Updated October 18, 2016 to include the latest numbers. The original was published on November 7, 2014.
There’s no denying that WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. What started off as a personal project is now an integral part of the internet’s architecture, powering hundreds of millions of websites.
While you’re probably already familiar with the CMS, there might be some things about WordPress that you are yet not aware of. The following statistics on WordPress usage will shine a light on how popular the platform actually is and might give even hardened WordPress veterans reason to pause and say “Really?”
Ready to be baffled? Then just read on.
WordPress Usage Statistics That Will Make Your Jaw Drop
As we are sure you will soon agree, the stats below are nothing if not impressive. To paint as accurate a picture as possible, we tried to include the most current statistics. If not stated otherwise, all numbers are from 2016.
1. WordPress powers almost 27 percent of the entire internet.
As already stated in the beginning, WordPress is by far the most popular CMS on the web. However, you might not be aware just how popular the platform has become.
First of all, its market share among all content management systems is close to 60 percent. What’s more, its closest competitor Joomla (here is a comparison of the two CMS) is used by only 6.3 percent. Yes, that’s the second most popular content management system in the world!
The bigger surprise, however, and by far the most impressive WordPress usage statistic is that 26.9 percent of all websites on the web now use WordPress. With more than one billion websites online today, I’ll let you do the math how many sites in total that is. I know, I was as surprised as you are!
2. WordPress sites around the world publish 24 posts per second.
You read that right. In 2016, blogs that are part of the WordPress network (meaning blogs hosted either on WordPress.com or externally-hosted WordPress sites that have the Jetpack plugin installed) published on average 24 blog posts per second. That comes down to 1,481 blog posts per minute, 88,888 in an hour and just above 2.13 million per day. And that’s not counting those sites for which WordPress cannot collect any statistics.
To get a better impression of what this looks like, WordPress.com offers a map that lets you see updates around the world in real-time. You can find it here.
3. WordPress sites receive 22.17 billion monthly pageviews.
It appears that all of that activity is paying off, resulting in massive traffic. For this year alone, blogs in the WordPress network have garnered a combined average of 22.17 billion pageviews per month. That’s three times as many as there are people on the planet! Let that sink in for a minute.
4. WordPress blogs receive 46.6 million comments per month.
And man are those visitors a talkative bunch. Each month of this year produced on average 46.6 million comments. Looks like there are some fierce discussions going on out there. Plus, these are legitimate comments, which made it through the spam protection, mind you.
If the Akismet stats are any indication, the number of spam comments generated at the same time is about 30 times higher. That means besides the legitimate comments WordPress blogs receive every month, they get bombarded by 1.4 billion spammers at the same time. Jeez!
5. There are 2.7 million global monthly searches for WordPress.
Seeing the amount of data WordPress.com alone can handle, it is unsurprising that WordPress is so popular and continues to garner attention. The platform’s growing esteem is also reflected in its Google searches.
In the United States alone, “WordPress” as a keyword receives 450,000 search requests every month. Globally that number is up to 2.7 million. That’s not even taking into account people looking for “WordPress templates,” “WordPress plugins,” and other WordPress-centric information. Overall, WordPress-related terms (including those for “wp,” a common abbreviation for WordPress) receive somewhere between 10 and 100 million global searches every month.
As for how the platform stacks up agains its competitors: Google Trends sees WordPress 5.5 times more popular than Joomla and almost nine times more in demand than Drupal. Seems like the WordPress usage statistics will only continue to grow.
6. WordPress 4.6 has been downloaded 21.7 million times.
However, thanks to the large community and the work of a multitude of volunteer contributors, that number is sufficient even for the development of WordPress’ self-hosted variety. The latest iteration alone, WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”, has been downloaded 21.7 million times and counting.
7. Only around 40 percent of WordPress sites are up to date.
In the past, WordPress has often made headlines due to hacked sites and security concerns, something which its makers try hard to address quickly with new and improved versions (for more security measures, learn how WordPress sites get hacked and what to do about it).
However, not all WordPress users share this approach. While download numbers for the latest version are impressive, overall there are a lot of outdated sites running with WordPress out there. W3tech states that only a little more than a 40 percent (40.8 percent) have updated to version 4.6.
The picture which WordPress.org paints is much the same. According to their data, the percentage of WordPress users running their site on the latest version is 37.1 percent. This much improved since 2014 when that number was at just 11.4 percent, however, users should still learn why and how to update your WordPress site.
8. There are 72 translations of WordPress.
Alright, this might be by far the smallest number on the list, but its significance should not be underestimated. Thanks to the vast community and initiatives like the WordPress Global Translation Day, the number of languages which WordPress is available in is steadily growing. From Albanian, Dutch and Japanese all the way to Icelandic, Persian and even Scottish Gaelic, you can set your WordPress dashboard to (almost) any language you like.
In 2014, non-English downloads already surpassed English downloads, a number that has likely increased in the two years since. That means, by now many plugins and features first appear in another language and are translated into English instead of the other way around.
This focus on multi-language support opens up opportunities for WordPress users worldwide. Plus, don’t worry if your preferred language is not available yet (though what more than Scottish Gaelic can you want?), WordPress contributors are constantly working on expanding the list of WordPress translations. Of course, contributions from other users (like you) are always welcome!
9. There are more than 47,000 WordPress plugins.
One of the main reasons WordPress is ahead of many other platforms is its extendability. Plugins are available for all means and purposes. Whatever feature you would like on your website, in most cases you will find a plugin which can do just that.
WordPress.org’s plugin database recently surpassed 47,000. While this is a far cry from the online stores of Apple and Google, almost 1.5 billion downloads are still reason to celebrate.
10. Akismet is still the #1 downloaded plugin.
It’s not easy to come out as the winner in a field of 47,000 contenders. Yet with more than 52 million downloads, Akismet, the popular spam protection plugin, has done just that. However, the fact that it is pre-installed in every newer WordPress build might be a factor.
On second place we currently find Contact Form 7 (42 million downloads) and third Yoast SEO (34 million downloads), two other WordPress household names. The top three plugins make up for about 0.9 percent of total plugin downloads from the WordPress directory.
11. 89 WordCamps in 34 countries with more than 21,000 participants in 2015.
With WordPress steadily on the rise, it’s no surprise that the WordPress community is also steadily growing. Probably, nothing exemplifies this more than the increasing number of WordCamps in the world.
In 2015 we saw 89 WordCamps organized in 34 countries on all six continents. Over 21,000 tickets were sold and people were able to watch more than 1,600 unique speakers on stage. Especially Europe saw a huge increase in the number of WordCamps. With 29 WordCamps in 2015, the number almost doubled.
If you are interested to see if we will see another increase this year, can check the list of upcoming WordCamps.
By the way, those numbers aren’t even counting the numerous WordPress meetups happening allover the world. Plus, if you are interested in learning more about WordCamps read our report from WordCamp Europe 2016 as well as WordCamp Berlin 2015.
12. 25 percent of WordPress users make a full-time living off of the CMS.
An interesting tidbit from the “State of the Word” 2014 was that a full quarter of the people who answered the WordPress survey make a full time living off of the CMS. That’s quite impressive!
If you combine this information with a 2012 survey which found that the median hourly rate of WordPress projects is $50, you don’t have to worry too much that WordPress developers are starving by the roadside.
13. WordPress is most popular with businesses, least popular with news sites
Among the top one million websites in the world, the lion’s share of those powered by WordPress are related to business. They greatly outnumber news sites, where the usage of WordPress is least popular.
Given the fact that the online marketing world raves about WordPress, this is not all that surprising. The content management system is among the topics marketers most love to blog about. Keywords related to WordPress also tend to have very high competition in search engine advertising.
WordPress is taking the online world by storm. The importance of the platform is increasing with every year as more and more people use it as their go-to solution for building websites. Currently there is no end in sight and no reason why this development shouldn’t continue. If you ever asked yourself whether investing in your WordPress skills is a waste of time, you can put these doubts safely to rest.
What other interesting stats about WordPress have you read or heard of? Did any of these WordPress usage statistics surprise you? Let us know in the comment section below.