WordPress Market Share Surge - What's Driving the Growth?
In the content management system (CMS) market, one player is well ahead of the pack - WordPress. But just how dominant is WordPress’ market share today? How many WordPress websites are there? And are there any legitimate contenders to WordPress as the market leader?
Despite the rise of several beginner-friendly site building platforms, and dedicated platforms for ecommerce, WordPress’ market share just keeps going up, taking up the majority of the CMS market, as well as powering nearly half of the internet all together.
Read on to learn more fascinating data about the dominance of WordPress today.
Key WordPress Statistics:
- WordPress' CMS Market Share: 64.3%
- Number of websites using WordPress: over 35 million
- Total Market Share (including sites with no CMS): 43%
- WordPress' Market Share (top 1 million websites): 29.13%
- WordPress' Market Share - increase/decrease, last ten years: +10% (54.3% - 64.3%)
- WooCommerce Market Share (of ecommerce platforms): 25%
WordPress Powers 43% of the Internet
Data from w3techs.com shows that 43% of all the websites on the internet run on WordPress.
That equates to over 35 million sites using WordPress.
This is more than just the CMS market share. 33% of websites have no content management system (or at least don’t run on one of the many known CMS platforms). These websites are either manually coded, or use some kind of private, custom-built CMS.
The fact that WordPress websites make up nearly half of the internet just shows you how dominant it is in the market.
Learn more: have a WordPress site you want to convert to an app? Check out the best WordPress Mobile App Builders, and do it with zero coding.
WordPress Market Share vs Other Top CMS
So, how about WordPress’ market share versus other content management systems?
If we take out the 33% of sites that don’t run on any known CMS, WordPress is even further ahead, with 64.3% market share.
That’s nearly two-thirds of the entire market, occupied by WordPress sites. The next highest competitor is not close; Shopify, which has 6.2% of the market.
Direct competitors to WordPress as free, open-source, community-driven CMS platforms are even further behind, as Joomla and Drupal occupy less than 5% market share combined.
The table below shows where WordPress sites stack up against other popular CMS platforms today:
WordPress Sub-Platforms & Their Market Share
The biggest competition to WordPress today is from ecommerce platforms like Shopify, and site builders like Wix and Squarespace.
However, there are a number of WordPress plugins and other tools within the WordPress ecosystem, which accomplish very similar things - such as WooCommerce for ecommerce sites, and Elementor’s site builder.
How much of the WordPress's market share is spread across these tools? The following data shows:
- WooCommerce 20.3%
- Elementor 17.8%
- WP Bakery 14.1%
- Beaver Builder 1.0%
- Other 42.8%
How Many of the Internet’s Top Sites Run on WordPress?
Of WordPress’ market share, how heavily is this weighted towards small-scale or large-scale sites? How many of WordPress' users are large sites, versus individual bloggers and small businesses? Can a WordPress website work for a large business?
The market share is comparatively lower when we get into the top 10k, 100k or 1m live websites today. However, WordPress is still the biggest player, with approximately 30% market share for each of these segments.
See the data below (via BuiltWith):
An interesting takeaway from the data is that Shopify, Wix and Squarespace - the leading competitors in overall CMS market share - are nowhere to be found in the list of top 1 million/100k/10k websites, indicating the bulk of these platforms’ popularity is with beginners or small to medium-sized businesses.
On the other hand, there are some platforms that have a large piece of the top sites’ market share, but occupy less than 0.1% of the overall market share, as you can see from the data for the top 10k live websites:
Drupal also makes an appearance - the only CMS in the top 5 for this segment, other than WordPress, that also features in the top 10 overall platforms by market share.
Trends: Is WordPress’ Market Share Increasing or Declining?
WordPress is the big leader in terms of CMS market share today. But which way is it trending? Can we expect WordPress to keep increasing in market share, or are new players like Shopify going to take over?
Yearly trends show that WordPress’ market share is steadily increasing - from 54.3% in 2012, to 64.3% in 2022.
This indicates WordPress will continue to be the biggest player in the CMS market. However, it is worth noting that WordPress has mostly gained market share on like-for-like competitors - free, open-source content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.
Shopify, Squarespace and Wix, all of which offer a point of difference to WordPress, have also emerged from having little to no usage 10 years ago. It may be reasonable to assume that these platforms will take some additional market share from WordPress in the coming years.
Trends: WordPress’ Total Market Share (All Websites)
Looking at the yearly trends including websites with no CMS detected, the increase in popularity of WordPress is even more significant. A decade ago, 71% of websites were hand-coded, and only 15.8% of the internet ran on WordPress.
Today, as WordPress powers 43% of the internet, its market share has almost tripled.
Related Article: the best WordPress Mobile Plugins to build a responsive cross-platform WordPress site
What Are WordPress’ Biggest Competitors in the CMS Market?
Let’s take a look at the most popular content management systems other than WordPress, and how they compare.
The clear 2nd most popular CMS platform today is Shopify. Built for online stores, it’s more focused than WordPress, and more beginner-friendly.
The tradeoff is a little less flexibility, as well as the fact that you need to pay a subscription to use it, unlike WordPress, which is free (outside of the cost of web hosting services and a domain name).
Shopify is never going to be the #1 in CMS market share, since it’s a specialized ecommerce platform. You’re not going to run your blog or a professional (non-ecommerce) website on Shopify. However, it does offer a more user-friendly alternative for online stores, along with an ever-growing market of third-party apps, plugins and themes to help you build a professional store with no coding.
Learn more: building mobile apps with Shopify.
The big rise in the last 10 years has been in site-building platforms, such as Wix. A little different to an open-source CMS like WordPress, these platforms are designed more for absolute beginners, designed to make it quick and easy for anyone to launch a website.
With millions of sites running on Wix, it’s clear there is a market for alternative web hosting platforms. However, the lack of flexibility and scalability with Wix websites is likely to hold it back from really challenging WordPress, and is why its market share declines among the top 1 million websites.
Squarespace offers a very similar value proposition to Wix, and occupies a very similar market share as well.
Like Wix, it has many of the same pros and cons. It’s a more structured way to build a website, which is good for beginners, and it comes with some built-in tools to help online stores get up and running.
While the demand for visual site builders like Squarespace and Wix may increase in the coming years, it’s not likely to come close to WordPress’ market share. Not only is WordPress more flexible, more scalable and better for SEO (search engine optimization), it has a lot of tools that do the same things Wix and Squarespace do.
With WordPress themes, you have ready-made templates that require no coding to look great. The WordPress plugin repository has nearly 60,000 plugins available to handle almost any kind of functionality you might want. And furthermore, page builders like Elementor and WP Bakery offer site-building features, as do some popular WordPress themes.
Further reading: convert your Squarespace site to a mobile app.
The other WordPress competitor worth mentioning is Joomla.
Unlike Shopify, Wix and Squarespace, Joomla is not a new player on the market. It’s been around nearly as long as WordPress, and is built in much the same way. Like WordPress, Joomla is a free, open-source platform, built and maintained by its community.
Also like WordPress, it offers value in its flexibility and scalability. There’s a market of third-party plugins, themes and tools for Joomla, though not nearly as large as the market for WordPress plugins and tools.
Compared to WordPress, Joomla has a bigger learning curve, and is not quite as intuitive, especially for non-developers. That’s likely the reason that its market share has declined over the years - dropping from 10.9% market share in 2012 to just 2.5% today; most of which has been taken over by WordPress.
Related: converting a Joomla site to mobile apps for iOS and Android.
WooCommerce Market Share
We’ve established that Shopify is the biggest competitor today to WordPress as a CMS. But how does this compare to WooCommerce, the most popular ecommerce plugin within the WordPress platform?
Across the entire internet, WooCommerce makes up 25% of all ecommerce websites, according to data from BuiltWith, putting it 2nd in terms of ecommerce website market share.
It’s ahead, however, if you consider the top 1 million ecommerce websites, with 26% versus Shopify’s 20%.
Get a deeper look in the data below, with WooCommerce vs Shopify and other ecommerce platforms.
In the top 1 million, platforms like Wix and Squarespace again drop off, while new players such as Magento and OpenCart emerge:
Related: easily convert your WooCommerce site to mobile apps with a WooCommerce App Builder.
The number of websites powered by WordPress today shows it's still the dominant force in the CMS market.
Its market share is only growing, as the number of sites built without a known CMS has dropped considerably.
Today there is very little competition from similar open-source CMS platforms, such as Joomla and Drupal. These users appear to have flocked to WordPress, which boasts a significantly more active community, with more tools, plugins and themes built for WordPress than any other platform.
The only competition today comes from site building platforms, such as Shopify, Wix and Squarespace. While these sites offer a decent alternative for beginners with no previous experience creating websites, the figures from the top sites on the internet show that big companies don’t want to build their online presence on platforms like these.
Will WordPress continue to be the #1 name in the CMS market? All signs point to yes.