There is a little story of how an ordinary blog became one of the world’s most popular website creating tools, known as WordPress. Today it commands a giant share of the market.
What is WordPress?
In the early 2000’s, blogging was becoming extremely popular with many internet users. In 2003, the first version of WordPress was released with the view of it being a blogging tool. The free tool evolved over time and with every new release allowed the developer and blogging community to create various plugins and share them with other users.
As WordPress opened itself to the community, the platform was able to extend its functionality which increased interest and the platforms’ popularity started to skyrocket. WordPress started to change and evolve into a CMS (content management system) as the community continued to show interest and provide help.
Fast forward to today, where WordPress is now the most popular free tool on the internet to host and build websites. The platform contains plugins, customizable templates and an easy to use interface that allows users to create any type of website for businesses, blogs or online stores.
Infographic: WordPress Facts and Statistics + Market Share:
How Many Websites Use WordPress?
Over 450 million websites on the internet use WordPress. Although it is difficult to come up with an exact number, we can say that over 40% of the world’s websites are created through WordPress. It is an incredible statistic considering that WordPress still provides its users with a free version.
Many huge big corporations use WordPress for their websites like Walt Disney, Sony, CNN, MTV and many others. Microsoft began partnering with WordPress in 2010 and as a result shut down their Windows Live Spaces blogging service.
The Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
Many get confused and struggle to distinguish between the open-source platform of WordPress.org vs the hosting platform of WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is the open-source platform for actually building websites. It offers many customizable features and allows users to have access to its coding. Users can build a website and choose to use any hosting service of their choosing.
WordPress.com is a hosting service like many others available that offer support for the WordPress platform. A company called Automattic Inc. owns the hosting service which also includes a simplified website builder for designing websites.
Why is WordPress so Popular?
With Woocommerce, it is possible to transform WordPress into an ecommerce site. For example this WordPress Web Design Service will do all of that. It can manage content, even affiliates and recurring membership sites. Read more about “WordPress Affiliate Management Systems“.
One of the main reasons WordPress gained popularity so quickly is because of its open-source platform that allows anyone access to code for free. Not only that, but WordPress evolved into what it is today with a lot of input from the community and their needs. Some of the factors that have made this platform so popular are:
Plugins on WordPress have been downloaded more than 1.6 billion times. There is a plugin available for virtually any feature one can think of like SEO analytics, shopping carts, contact forms and security.
WordPress themes have made it possible for literally anyone to be able to build a website without having to know how to code. Themes can be customized to fit a designer’s specific needs and with so many free themes available for virtually any category of website, users have flocked to the platform.
The WordPress Community
The people are what made WordPress the CMS it is today. It is no secret that without the community input, the platform would likely not have been as successful as it currently is.
Loyal fans have been involved in translating the platform to over 68 languages and in 2006, WordPress enthusiasts created “WordCamp”, a meetup that has spanned across six continents.
10 Interesting WordPress Statistics
1. Over 36% of the top 1 million websites are powered by WordPress
The top million sites are calculated by looking at the web traffic and includes sites like Nike, Bloomberg and The New York Times.
2. WordPress is the fastest growing CMS platform
For 12 years in a row, WordPress has been the fastest growing CMS platform in the world. Over the last year, the platform added almost 10% of users to its already impressive base.
3. The WordPress plugin directory contains almost 60 000 free plugins
Developers continue to create and share new free plugins for the platform. Some of the most popular are Elementor, MonsterInsights and Jetpack.
4. WordPress has over 9000 free templates
The official WordPress theme repository has over 9000 free website building templates for users to use. These templates can be customized to fit any website design required. Some of the most popular free themes used are Astra, OceanWP and Neve.
5. Over 500 new websites are created each day using WordPress.org
The free version of WordPress is still extremely popular, although growth is speedily increasing on WordPress.com.
6. Each month, over 70 million blogpost are created
Bloggers are still using the platform for what it was initially intended, a platform to create blogs. Although the functionality has improved incredibly over the years, many of the blogging community still remain loyal to WordPress.
7. Almost 50% of plugins have a donate button
WordPress is extremely popular because it provides users with so many free features. Plugins are regularly created by developers in order to assist users in the website designing process. Thousands of these plugins are free, however, many developers have added “donate” buttons in order to capitalize on their plugin designs.
8. WordPress 5.7 has been downloaded more than 54 million times
Although this is an amazing number of downloads, it is only a fraction of the number of downloads across all WordPress versions.
9. The most popular eCommerce plugin is Woocommerce
Woocommerce is a plugin for small to medium sized businesses that sell products online via an online store. It has been installed on more than 5 million websites and is the most popular eCommerce plugin ever created for WordPress.
10. Around 10% of WordPress sites are hacked due to weak passwords
Weak passwords are one of the main reasons not only WordPress sites are hacked, but also why many email accounts or social media accounts are compromised. Choosing a strong password is a must to limit the possibility of successful hacking.
The Future of WordPress
Hosting providers like Godaddy did a terrible job at keeping their WordPress clients happy. It became the least liked web hosting provider for WordPress. So brands like Kinsta, Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud, Wix and WPEngine attempted to provide a better experience. Reliable, secure cloud hosting without additional security cost and extortion are crucial for the survival of WordPress as a whole – else, it risks losing market share to Wix and Shopify.
Because WordPress has always valued the contributions of the community, the platform is bound to continue to evolve and adapt in order to remain relevant with ever changing technology.
WordPress continues to look for ways that will make the user interface easier to use as well as create a more multilingual support function. The platform is planning on only getting bigger and with the amount of growth seen over the last few years, it is easy to believe.
To recap, almost 40% of all websites are through WordPress. This is a staggering number considering that the platform was initially intended for creating blogs. Nevertheless, through the collaboration and input of the community it has evolved into the most popular platform for website building and hosting.
WordPress executives have made it clear that it will remain the free open-source platform it started as and that it is highly unlikely for them to start charging for licenses.
With popularity only growing, WordPress is set to continue being the market leader in the CMS space provided the platform can continue to upgrade its features, keep the community involved and ensure a stable user experience.
Sources and References
Kumar, A., Kumar, A., Hashmi, H. and Khan, S.A., 2021, December. WordPress: A Multi-Functional Content Management System. In 2021 10th International Conference on System Modeling & Advancement in Research Trends (SMART) (pp. 158-161). IEEE.
Mirdha, A., Jain, A. and Shah, K., 2014, December. Comparative analysis of open source content management systems. In 2014 IEEE international conference on computational intelligence and computing research (pp. 1-4). IEEE.