WordPress: How Popular Is It? Some Surprising Facts And Figures About WordPress

This article is part of a multi-part series of articles aimed at helping small businesses grow online.


For more information about of the article series, go here: WordPress For Small Business – A Beginner’s Guide To Growing A Small Business Using A WordPress Site

In this article, we present a number of surprising statistics about WordPress that will help you understand why millions of businesses around the world use WordPress and what kind of businesses use WordPress today.

Statistics And Usage Of WordPress

In short:

  • WordPress began as a blogging tool in 2003.
  • WordPress is available as a hosted platform (WordPress.com) and as a self-hosted, downloadable software (WordPress.org).
  • 23 out of every hundred new domains registered in the U.S. are for installing a new WordPress website.
  • There are well over 60 million installations of WordPress worldwide. This number is growing everyday.
  • Over one-sixth of all websites worldwide are driven by WordPress.
  • More than 60% of all sites that use a CMS application are powered by WordPress.
  • Over 35 million searches are made on Google each month for WordPress related terms.
  • WordPress is 100% free to download, use and modify. WordPress is built using an open source content management system.
  • WordPress code is built and improved upon by volunteers. People from all over the world work on developing and improving the WordPress application every day.
  • The WordPress software is regularly updated to address bugs and improve both its features and security.
  • WordPress delivers content online to visitors worldwide. WordPress has been translated and localized into over seventy international languages and dialects.
  • The WordPress repository currently makes available thousands of free WP plugins, themes and widgets to WordPress users.
  • There is practically no limit to what someone can do with WordPress.

WordPress Market Dominance

In simple terms, a content management system (CMS), is a website tool for non-technical users. It is a web application designed to make it easier for non-technical users to add, edit and manage all content on their site.

WordPress started in 2003. It was originally written by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Since then, it has become the most popular self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and accessed by tens of millions of people every day.

WordPress is owned by Automattic.com, which currently employs around 300 people, all of whom are home-based. Despite its distributed model and so few employees, WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress) currently attracts more unique visitors than Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay and Twitter …

WordPress.com monthly uniques

(WordPress [hosted] monthly uniques. Source: Automattic.com)

Consider the following figures on WordPress CMS usage:

Over 60% of all websites around the world are not CMS-based. Of those that are, WordPress is the clear leader, with over 60% of all market share.

WordPress usage figures

WP CMS usage stats

In terms of CMS market share, no other platform even comes close to WordPress …

WP usage statistics

In fact, more and more websites are now being built with the WordPress CMS platform.

WordPress is so popular, that even keeping up with the latest statistics on WordPress is very difficult, because the numbers change so frequently.

For example, at the time this article was written, this is the number of downloads of the latest WordPress version …

current number of downloads of the latest WordPress version

(Source: https://wordpress.org/download/counter)


Note: The above number represents only the latest version of WordPress. Less than half of all current users have upgraded their WP installations to the latest version …

WordPress versions currently in use

(WP versions in current use. Source: https://wordpress.org/about/stats)

Even as this post was being written, the number of downloads had already grown. If you were to click on the link above and visit the WordPress download counter page, you you will no doubt see a much higher number of downloads … perhaps even an updated version, as WordPress continually updates the software to fix security issues and bugs, and add improved or new features.

Speaking of updates, WordPress has made available to users over one hundred new update versions since 2003 …

WordPress release archive

(Over one hundred new versions of WordPress have been made available in its first 11 years)

WordPress currently releases a new updated version every 3-4 months …

WordPress release versions

(WordPress regularly releases new software versions named after famous Jazz musicians)


Curiously enough, all major WordPress version releases are typically named after Jazz musicians, eg:

  • v.1.2 = Charles Mingus (May 22, 2004),
  • v.2.2 = Stan Getz (May 16, 2007),
  • v.2.8 = Chet Baker (June 11, 2009),
  • v.3.5 = Elvin Jones (December 11, 2012),
  • v.3.8 = Charlie Parker (December 12, 2013),
  • etc …

Who Uses WordPress?

Who isn’t using WordPress? All kinds of organizations and people from all walks of life use WordPress to publish content about everything under the sun.

Well-known corporations, business of all sizes, retail companies, celebrities, politicians, famous artists, colleges, government department sites, local organizations – even countries use WordPress-powered sites …

WordPress.org Web Site Showcase

WordPress Site Showcase

Here are just some of the many businesses, companies and people using WordPress:

  • Global Brands & Companies: Factory Jackson, Boardshorts.com, GDF SUEZ, Group Bouygues, Vogue, etc …
  • Celebs, Politicians, Sports Stars, Artists & Musicians: Garth Brooks, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé, Usain Bolt, Snoop Dogg, Katie Couric, Gabriel Iglesias, Sylvester Stallone, etc …
  • Universities & Educational Institutions: University of Manitoba Today, Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Bridge, Bates College, MIT Sloan Management Review, etc.
  • Magazines & Online Media: Tribune Media, The New Yorker, IMC TV, CBS New York, etc.
  • Governments, Public Services & Community Organizations: Sweden’s Official Site, Chicago Weather Center, The National Art Gallery of Maldives, CURE International, Rotary Means Business – Rotary Club, etc.

Earlier, we mentioned that WordPress offers users two formats: a hosted platform (WordPress.com) and as a self-hosted, downloadable software (WordPress.org).

  • Businesses prefer to download the self-hosted version, which can be installed on their domains and modified to suit their needs. In fact, most WordPress self-hosted installations are business marketing or sales purposes.
  • More than half of all WordPress users use the hosted version on WordPress.com
  • In 2014, WordPress blogs (blogs hosted either on WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress sites) published on average 17 new blog posts per second (around 1.5 million posts per day).

WordPress.com publishes a live map that lets you see blog post updates around the world in real-time …

WordPress (Hosted Version) - Live Activity

WordPress.com – Activity Woldwide

In other posts we discuss the main differences between WordPress.com (hosted) vs WordPress.org (self-hosted) versions.

General Statistics About WordPress

WordPress Plugins

WordPress users have access to over almost 40,000 free plugins from the WordPress plugins repository …

WordPress plugins repository

(WordPress.org free plugins directory)

For more information about WordPress plugins go here: Using WP Plugins Extend Your Web Site’s Functionality

WordPress Themes

WordPress users can also access over 1,700 free themes from the WordPress free theme repository …

WordPress free themes repository

(WP theme repository)

For a detailed article about WordPress themes go here: A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding WP Themes

WordPress In Other Languages

WordPress has been translated and localized into over 70 languages in addition to English …

WP languages

(WordPress.org language translations)

WordPress Searches Online

The search term “WordPress” alone receives around 2.7 million searches per month on Google. Additional WordPress-related terms (e.g. “WP themes”, “WordPress plugins”, “WordPress tutorials”, etc. brings the total number of online searches for WordPress terms to more than thirty-five million …

(WordPress searches online)

(WP searches online)

If you compare searches for WordPress to other CMS platforms, WordPress gets searched online 5 x more than Joomla and 9x more often than Drupal.

WordPress Services

According to WordPress’ own “State of the Word” 2014 survey, one quarter of all 33,000 users who responded to the survey stated that they make a full-time living off the WordPress CMS. An earlier survey conducted by WordPress (2012) also found that the median hourly rate of WordPress projects is US$50.

You can find WordPress designers and developers for hire at freelancing sites like Upwork

WP Freelance Developers

According to Upwork, typical cost for WordPress jobs is around $10 – $500 …

WP Job Cost Overview - ODesk.com

(Source: Upwork)

As you can see from the above facts and figures, there is no end in sight for how much further WordPress can continue to grow and dominate in the CMS market.

In other blog posts, we will explore the following areas of WordPress:

  • Why WordPress is the best choice when you need a vehicle for growing your small business online,
  • Dozens of compelling reasons why you should choose WordPress for your business website or blog, including a detailed look at the benefits, features and advantages of using WordPress,
  • Ways to automate your business with WordPress,
  • How to generate targeted traffic, increase conversions, and how to sell more products and services with WordPress.
  • Plus, we’ll be publishing new tutorials and actual tips and examples on how to use WordPress and expand your business presence online, while also saving thousands of dollars on web development and website design costs.

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Information Sources:

The information for this post was sourced from various locations around the web, including the following sites:

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Disclaimer: This site is not associated with WordPress or any of the WordPress products written about on this site. We may derive a financial benefit from sales of products advertised, reviewed or linked to from this site. The product images used in this review have been sourced from the plugin’s own website.

Originally posted 2015-06-27 15:20:05.