In the world of content management systems, the performance of WordPress’ is stellar. It’s come a long way since its earliest build hit the internet back in 2003, and it has passed so many impressive milestones on its journey to becoming a global phenomenon.
Needless to say, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little’s content management system (CMS) has had a massive impact on the web as we know it. It’s now powering the online presence of everything from small businesses you’ve never heard of, to the biggest Fortune 500 companies.
WordPress’ popularity is out of this world – so here are 30 fascinating statistics.
WordPress has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a homebrew successor to b2/cafelog. It now powers a whopping 39.7% of all websites on the internet. That’s according to data from W3Techs, which suggests the software tool’s growth remains steady.
Between 2011 and 2019, WordPress established itself as a CMS force to be reckoned with. By the start of 2020, over one in three websites were using it.
The competition isn’t exactly nipping at its heels, either. Coming in second place on the market share league table is Shopify, powering an estimated 3% of all websites.
To call WordPress the market leader in the CMS sector is something of an understatement. The software’s market share of 64.1% puts a gulf the size of the Grand Canyon between it and closest competitor Shopify, which is clinging to a 5.2% slice of the pie.
If the distance between WordPress and its nearest rival doesn’t paint a clear enough picture of its dominance, its share of the CMS market is a greater percentage than all other content management systems put together. That’s Shopify, Joomla, Wix, the lot!
WordPress itself may be free and open-source, but that doesn’t mean its user base is limited to frugal start-ups and small businesses looking to save a few pennies. In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world have made it their CMS platform of choice.
More than 14% of the world’s biggest websites are WordPress sites. These include the Walt Disney Company’s website, Sony Music’s online portal and the official PlayStation blog.
If you want an idea of how much WordPress’ user base is growing and the impact this is having on the wider internet, this stat should do the trick. Around 500 new WordPress sites join the top 10 million most popular websites on the net every single day. This proves that WordPress sites are not just prolific, but many of them seem to be absolutely nailing SEO, too.
WordPress themes allow users to customise the appearance of their website, but you knew that, right? What you might not know is exactly how profitable some of these themes are for their creators.
Take the phenomenally-popular Avada, for instance. It sells for $60 a pop and they say that it’s racked up over 650,000 sales. Assuming they all sold at that price, some quick maths will tell you that amounts to a staggering $39 million!
One of the big benefits of using WordPress is the ability to extend functionality or add snazzy new features to your website with the free plugins that are available. There’s a mind-boggling array on offer from WordPress.org, with the number now exceeding 58,000.
These plugins have racked up more than 1.5 billion downloads between them. If those downloads were people, they’d outnumber the population of China.
If that’s not incredible enough, that 58,000 figure is just the official plugins available through WordPress. There are also thousands of third-party ones to buy or pick up for free.
Some WordPress plugins have been more successful than others, but WooCommerce is in a league of its own. This open-source e-commerce platform began life as just another WordPress add-on in 2008. These these days, it powers 29.4% of web’s online stores.
Sitting on top of the core CMS, WooCommerce integrates commerce with content and is fully customisable. According to stats from Datanyze, its market share makes it the world’s most popular e-commerce platform. Squarespace Online Stores isn’t too far behind with a 21.1% slice, fending off competition from third-placed Shopify.
Not every comment that lands on a WordPress article is an insightful take on the content in question or even the ramblings of anonymous trolls. Far worse than the latter are spam comments, which are unavoidable where market leading CMS platforms are concerned.
Luckily, there are countless tools out there to help you deflect spam messages away from your comments section. Among the most popular is Akismet. This freemium plugin has stopped over 500 billion spam posts in their tracks over the last 15 years. Is it any wonder that it’s one of the most-downloaded WordPress add-ons of all time?
Being a WordPress developer can be lucrative and rewarding, but so too can being a WordPress theme creator. Exactly half of the WordPress themes available over on ThemeForest rake in a minimum of $1,000 every month. And if that’s not enough, 5% of the bestselling themes on there are making a cool $10,000 a month for their developers.
The latest edition of WordPress, version 5.6, was released into the wild in December 2020. Needless to say, it’s rather popular and has been downloaded around 15 million times in January 2021.
That number is growing by the second: you can check where it’s up to in real-time on the WordPress download counter webpage. Just keep in mind that this is the number of times the CMS has been downloaded, not the number of active WordPress websites.
It should come as no surprise that a mammoth amount of content is published through WordPress. According to the official numbers, WordPress users publish around 70 million new posts each month.
That’s a lot of content to consume, but it’s obvious web users can’t get enough of it. Those posts are attracting serious engagement, with 77 million new comments landing on them every month. Spare a thought for the webmasters who have to moderate all of that…
WordPress can boast a staggering readership (vicariously, at least). Over 409 million people view 20 billion pages hosted on its sites per month.
What are those articles about? Well, everything! We’ve already touched on what kind of businesses use the platform and it’s an eclectic mix. Everyone from CNN to UPS has published content through WordPress. Then there are the scores of bloggers, hobbyists and influencers to factor-in.
Back in 2015, a survey from BuiltWith found that WordPress is responsible for 1.1 million new domain registrations every six months. That’s a jaw-dropping amount and you can only imagine how it might have changed over the last five years, given WordPress’ rapid growth.
According to SEMrush, the official WordPress website attracts over 90 million unique visitors every month. While that isn’t enough to dethrone the online behemoths, such as Google on 3 billion and Facebook.com with 1.8 billion monthly uniques, it’s impressive.
Especially impressive considering the size of the organisation. While a lot of open-source work is done by volunteers, WordPress employs 1,148 people, a fraction the size of Google’s 118,899-strong workforce in 2019 or Facebook’s employee headcount of 44,942. Even eBay, which has 100 million monthly unique visitors, has 30,000 members of staff.
WordPress has already achieved domination of the global CMS market, so it makes sense that they’d want to see it translated into virtually every language known to man. It still has a way to go, but WordPress is currently available in 205 locales.
There’s an important distinction to make between locale and language. A language is obviously what you speak, read and write in. A locale includes a tonne of region-specific information such as numbers, dates and times for that location.
WordPress has an entire team dedicated to translating the software into as many locales as possible. Of the 205 translations released so far, 56 have reached 100% conversion.
WordPress hosts posts in more than 120 different languages, but a sizeable majority of them are written in English. Figures straight from the horse’s mouth confirm that 71% of all WordPress blogs were typed up in English.
By comparison, the second most-used language on WordPress is Spanish with a 4.7% share. European tongues dominate the software tool, although content written in Indonesian is surprisingly prevalent, making up 2.4% of all blogs on the platform.
WordCamps are laid-back, locally organised conferences about all things WordPress. The first of these get-togethers was arranged by Matt Mullenweg in 2006 and the concept really caught on. Since then, 1,074 WordCamp events have taken place around the world.
Local communities have been arranging their own conferences, and their efforts have seen events held in 368 cities across 65 countries. You can find out when the next ones are taking place on the official WordCamp website.
Folks flock from all over the world to get a piece of the WordCamp action, from 79 different countries spanning over 535 cities. 2020’s online event had 8,600 registrants and more than 2,500 people signed up to participate.
The record number of people in attending in person was in 2019, when 2,734 people turned-up in Vienna.
When you’re powering a sizeable percentage of the web, it’s a good idea to have a place the masses can turn for technical support and advice. This is where the official WordPress support forums come in, and like the platform itself, they’re rather popular.
To date, you’ll find more than 2,030,000 topics on said forums. They include everything from how-to topics, technical support, feedback requests and help with themes and plugins.
Automattic is the parent company behind WordPress and it likes to keep a relatively lean workforce – compared to your average tech giant, at least. There are currently 1,148 people employed by the firm across 77 different countries, speaking 95 languages.
This doesn’t count all the voluntary contributors. For example, 605 people contributed to WordPress 5.6.
At this stage, it should already be obvious that there’s money to be made through WordPress, from e-commerce to WordPress hosting and everything in between. Many of its users are taking full advantage of this. In 2014 Matt Mullenweg said that a quarter of them are making a full-time living through the platform.
Countless people make a good living from WordPress development and the average salary for this job in the US is $50,034 per year. That’s according to PayScale, but other recruitment sites beg to differ. Glassdoor, for instance, claims the average salary is $76,083.
In the UK, recruitment specialists Indeed estimate that the average salary for a WordPress developer is £28,685, but there’s some discrepancy on this side of the Atlantic, too. Glassdoor reckons it’s £33,607 and Reed up to £40,000 per year.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests are commonplace in a world where anyone can post pretty much anything onto the internet. As the world’s leading CMS, WordPress is inundated with these requests. Whether it’s someone with legitimate grounds to feel ripped off or a fraudulent chancer trying their luck.
WordPress offers complete transparency about the number of DMCA requests it receives. Between January 2014 and June 2020, the total number it handled was 85,299. Of those claims, 31% resulted in content being altered or removed, and 69% saw WordPress tell the claimant to jog on, proving it isn’t afraid to push back to protect freedom of speech.
It’s a good idea to update WordPress to the most recent version. Only then will you benefit from the added protection of the latest security enhancements. A managed WordPress hosting plan should update the version for you.
Even so, it seems many users don’t mind throwing caution to the wind. Only 26.7% of WordPress users have updated their software to the latest version 5.6. That makes it the most-used edition, but it’s a tad worrying that well over half of the platform’s customers are running an outdated build.
In all fairness, though, over three-quarters of WordPress users are somewhere between version 5.0 and the latest edition. So it’s only a minority who are way behind the curve.
WordPress can be safe and secure, but when you’re the world’s largest CMS, a barrage of hacking attempts is bound to come your way. The platform is well equipped to shield its users from malware, phishing and other sinister things from the darkest reaches of the internet. But it has a better chance of doing that if you update it to the latest version.
The WordPress team has always done a good job at staying one step ahead of the hackers thanks to the security fixes included in every CMS update. When something insidious does get through the net, it’s usually the result of a dodgy third-party plugin or the user running an outdated version of the CMS. According to Securi in 2019, 49% of hacked WordPress installations were using an older edition of the software, so make sure yours is bang up to date.
Not literally, of course, because that would only be possible if WordPress’ creators were some kind of immortal time travellers. But that’s roughly how many ‘person-years’ have been invested in the creation of the world’s biggest content management system.
The 382-year estimate was calculated by Open Hub based on how many lines of code there are in the current version of WordPress and how much it would cost to have them written. There are 1,375,951 lines of code in the latest version and it would cost around $21,036,446 to produce, in case you’re interested in the specifics.
WordPress prides itself on user-friendliness and accessibility and part of that ethos is its rapid setup time. Automattic say that it’s possible to install the software in five minutes or less. Around the same amount of time it should take to make a decent cup of tea!
Of course, with our managed hosting, WordPress is already installed and ready for use right away. If you want to install it on our Linux Web Hosting or Managed Hosting, it takes about 30 seconds using our one-click installer.
It’s the CMS that never sleeps! WordPress is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Comments and posts land on its websites around the clock. The WordPress website has a live map of global activity so you can follow this perpetual flow of content in real-time.
There are over 294,000 searches in Google for “WordPress” each month in the UK. Globally, over a year there are over 8 million searches.
You know you’ve made it big when you find your way into pop culture. That’s what happened to WordPress in May of 2010 when British military drama Strike Back ran a storyline involving a WordPress-guided missile. In the fifth episode of season one, the platform’s post.js file was used to steer a warhead towards its target.
So, there you have it: WordPress can guide missiles. Okay, that’s not really true but when programmers spotted the anomaly, they did add a line of code reading ‘weapon locked’ into the original file.
To the best of our knowledge all figures are correct as of January 2021.
Don’t let hackers in to your WordPress website: check out our Complete Guide to WordPress Security.
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