposes.
Shopify, Magento, OpenCart, and PrestaShop, for example, are all ecommerce CMS.
Blogger, of course, is just for blogging.
And you could make the argument that platforms like Wix and Weebly are ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.
WordPress, however, can be used to build any type of website, big or small, with any feature you need.
You also have flexibility in how you design a site — from-scratch, using a pre-designed theme or template, or letting one of the drag-and-drop builders like Elementor or Beaver Builder help you.
What’s more, WordPress integrates with nearly any software you can imagine, so it’s capable of bringing much needed automation, control, and precision to companies that need it.
It’s not just the WordPress development team that’s responsible for making sure the platform stays on top of consumers’ needs. Though progress made on the Gutenberg editor is definitely proof of their ability to do that.
Because WordPress is an open source software, plugin developers are always contributing new and exciting solutions to the CMS.
Which means that new and highly vetted plugins are being added to the 58,000+ plugins all the time that enable WordPress websites to always stay ahead of the curve in terms of trends.
WordPress’s long-standing dominance of the CMS market share is a huge win for its users. Because, as WordPress grows, so too does the community around it.
While WordPress.org has a dedicated forum, it’s the feedback, support, and contributions from its community that make a huge difference in the lives of its users. And this is something that no other CMS can claim.
WordPress.org’s aggregation of free plugins and themes, for instance, is well-supported by the developers of these tools as well as the users:
There’s really no surprise what you’re getting when you install a plugin or theme because of the robust information and feedback WordPress users find here.
You also have a multitude of companies that sell WordPress products and services. If you can’t find what you’re looking for from WordPress.org, you can get it from marketplaces like ThemeForest, independent developers like WPMU DEV, or WordPress agencies like DevriX.
And don’t forget about the massive amount of blogs, vlogs, and podcasts that produce content specifically about WordPress on a regular basis.
Christie Chirinos, for instance, who’s been a major player in the WordPress content space for years, is launching a new podcast on all things open source and WordPress:
So, whatever it is you want to learn about WordPress, someone’s built a source for it on the web.
What Does The Future Look Like For WordPress? 🔮
If you’re wondering if WordPress is still relevant in 2021, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”.
Although the events of 2020 certainly slowed down a lot of companies’ upward momentum, WordPress continues to do very well for itself.
As people lost stability in their jobs or their jobs entirely, they launched side hustles or new businesses in order to adapt. As a result, we saw a huge leap in entrepreneurship starting in 2020.
Here’s some info from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Financial Times that shows what happened in response to the pandemic’s upheaval of pretty much everything in our lives:
Because of COVID-19’s restrictions, these entrepreneurs and millions of new freelancers needed to utilize the Internet to launch their new gigs. And WordPress was there for them when they needed it.
BuiltWith shows the never-ending growth of WordPress, even in the face of a global pandemic and civil unrest:
As for what this means for the future, WordPress will remain the king of content management systems.
Even when the competition tries to tear it down — as we discussed on the WPMRR podcast recently — there’s not much that can slow down the growth or popularity of WordPress at this point. It continues to prove to us year after year that it knows what its users need and can provide the platform and tools needed to get the job done.
Frequently Asked Questions 🙋♀️
41.2% of the world’s websites have been built using the WordPress content management system. If we only look at websites with a known CMS, 64.8% have been built with WordPress.
No other content management system or website builder comes close to WordPress’s popularity. Shopify is the second most popular and it only has 3.5% of the CMS market share.
There are over 28 million WordPress websites on the Internet today. In addition to being the most popular content management system to build websites with, 97% of bloggers use it to run their blogs.
Far from it. WordPress continues to dominate the ranks of content management systems, even in light of the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.
Yes! WordPress and its devoted community are always working to keep the platform up to date. The Gutenberg editor is the prime example of this.
Rather than rely on the same user-facing technologies it launched with in the 2000s, WordPress released a new block editor in 2018. Not only did Gutenberg enable WordPress to more effectively compete against drag-and-drop website builders, but it also helped widen its lead.
Yes. WordPress can be used to build any type of website and by any user, too.
Nearly 350,000 of the top 1 million websites use WordPress. As you can imagine, there are some big names there.
Bloomberg. Etsy. Grammarly. Microsoft. Salesforce. Soundcloud. Zoom. These are just some of the big companies that rely on WordPress to power their websites.
As you can see, the matter of WordPress market share is about much more than usage statistics.
There are so many reasons why WordPress has long been the leader in content management systems and why it’ll continue to dominate the CMS market share for decades to come.
As you move forward with your journey with WordPress — whether you own a WordPress site or you’re a WordPress designer or developer — let us tag along for the ride. With our WordPress ebooks, you’ll have all the tips, tricks, and tools you need to make the most of this awesome CMS.