The simple answer to this question would be “more than 30%“, but let’s take a look back and put things in perspective.
WordPress appeared in 2004 as one of the many blogging tools available at the time. But there were differences, and a very important one is that the nature and architecture of WordPress allowed anyone to contribute to its improvement, thanks to its commitment to free software and the GPL license.
This propelled WordPress to a very rapid growth, from a simple blogging tool to an ecosystem with thousands of plugins and specialized WordPress hosting.
Today it continues to serve bloggers, but it has also turned out to be a fantastic application for providing web solutions to large companies too such as Sony, The Rolling Stones, BBC, MTV and thousands of digital newspapers.
If we look at the 2019 WordPress statistics they are staggering:
- 14.7% of the world’s top 100 websites are based on WordPress.
- More than 500 sites are created daily using the free version, the WordPress.org one
- 17 blog posts are created every second
And the most surprising thing of all is that this success is not due to a visionary CEO, a multidisciplinary marketing team or large advertising investments. In fact, the entire WordPress.org project relies on volunteers from all over the world.
WordPress’ success is not thanks to visionary CEOs or advertising campaigns. It’s all thanks to its community of volunteers
According to the official WordCamp website, there are currently more than 75 million sites using WordPress. Yes, 75,000,000 sites.
With such incredible and rapid growth, it is not unreasonable to expect global usage to increase even more in the coming years. The latest version of WordPress alone has over 8 million downloads in less than a month.
Now that it’s clear that WordPress is useful, and that people appreciate and use it, let’s see what share of all the websites in the world run on WordPress and what are the factors that have brought it to these numbers.
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How popular is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS). The goal of CMS is to help make websites easy and accessible to anyone. The main CMS competitors of WordPress are Joomla, Drupal, Magento and Shopify.
Well, WordPress totally dominates the CMS market share, accounting for 64.2% of all CMS-created websites, and has been leading this podium for years.
The closest rival, Shopify, only has a 5.3% share.
Doesn’t seem like a very tough competition, does it? Especially if you look at the evolution over the years…
WordPress is by far the leader in the CMS market. This is largely because WordPress is the Swiss Army Knife of web builders, while its competitors are mostly focused on finding purpose-built solutions.
Thanks to its open source nature and plugin-based scalability, developers can start from a very basic WordPress site and turn it into an online store, a photo gallery, a news site, or whatever you can imagine.
WordPress statistics are more than probably disheartening for its competitors, especially for those who, like Magento or Shopify, have been competing in the online store creation market for years, and who now see how a multipurpose CMS is totally dominating the implementation and new installations.
And this has been the case since WooCommerce appeared…
This plugin for WordPress online stores, shortly after its release, occupied the charts of market share in CMS for online stores with a share of 22%. Yes, a plugin, a WordPress extension was suddenly competing head to head with the big names in eCommerce.
And, without leaving the CMS field, WordPress usage statistics are brutal
- 409 million people view 21.2 billion pages created with WordPress every month.
- 313,050 of the 1 million most popular websites are created with WordPress.
- Approximately 18 billion words are written on WordPress sites per year.
Other metrics, such as Google Trends reports, show more than 18 million searches for the term “WordPress”, attracting similar traffic volumes to popular sites such as Amazon or Twitter.
All these statistics lead us to the big question:
What percentage of websites are WordPress?
But before we get to that, let’s look at the full scope of WordPress’ capabilities.
What is WordPress popular for?
A vital reason why developers and users alike find WordPress appealing is because of its versatility. Far from its beginnings as a blog-centric system, some of the best, most important and attractive online stores, business sites, newspapers, government and educational websites are now built with WordPress.
Sites as visible as the White House website and the websites of many governments have taken advantage of the virtues and versatility of WordPress to create their websites.
One of the most important achievements of WordPress has been the role it is playing in popularizing online sales.
The Woocommerce plugin is behind about 30% of ALL online stores, exceeding more than 50 million downloads.
30% of all online stores are created with WooCommerce
And more and more businesses are relying on WordPress, as it offers an easy entry into the digital world, offering tons of tools, with little or no upfront investment.
WordPress is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses, but it’s also proving that it can handle large projects, with giants like Mercedes-Benz, Sony and Mozilla already taking advantage of WordPress capabilities.
Every business faces a number of challenges when it comes to offering a website:
- Online retail sites need a platform that can handle large amounts of traffic and orders.
- Social sites need to offer their users all kinds of loyalty features.
- Digital portfolios and corporate websites need to be visually stunning, using high-resolution images and video.
And WordPress offers solutions to all of these challenges, which has put it in a position of a favorite solution for a host of needs.
Who is to blame for the popularity of WordPress?
There are several contributors to the popularity of WordPress…
WordPress architecture is the main reason for its versatility and scalability. There are over 50,000 plugins available to add different functionalities, and anyone from a personal blogger to a high-traffic site can use them.
There is everything from contact forms to shopping carts, SEO analytics, speed optimization, ERPs, membership systems, subscription, and even billing. There is almost nothing that can’t be done with WordPress and its plugins.
As of today more than 1.6 billion WordPress plugins have been downloaded – and that’s popularity, don’t you think?
If we look at the list of the most popular plugins, all of them have more than 1 million downloads, and half of them exceed 7 million downloads.
Plugins can totally transform the look and feel of a website, and this is one of the main reasons for their enormous popularity.
A website, seemingly simple, just by installing and activating a WordPress plugin, can turn it into a…
- Online store
- Social network
The way your website looks is just as important as the features it offers. This, with the WordPress theme system is tremendously simple, allowing you to customize every aspect of your website, and all without knowing how to program a single line of code.
With over 8,000 free themes ready to install on your WordPress site, there are options for all tastes and needs. And if we add to this the possibilities of customization and layout that WordPress offers, the options are endless.
You can give your website the look of an online store, catalog or corporate site with a few clicks, which has greatly democratized web creation.
The most used WordPress theme is Divi. From the list of the million most popular websites, 8% of them use Divi. The next most popular theme is Twenty Twenty (one of the default themes included in WordPress), active in 4% of the same list of the top one million websites. Close behind is Astra, also with a 4% implementation share.
And best of all, they are themes that are either free or will not leave you broke, they are totally affordable, always under 100 €.
The huge WordPress community
But, of all the good things about WordPress, in my opinion, what is the biggest advantage and reason for its success is….
Its community, the people that make it work.
The community that is behind everything that is WordPress, that quietly makes plugins, themes, events, translations, support, on a daily basis.
Just to give you an example, the community of volunteer WordPress translators makes this CMS available in more than 205 languages, with 47 of them with everything translated.
Another great example is the community events, local meetups and WordCamp events.
There are currently over 900 local communities meeting in over 65 countries, on 6 continents. No matter where you live, there is a WordPress community near you.
The main reason for the success of WordPress is its community.
Conclusion and figures of WordPress implementation
Okay, we have already seen the reasons for the success and popularity of WordPress, and some data that justify it, it’s time to answer the question we asked ourselves at the beginning.
What percentage of websites are WordPress?
Well, the latest statistics reveal that 39.9% of all web and 64.2% of CMSs are WordPress.
WordPress has a lot to offer, it is easy to use, scalable and free. WordPress has a great future ahead of it. And its share of deployment is only growing.