WordPress has become THE dominant force on the CMS market in recent years. However, for the first time in more than a decade, it doesn’t seem to be able to increase its market share anymore.
This article explains some facts and figures around WordPress in comparison to other content management systems.
How big is WordPress’ market share?
42.9% of the world’s websites are built with WordPress according to w3techs.com. If we look at websites that are created with CMSs, that number is even higher: 65.3% of websites built with an identifiable content management system, are currently using WordPress!
That’s right! Everyone from small bloggers to huge country-sized corporations use WordPress to manage their content.
Since its founding in 2003, WordPress has grown from a blogging tool to a full-on CMS that powers large swaths of the Internet. So exactly how many and which sites are built with WordPress?
I’ve sifted through the data and here’s what I’ve found…
Nearly half of the Web is built on WordPress
The chart below shows which platform was used to build the top million most visited websites in the world. The grey bars include websites that don’t use a CMS. The green bars only include websites where we can identify a CMS.
So, while 33.7% of the world’s websites were created without an identifiable CMS, 42.9% of all the world’s websites were created with WordPress!
And of the world’s websites that were created with an identifiable CMS, WordPress accounted for a whopping 65.3% of them. Their nearest competitor Shopify is still a distant second, powering only 4.4% of the sites sampled.
What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
It’s easy to confuse the open-source platform of WordPress.org with the hosting service of WordPress.com.
WordPress.com is just one of many web hosting services that offer support for the WordPress platform. It’s owned by the company Automattic Inc. which also contributes to the WordPress open-source project. WordPress.com offers a somewhat simplified website builder to help create websites more easily. Check out our WordPress.com review for more details.
WordPress.org is the actual platform for creating websites. It’s very customizable as you can access all of its code. You are also able to use any plugin in the WordPress repository and are free to choose any web hosting company you can afford. But all that comes with a steeper learning curve. Check out our guide to creating a website with WordPress.org for more information.
And if you’re unsure which option is best for your website, our WordPress.com vs WordPress.org article will help you decide.
Big companies and bloggers alike use WordPress.com
There are two WordPress.com pricing options: a Free plan with limited features (compared to other free website builders), and the Pro plan, which gives you access to premium themes and most plugins, for $15. There’s also their WordPress VIP service which is a hosting service at an enterprise scale.
CNN, Spotify, People, TIME, Microsoft, and The Rolling Stones are some of their most notable clients. In 2010 Microsoft shut down their Windows Live Spaces blogging service and began a partnership with WordPress.com
WordPress.org is still dominant but its growth seems to be slowing
The flexibility of large companies to either self-host a modified WordPress site, or use the enterprise services of WordPress.com make it far and away the largest CMS on the Internet and it continues to keep growing.
For aspiring bloggers, the fact that it’s free means that all they need is a cheap WordPress hosting provider, and they’re good to go! And there is a vast online knowledge base that makes climbing the steeper learning curve a little bit easier.
The chart below shows how the WordPress market share has grown over time compared to the other platforms. However, in 2022 for the first time, WordPress’s market share has declined. Has it reached its peak?