CMS Market Share Insights for Strategic Web Development
Interested in the latest data on CMS market share, and how the CMS market is trending? You’re in the right place.
There are more than 78 million live websites today, across the entire internet. A huge number of these websites are powered by a content management system, or CMS.
From WordPress to Shopify to Joomla, these platforms are the infrastructure behind the internet as we know it today. Keep reading to learn more, with all you need to know about CMS market share in 2023.
What Are the Most Popular CMS Platforms by Market Share?
As is has been for some time, WordPress is the overwhelming leader when it comes to CMS market share. It holds nearly two thirds of the total CMS market share today, leaving the rest to fight for second place.
Despite the dominance of WordPress, the CMS market is still very diverse, with a large spread of different platforms behind the remaining one third of the market. That’s in addition to the 33% of websites that don’t use a content management system (hand-coded with HTML or another programming language).
Check out the top content management systems in the latest CMS market share data in the table below:
Breaking Down the Top 5 CMS Platforms
Let’s look a little closer at the most popular content management systems by market share today.
WordPress market share: 64.3%
WordPress is, and has been for a long time, the internet's most popular CMS platform. It's free, open-source, and maintained by a huge community of developers.
The reason WordPress' market share is so large is its mix of flexibility, scalability, and low learning curve. It’s fairly simple for anyone to build a website using WordPress, regardless of whether or not they have any technical ability or coding knowledge.
There's a huge variety to be found in all the websites running on WordPress, from ecommerce sites to news sites to business websites, including sites as high-profile as Microsoft News, TechCrunch and TIME.
Learn more: how to convert a WordPress website into mobile apps with MobiLoud.
Shopify market share: 6.2%
Shopify is one of the newer players on the CMS market, relatively speaking. Though it was founded in 2006, just a few years after WordPress, it’s only really taken off with the boom in ecommerce of the last 5-10 years.
Today it’s the most popular CMS that’s dedicated to ecommerce. Like WordPress, it makes it easy for non-technical people to build a professional and functional website. However, it does so with a specific focus on the tools needed to run online stores.
Millions of ecommerce websites across 175 countries use Shopify, due to the way the platform holds your hand through building an online store. Things like product collections, blogging features, and the backend tools you need to manage orders are all built in to the platform.
Like WordPress, Shopify also has an extensive range of third-party apps, plugins and themes that allow anyone to publish a powerful website, while also allowing you to make edits to your site’s code should you want or need to.
Learn more: building mobile apps with Shopify.
Wix market share: 3.4%
Wix is a website builder that’s positioned more towards beginner site owners. It comes with a drag and drop editor to use to design the front-end of your site, along with built-in templates and modules that you just fill in with your website content.
Compared to WordPress, Wix has a shorter learning curve, and does more to help you get set up. You don’t need to figure out how to host your site, how to connect a domain to your site, find the right themes or plugins, or spend as long customizing your site design within your chosen theme. Everything’s baked into the platform, and comes with templates that let you get started much quicker.
The payoff is you don’t have the flexibility you would have with open-source content management systems like WordPress (or Joomla), so you may run into issues when scaling your website. Wix is also a paid CMS, with plans ranging from $4.50 to $35 per month.
Squarespace market share: 3.0%
Squarespace is another beginner-focused website builder along the same lines as Wix. It’s template-based, with visual website building tools and built-in functionality to let you build and publish a website in minutes.
Squarespace has a lot of the same pros and cons as all website builders. Compared to Wix, it’s a bit more feature-rich. It’s more expensive than Wix as well, and caters more towards professional websites, whereas Wix tends to be a better fit for individuals, small ecommerce businesses, and personal blogs.
Further reading: convert your Squarespace site to a mobile app.
Joomla market share: 2.5%
The final member of the top 5 CMS market share is Joomla.
Like WordPress, Joomla is an open-source CMS, completely free to use. It’s been around for a long time, first released in 2005, and has been one of the most popular CMS platforms by market share for much of this time.
Joomla offers a ton of flexibility, and scalability. Compared to WordPress - its most direct competitor - Joomla is a little more complicated, and takes some time to get your head around on the back end. It also doesn’t boast the same breadth of plugins, themes and third-party tools that WordPress does.
There are still a number of extensions, templates and more tools built for Joomla, albeit not on the scale of WordPress. This may be enough for those who prefer the experience and community that Joomla offers, over that of WordPress.
Related: converting a Joomla site to mobile apps for iOS and Android.
CMS Market Share Trends
How about the current trends in the CMS landscape? How has the CMS market share changed over the last 10 years, and how does it project to change in the future?
This data shows the change in some of the key players since 2013:
Let’s look at some key takeaways from the CMS market share numbers of the last 10 years.
WordPress’ Market Share Continues to Grow
There continues to be one big winner in the CMS market share: WordPress.
While there are other platforms that have grown over the last 10 years, none have captured as much additional market share as WordPress.
It remains the best all-round platform to build a website with. While there is a slight learning curve, and it’s a little more time and effort-intensive than website builders like Wix and Squarespace, the pros of WordPress far outweigh the cons.
It’s also due to the community-driven nature of WordPress that it continues to grow. As more people pile into the community, and more resources go into it, it’s hard to justify the choice to go with other similar CMS platforms. Hence why it's really the only open source CMS people use today.
With so much value delivered from these plugins, themes, and WordPress tools - from website builder plugins like Elementor, to tools that let you convert your site to mobile apps - it appears that WordPress’ dominance is just going to continue.
Despite WordPress controlling approximately ⅔ of the total CMS market share, there is room for new players, the data says.
Shopify is the most notable one, coming from virtually nowhere 10 years ago, to now be the #2 CMS by market share. Squarespace and Wix have also come from very little usage, to now take places in the top 5.
That these three are the biggest movers, outside of WordPress, shows there is demand for more template-based website builders, catered more towards beginners who want to build a site quick and easy. A number of other similar tools come just outside the top 10 in CMS market share as well, such as Weebly and GoDaddy website builder.
It also shows the rise of ecommerce sites, particularly in the case of Shopify's emergence on the scene.
Whether these platforms will continue to gain ground is up for debate, however. They have competition from a number of WordPress website builders, such as Elementor, WP Bakery and Divi, as well as WordPress themes that offer visual site-building capabilities. These tools offer a lot of what you get with Wix and Squarespace, with fewer limitations.
Decline of Joomla and Drupal
The biggest “losers” in market share are Joomla and Drupal, which collectively held around 17% market share a decade ago. Now, they make up less than 5%.
Both are free, community-driven, open-source CMS platforms, in the same vein as WordPress. With that knowledge, it’s not hard to see the reason for their decline. These platforms are only as strong as the community behind them, and the resources the community puts into maintaining the platform and building out additional resources.
It’s difficult to see a recovery for content management systems like Drupal and Joomla. As the WordPress community grows, its value over these platforms will continue to grow as well, and very soon there may be seldom few websites remaining that operate on a non-WordPress CMS.
The Rise of the CMS as a Whole
Another piece of data we can look at is the historical trends of CMS platforms and websites running with no CMS or website builder.
This data shows that non-CMS sites also happen to be dying out. A decade ago, over 70% of websites had no CMS. These would have been websites completely written in code, with all content uploaded directly to the hosting server, rather than uploaded through a content management system.
Even for skilled developers, building your whole site this way (especially if it requires constant updates, such as with a blog, news site or ecommerce site), is a huge, unnecessary time-sink. Hence the rise of the CMS.
Today, approximately 33% of websites still run with no CMS. But that number is now less than WordPress’ overall market share (43%), and a sharp decline from where it was 10 years prior.
Ecommerce Market Share
One more angle we can look at is the CMS market share for online stores.
While the overall CMS market share is dominated by a single player, the ecommerce space is a lot more even. See the top players below:
Shopify, which is designed specifically for ecommerce stores, is the leader. It's slightly ahead of Wix, and WordPress-based WooCommerce.
Learn more: the best ecommerce mobile app builders on the market today.
If you’re planning to launch a website, you’re probably going to want to use a content management system, or CMS. It’s fair to say the CMS market has revolutionized the internet, in letting just about anyone launch and run a website, without writing a single line of code.
WordPress has held the largest CMS market share basically the entire time that content management systems have been around, and this does not look like changing any time soon. The ease of use, flexibility and community behind WordPress makes it hard to justify many of the competitors. However, site builders such as Wix and Squarespace, and ecommerce powerhouse Shopify, continue to hang around and offer alternatives to WordPress.