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WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. It is most associated with blogging but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, and online stores. Used by more than 75 million websites, including 30.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2018, WordPress is the most popular website management system in use. WordPress has also been used for other application domains such as pervasive display systems (PDS).
WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. The software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.
To function, WordPress has to be installed on a web server, either part of an Internet hosting services like WordPress.com or a computer running the software package WordPress.org in order to serve as a network host in its own right. A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes.
Considering that the number of total active websites is estimated at over 172 million according to a survey published by Netcraft, that means that around 75,000,000 websites are using WordPress right now — with around half of those sites (37,500,000) being hosted on the WordPress.com shared hosting installation.
There’s no disputing the fact that WordPress is by far the most prominent CMS out there. The brainchild of Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, WordPress has risen to superstardom in the blogosphere in the 11 short years since it was released.
You might be thinking that you already know just how popular WordPress really is. Think again, because these 14 WordPress usage statistics may well give you pause for thought.
1. 48% of Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs Are Managed With WordPress
When you consider that there are is an enormous amount of alternative content management systems available, this statistic speaks volumes about WordPress popularity.
If you decide to go with WordPress, you will definitely be with good company. The New York Times, CNN, Mashable, and eBay all run their blogs on the most popular CMS in the world – WordPress.
2. 74.6 Million Sites Depend on WordPress
Yep, you read that right. 74,652,825 sites out there are depending on good ol’ WordPress. That’s one site per person in Turkey.
Around 50% of this figure (close to 37 million) is hosted on the free WordPress.com. In the realm of self-hosted sites, WordPress accounts for 18.9% of all websites. That’s even more astounding when you consider that over 70% of sites worldwide do not use a CMS.
3. WordPress-Related Keywords Score 37 Million Searches Per Month
The keyword “WordPress” alone receives over 450,000 exact match searches every month. That’s just “WordPress”, not “WordPress help” or “WordPress plugins” or anything of the sort.
When you count the searches of all keywords with WordPress or WP (a common abbreviation for WordPress) in them, the monthly figure is a whopping 37 million searches. Assuming that this figure remains constant, WordPress will get 444 million searches in 2014. That’s nearly one and a half times the population of the U.S.
WordPress is searched five times as much as Joomla and nine times more often than Drupal.
4. 40 Translations of WordPress
WordPress Language Translation
While the actual number isn’t half so mind-boggling as the others you’ve just read, it is no less significant. If English isn’t your first language and you would rather have Croatian, Dutch, Estonian, French or Finnish (see a full list of WordPress translations) governing your dashboard, you’re in luck.
If you don’t happen to speak one of the forty languages listed and you are more comfortable with something else, hold on tight. The WordPress team is actively updating their list with new language translations all the time.
5. 22% of New U.S. Registered Domains Run on WordPress
Out of every 100 domains registered in the U.S., 22 of them will be run on WordPress. Considering that an average of 120,000 domains are registered worldwide per day, it’s safe to say that WordPress is growing by leaps and bounds.
That “18.9%-of-all-website” figure is increasing all the time.
6. WordPress.com Gets More Unique Visitors Than Amazon (Us)
WordPress.com records an astonishing 126M unique visitors per month, while Amazon falls quite a ways behind, clocking in at 96M uniques per month.
7. WordPress.com Employs Only 229 People
It’s hard to believe but true. The site that receives 130% the unique visits of Amazon employs only 229 people. To keep that in perspective, Amazon.com employs 88,400 people to run their business, 38,603% more than WordPress.com.
That is probably one of the reasons why they’re always looking for new developers to join their team.
8. 6 New WordPress.com Posts Every Second
That’s right. Every second, close to 6 (the actual figure is 5.7) new posts are published on WordPress.com blogs. That averages out to 342 posts per minute. Just above 20,000 per day. And a grand total of 7.49 million annually.
Not only is WordPress.org the world’s most popular self-hosted CMS solution, but the free version is also second in popularity on the list of free blogging platforms, with Google’s own Blogger topping it.
There’s a neat map view on the WordPress.com site that shows you the location of a blogger as he publishes a post in real-time. Check it out.
9. WordPress Developers Charge $50/hr
A 2012 survey revealed that the average rate for a WordPress project clocks in at $50/hr. It’s nothing to write home about, but $50/hour is a decent sum for most.
oDesk, one of the most popular outsourcing sites in the world, lists WordPress development as the fifth most-requested skill. Freelancer.com, a similar website, has thus far recorded over $3.5M in revenue for WordPress developers.
WordPress development is clearly a valuable skill to learn — one that can definitely pay off in the future. The need for it won’t be going anywhere for a while.
10. 29,000 WordPress Plugins and Growing Daily
Without a doubt, the number one feature that sets WordPress apart from any other CMS is their plugins. Plugins extend and capitalize on the functionality of WordPress — removing access to them would cripple WordPress users (and that’s one of the reasons why WordPress.com falls second to Blogger).
Fortunately, nothing of the sort is happening. On the contrary, WordPress.org’s database of plugins has recently hit 29K and a new one is added nearly every hour. In total, these plugins have been downloaded 286,000,000+ times. Give it a few years and all you’ll be hearing is “there’s a plugin for that”.
11. 98 Versions of WordPress to Date
There might only be 229 employees, but those 229 sure are kept on their toes. Major updates are rolled out once every few weeks.
In addition to that, the WordPress.com source code is updated 60-80 times per day, pushed out many times throughout the day. These changes are synced with the WordPress.org platform daily.
12. 46 Million Downloads of WordPress.org
The free WordPress.org platform that supports self-hosted websites has been downloaded 46 million times up till July of 2013, which approximates to 100 downloads every day since 2003. You might not have downloaded WordPress and uploaded it to your FTP manager yourself, but when you installed it using Fantastico or the much-loved 1-Click, it was counted as a download.
Since it’s only in the recent years that blogging has suddenly become quite a bit more popular, the downloads per day in 2014 are significantly higher (think tens of thousands) than they were in 2003.
13. WordPress Is Most Popular With Business Websites
Of the top 1,000,000 sites in the world, the number of business sites (most popular with WordPress) powered by WordPress is five times the number of WordPress-managed news sites (least popular with WordPress).
This statistic is not all that surprising, as online marketing circles will often discuss WordPress more than any other CMS out there. WordPress also ranks high as one of the most blogged topics in the online marketing niche and nearly all its keywords have very high PPC competition.
14. Akismet Is the Most Popular Plugin
Of all the 19,000 free plugins available for download, Akismet has received the most downloads. The main reason for this is that Akismet comes auto-installed with the newer versions of WordPress.
Akismet has been downloaded a total of 18 million times, a truly mind-blowing figure. The spam protection plugin alone has been responsible for close to .06% of all plugin downloads at WordPress.org. The All in One SEO Pack from Michael Tolbert comes in at a very close second, with a total of 17 million downloads. In third place, with 14 million downloads, is Contact Form 7, another familiar name to most bloggers.
The statistics that make WordPress the world’s most popular CMS are truly mind-numbing.
In its eleven short years of its existence, WordPress had dominated the CMS market. From what we can tell, it isn’t going anywhere, either.