Since the launch of its original version in 2003, WordPress has evolved considerably into the worldwide phenomenon it is now. The platform and its community are ever-expanding and show no signs of losing traction.
While many other Content Management Systems (CMS) are available, WordPress has grown to become the world’s most widely used CMS – powering a phenomenal 37.6% of websites on the World Wide Web. Its popularity and ease of use have helped it to become the market’s most dominant CMS, taking a large proportion of the market share when compared with other Content Management Systems.
It can be difficult to imagine the level of impact WordPress has had on how we use the internet, so to put the scope into perspective, here are some incredible statistics on the world’s most popular CMS:
Other than powering well over a third of the entire internet’s websites:
Developers Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg created WordPress out of necessity, as the developers of the blogging software they were originally using, b2/cafelog, had discontinued the service.
Although WordPress was based on b2/cafelog initially, it quickly became apparent to Little and Mullenweg that there was a growing need for a more elegant and user-friendly weblog publishing system. Since its original creation, Little, Mullenweg, and countless other open source developers have contributed to the constant development of WordPress, making it a unique publishing system compared with b2/cafelog.
WordPress is developed using MySQL, an open-source relational database management system, and PHP, a general-purpose scripting language. As WordPress is licenced under the GNU General Public License (GPL Lv.2+), meaning it can be used for free and modified by anyone. Due to this developmental freedom, it is estimated that collaborative 151-people years have gone into building the platform as it currently stands, at an approximated cost of over AUD$11.3 million 1.
As it is now clear the sheer impact WordPress has had on the World Wide Web, it is now worth expanding on some of these incredible statistics.
WordPress powers around 37.6% of the internet
Although this number might not seem significant initially, a recent Netcraft survey2 estimates there are over 1.3 billion active websites published on the internet, meaning that about 455,000,000 websites are published using WordPress, or roughly 20% of all self-hosted sites3.
There have been over 56 million downloads of WordPress 5.4
While this figure may seem impressive, it is only for the latest version of WordPress. This vast number is always growing, and live statistics can be viewed using a download counter available on WordPress.org4. It is important to remember that these figures are the number of downloads, rather than the number of active sites hosted by WordPress and does not count the 36 older versions of WordPress.
WordPress hosts 14.7% of the leading websites in the world
A large number of the world’s most successful companies use WordPress as their Content Management System of choices, such as CNN, NBC, TED, People Magazine, TechCrunch, the NFL, CBS Radio, Best Buy, and UPS, to name but a few of the Fortune 500 Companies5 that use WordPress to power their websites.
The WordPress plugin directory hosts over 55,000 plugins
Plugins allow users to customise their websites to suit their needs, and with many free and paid plugins available, users are empowered to personalise their sites within their budgets. To date, there are over 55,000 plugins available, and many more are being added to the directory daily. There have been an estimated 1 billion collective downloads of WordPress plugins, with this number also increasing daily.
WordPress is the world’s most rapidly growing Content Management System
Google Trends data comparing keyword search terms for popular Content Management Systems from 2004-present shows a clear indication of keywords relating to WordPress achieved a higher ranking6 than competing CMSs such as Sharepoint, Blogger, and Drupal. This trend suggests that if you want organic traffic drawn to your website, you should publish content based around WordPress.
WooCommerce powers more than 30% of all ecommerce stores
WooCommerce, the popular WordPress eCommerce platform, powers over 1.5 million online stores – and 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce websites7.
Since its creation 17 years ago back in 2003, WordPress has evolved from a simple and straightforward blogging platform to the Content Management System of choice for over one-third of the internet – including many top-notch Fortune 500 companies. While its ease of use has no doubt contributed to its success, the countless personalisation features available to its users – allowing them to start anything from simple blogs to full-blown websites – is what makes WordPress the most popular and successful CMS in the world. Due to the collaborative nature of this powerful platform, it will always continue to evolve to meet the ever-growing demands of the plethora of internet users, from the small-scale blogger to multinational organisations.
Senka Pupacic is the founder of Top 10 SEO, www.top10insydney.com.au.