How Popular Is WordPress?

By Purplebox Digital

The Internet is big. It’s extremely big. Estimating the size of the Internet is a very difficult task. If we consider the size as the number of internet users then we are looking at a number above 3 billion (You can see them all visualized here) but if we are looking at the number of websites then that number is only at a lowly 1 billion.

To put this into perspective if you could view one website every second it would take you 31.69 years to view them all – and this wouldn’t even count the new ones!

computer user
This makes Matt Mullenweg’s goal to have 50% of websites use WordPress quite ambitious. WordPress has been regularly growing in its market share and there are some very reputable websites that now use it for their CMS but the current answer to the number of websites that use WordPress is only 24% (well 24.2% if you want to be pedantic).
Of course the question ‘How popular is WordPress?’ can be looked at in two separate ways. WordPress certainly wants to be used across the entire web but the fact is not every single website is going to need a content management system. This leads us to a different question: how popular is the WordPress CMS market share?

WordPress against CMS

WordPress is the most popular CMS and boasts the biggest market share when it comes to content management systems. In the UK alone it’s 10 times as popular as Drupal and Joomla, and in the USA this gap widens further. In fact when we look only at websites that use a CMS, WordPress is used by a massive 59%. The reason for the popularity of WordPress could be its simplicity, regular updates or maybe it was just in the right place at the right time.

cms chart

There is also the idea that as WordPress is the most used it will get more exposure than the other content management systems. This increases the amount of users leading to a positive feedback loop where WordPress gains popularity because it’s so popular. This cycle could prove very difficult to break for the other content management systems, especially as WordPress can take advantage of the fragmented opposition to further their dominance and popularity within the CMS market.

How much of the Internet is WordPress

If we are looking at how much of the entire Internet uses WordPress then the number is far from the 50% target WordPress have set themselves. In fact only around 24%-26% of the Internet uses WordPress. While 26% doesn’t sound like a big number (and you certainly wouldn’t want it as your exam scores) it’s actually an amazing accomplishment because that’s over 250 million websites.

To put this into perspective there is a fantastic website that counts from 1 – 1,000,000 and visualizes it. Now this number is two and half times this. To make this figure even more impressive this number comes from analysis of the top 10 million Alexa-ranked websites. This means that our 26% figure could be even bigger since we are discounting the lower ranked websites which could use WordPress. Unfortunately, we can’t get an accurate number of websites that use WordPress because there are just too damn many.

In order for WordPress to become big and reach their 50% goal they need to focus on not increasing their market share for CMS usage but increasing the amount of websites that use a CMS, a goal which while arbitrary would be pretty impressive to pull off.

wordpress usage chart

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