If you’re looking for answers to questions like ‘how many websites use WordPress,’ or just want to learn the history of WordPress, you’ve come to the right place. We have a ton of WordPress stats and facts for you.
With almost twenty years of history and a massive online presence, there’s a lot to talk about here. From its history and humble beginnings to its massive growth, and finally, its current status as a giant on the internet. So let’s get started!
1. Creation of WordPress
WordPress is the most popular web publishing software which helps you to create your own website or blog. It is an open-source content management system as you can use it to manage the creation of digital content without any cost.
- Matt Mullenweg, an American, and Mike Little, an Englishman, launched WordPress on May 27, 2003.
- It was produced at first as a blog publishing system but today, it has been developed as a support for other types of web content i.e. media galleries, online stores.
- Today, it is famous among its users as a Content Management System (CMS) solution.
- WordPress is completely free and open-sourced, meaning that anyone can see, use, and modify the code with zero restrictions whatsoever.
- In fact, WordPress even has a Bill of Rights that supports these four freedoms.
Let’s take you on a journey that led to the creation of WordPress and its development into the online giant that we know today. It all started almost two decades ago with a much more unpopular project known as b2/cafelog.
- All major WordPress releases are named in honor of jazz musicians the developers personally admired.
- On average, important updates for WordPress are released every 152 days.
- If you are interested to know more about this, then you can check the WordPress history.
2. Usage and Popularity
As mentioned above, WordPress is the most popular web publishing software. To support this point, we have collected some of the WordPress stats about its usage, market share, number of downloads, etc.
- WordPress is used by over 41% of all websites on the internet, easily the most popular option. (Source)
- Furthermore, WordPress has more than 64.5% market share in the CMS market, far ahead of its competitors. (Source)
- In total, WordPress powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites.
- 500+ sites are built each day using WordPress, while only 60-80 per day are built on platforms like Shopify and Squarespace.
Usage According to the Version of WordPress
While WordPress certainly encourages users to update to the latest version, there are still sites out there that stick to the older versions of WordPress. Here’s how the different versions of WordPress are distributed all over the internet.
- As you can see, Version 5 dominates with a majority of sites (84.6%) using it, while barely any of them (<0.1%) use Version 1. (Source)
- Version 4 of WordPress is slightly more common (14.4%), in comparison to the other two. (Source)
- WordPress 5.6, the latest version, has been downloaded 29 million+ times. (Source: Counter | WordPress.org)
3. WordPress Showcase
WordPress isn’t just for simple websites or blogs, and you can see that by taking a look at the ton of amazing and popular websites that use it. A look at the WordPress showcase will prove that there are different types of websites, including personal blogs, online magazines, business websites, and eCommerce sites using WordPress.
Some top websites that use WordPress are:
- The New York Times
- The White House website
- BBC America
- The Obama Foundation
- The Walt Disney Company
- Boston Market
- Microsoft News Center
- Angry Birds
- Toyota Motors Brasil
4. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Many of the new WordPress users often get confused about WordPress.com and WordPress.org. It’s very important to be clear about each of these platforms. So, let’s look at the WordPress stats and facts mentioned below to understand these two platforms.
- WordPress.org is the open-source Content Management System (CMS) using which you can create a website or blog whereas, WordPress.com is a popular blogging platform.
- With WordPress.com, you don’t have to worry about updates or backups whereas, with WordPress.org, you are responsible for backup, updates, and maintenance.
- You get access to all the SEO features and full control over your website with WordPress.org whereas, you have limitations with WordPress.com.
- WordPress.org can cost anywhere from $46-$100/year, whereas you can find both free and paid versions of WordPress.com.
- WordPress.com still uses the WordPress.org core software despite being a completely different service.
- Users on WordPress.com create an astonishing 70 million posts each month.
5. WordPress Themes
A theme is a set of templates and layouts through which the look of your website is defined. It gives styling to your WordPress website and makes it look attractive and professional. The theme you import to your website determines the appearance of your site. Let’s look at some of the facts about the WordPress theme.
- The first WordPress theme was created by Matt Mullenweg in 2003.
- WordPress releases a free default theme each year, and it’s named after the year.
- The naming of the theme according to the year started from 2010 with the ‘Twenty Ten’ theme.
- However, there is no theme named after the year 2018.
- The latest default WordPress theme is ‘Twenty Twenty One,’ which was released on September 25, 2020.
- Free WordPress themes can be found in the official WordPress theme directory as well as third-party theme developer sites.
- In the official theme directory alone, there are 8,013+ themes available for free.
- ThemeForest, the most popular marketplace for paid themes, has 50,254+ premium themes.
- With over 600,000 sales, Avada is the bestselling theme on ThemeForest.
- The theme marketplaces outside of WordPress include ThemeGrill, ThemeForest, StudioPress, and Elegant Themes.
- Some of the popular paid themes are Zakra, ColorMag, Spacious, Flash, Divi, Astra, etc.
Popular Free Themes:
- Astra (Active users: 1,000,000+) (Total Downloads: 4,227,098+)
- Zakra (Active users: 60,000+) (Total Downloads: 797,902+)
- ColorMag (Active users: 100,000+) (Total Downloads: 2,688,659+)
- Spacious (Active users: 60,000+) (Total Downloads: 2,264,383+)
- Hestia (Active users: 100,000+) (Total Downloads: 2,560,574+)
Popular Paid Themes:
If you want to learn even more about WordPress themes and how they work, check out our handy article: What is a WordPress Theme?
6. WordPress Plugins
A plugin is an add-on that adds extra functionality to your WordPress site. It’s a piece of software which can be installed to enhance the feature of your website and make it more user-friendly. From creating online forms to creating restaurant menus, you can add a ton of functionality to your site.
- In the official WordPress plugin directory, different categories of plugins are available like Block-Enabled Plugins, Featured Plugins, Beta Plugins, Popular Plugins.
- You can find around 58,125 + plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory.
- There are many other marketplaces like WPEverest and CodeCanyon where you can purchase premium WordPress plugins.
Popular Free Plugins
- Classic Editor (Most installed plugin) (Active installations: 5+ million)
- WooCommerce (Active installations: 5+ million)
- Yoast SEO (Active installations: 5+ million)
- Elementor Website Builder (Active installations: 5+ million)
- Everest Forms (Active installations: 200,000+)
- User Registration ( Active installations: 60,000+)
Popular Paid Plugins
- WP Rocket
- Everest Forms
- Customize My Account for WooCommerce
- WordPress Multilingual Plugin
- CSS Hero
There’s a lot more to learn more about WordPress plugins and so why don’t you take a look at our handy article: What is a WordPress Plugin?
7. WordPress Community
We can’t talk about WordPress without talking about the massive community of its users and developers all over the world. It’s an impressive thing, that’s for sure. Let’s give you a clearer picture of it below.
A major part of the WordPress community is WordCamps. They’re local conferences from all over the world that talk about WordPress and related topics.
- On August 5, 2006, the first WordCamp was organized in San Francisco, where just 500 people participated.
- Currently, there have been 1000+ official WordCamps organized in 360+ cities across 65 countries on 6 continents.
- You can check out the WordCamp channel on the WordPress.tv website in order to get a better understanding of how WordCamps work.
- On the whole, there are 1550+ groups with 511,000+ active members all over the world for WordPress-related meetups.
- There have been over 2 million topics on the official forums for WordPress over the years.
8. WordPress Security
One important part of running a website is site security, and WordPress has a lot of interesting things going for it in that regard. Let’s look at the WordPress stats and facts here, and see what the big deal is about when it comes to security.
As the most popular CMS out there, WordPress also faces a lot of malicious attacks and threats to its security. On the other hand, there are also hard-working developers all over the world who are working to solve those problems.
- Among the various CMS out there, WordPress faces over 90% of the malicious infections, according to Sucuri.
- WordPress websites all over the world face almost 90,000 attacks every minute, according to WordFence.
- On a positive note, the auto-update feature introduced in WordPress 3.7 has given it an advantage over the other CMS.
- Only 49% of WordPress sites were out of date when they were infected, which is lower than its competition.
- A common theory for the cause of the infamous Panama Papers leak was an outdated Slider Revolution Plugin.
- A common cause of infection, with a 40% rate of reinfection for WordPress sites, is WP-VCD infections.
- These WP-VCD infections are often found on websites hosting pirated WordPress themes and plugins.
9. WordPress Development
As a free and open-sourced project, there’s a ton of people working on WordPress development in different ways. Here’s a brief glimpse into their world with some WordPress stats and facts so you can understand how things are.
- WordPress.com, a hosted version of WordPress, is owned and managed by Automattic. This is completely different from WordPress.org, which is not owned by anyone.
- WordPress.org, or simply WordPress, is an open-sourced software that is managed by thousands of contributors from all over the world.
- However, Automattic is one of these contributors and has played a big role in improving WordPress across the years.
- There is a core leadership team, with Matt Mullenweg, which leads the WordPress open-source project.
- Other members of this team include 5 lead developers; Helen Hou-Sandi, Dion Hulse, Mark Jaquith, Andrew Nacin, and Andrew Ozz.
- They have the final say in all sorts of technical decisions regarding WordPress and are aided by many core developers on the core leadership team.
- There are over 70 developers working on the WordPress developer team.
To learn more about WordPress security in particular, you can check out our useful article on the best WordPress security tips.
10. WordPress Career
Since WordPress is such a massive project, you can be sure that there’s a lot of careers that are dependent on it. It’s pretty interesting to look at it that way. Here are some WordPress stats and fun facts that you might want to know.
- Automattic, the major contributor to WordPress, has a diverse team of 1,318 employees spread out over 77 countries, speaking 98 different languages.
- Almost 25% of WordPress users have managed to earn a living off the platform.
- According to Ziprecruiter, the average salary of a WordPress Developer is $64,308 per year.
- A quick calculation turns this into $30.92 per hour, $1,237 per week, or $5,359 per month.
- Neuvoo gives a number of $63,375 per year, which entry-level positions starting at $45,000 per year.
- For experienced developers, it can reach up to $107,738 per year!
11. WordPress Competitors
For those of you who want to start up a website without WordPress, there are other options as well. With WordPress alternatives such as Shopify, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, and more, there’s plenty to pick from. Here are some relevant WordPress stats and facts about them.
- Inspired by a poor online shopping experience in 2004, Shopify was started out as a snowboarding equipment store.
- Now, it has become among the most popular eCommerce platforms on the internet, surpassed only by WooCommerce.
- With about 20% market share, it has surpassed other competitors like BigCommerce, Magento, and Wix.
- Shopify also has a very useful Point of Sale (POS) system which allows users to integrate retail businesses with the eStore.
To learn more on which is better, check out our article on Shopify vs WordPress.
- Downloaded almost 100 million times and with 2.5 million sites actively running it, Joomla is another super popular option for CMS.
- While it has a 5.7% market share, 9% of business-oriented websites choose Joomla as their option.
- Joomla’s development is lead by about 400 voluntary contributors.
- The official Joomla forums have almost 1 million registered users at this point.
- Launched in 2000, Drupal is actually older than WordPress and has two decades of experience in this industry.
- Drupal’s success can be owed to the dedicated community that has worked on it over the years,
- After 20 years, it has 38,000 modules and 2,700 themes for Drupal users to pick from.
- Currently, there are over 600,000 websites on the internet that rely on Drupal.
- At its peak, there were over a million websites all over the world that used Drupal.
Also check out WordPress vs Drupal comparison to know which is better for your website.
- Created in 2006, Wix was started with the intention of providing a free and easy-to-use option for site-building.
- In 2009, Wix passed the mark of 1 million users milestone, 10 million users in 2011, and finally 50 million users in 2014
- Currently, there are 413,358 websites all over the globe that are powered by Wix, with 4,300,00 paid subscribers.
- Wix boasts a growth rate of 3750 new users each day, which is quite an impressive figure.
For a detailed comparison, please check our full guide on WordPress vs Wix.
12. The Future of WordPress
It’s important to remember that WordPress is pretty far from static. There are a lot of talented folks working to constantly make WordPress better. New people are picking up WordPress as well, and its market share is also changing. Here are the WordPress stats and facts regarding what the future looks like for WordPress.
- Fortunately for all of you out there, the future of WordPress looks quite secure, with a consistent growth rate of around 1-4% over the course of the past 8 years.
- Currently, WordPress is focusing on implementing the Gutenberg Project, which will revamp how content is posted in WordPress.
- The Project is currently in Phase 2, which focuses on full-site editing as well as other changes.
- There are four major WordPress updates are planned for 2021.
There is also a project known as Five for Future launched in 2014, which allows organizations to contribute to the development of WordPress.
Wrapping it Up:
And that’s it! These were over 100 WordPress stats and facts that will help you get a clearer idea about the biggest CMS out there. There’s a lot to learn in this area, and new information comes up every day. Still, we hope you came out of it knowing a lot more about WordPress.
Creating a website isn’t a simple thing, and WordPress software is only a part of it. The hosting and your domain name play a big role in determining your website’s performance and speed, not to mention other areas like Search Engine Optimization.
So basically, there’s still a ton more to learn, but with helpful WordPress blogs and other resource, it can be much easier.