Did you know that at over half of websites that use content management systems use an open-source one? That’s right! Everyone from small bloggers to huge country-sized corporations use WordPress to manage their content.
The reach of WordPress goes far beyond its affiliated hosting service, WordPress.com.
Since its founding in 2003 WordPress has grown from a blogging tool to a full-on CMS that powers large swaths of the Internet. So exactly how many and which sites are built with WordPress? I’ve sifted through the data and here’s what I’ve found.
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Over a third (at least!) of the Web is built on WordPress
At the time of publication, WordPress is the platform for a full 38.2% of the top 10 million most visited websites in the world, according to the data from w3techs.com. It is worth noting that this includes all websites whether they use a CMS or not! Their nearest competitor Shopify is still a distant second powering only 2.8% of the sites sampled.
Among websites that do use a CMS, WordPress holds a full 63.5% of market share. This includes WordPress.com, which is a commercial hosting service running on a modified WordPress architecture.
What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
It’s easy to confuse the open-source platform of WordPress.org with the hosting service of WordPress.com. WordPress.com is just one of many, many web hosting services that are built on or offer WordPress support.
WordPress.com offers a somewhat simplified website builder to easily create websites more easily, while WordPress.org is a tool that is more customizable as you can access all of its code. You are also able to use any plugin in the WordPress repository and are free to choose any hosting company you like. But all that comes with a steeper learning curve. WordPress.com is owned by the company Automattic Inc. which also contributes to the WordPress open-source project.
Big companies and bloggers alike use WordPress.com
WordPress.com offers many pricing options ranging from a free plan with limited features to small business e-commerce plans to their WordPress VIP service which is a hosting service at an enterprise scale. CNN, Spotify, People, TIME, Microsoft, and The Rolling Stones are some of their most notable clients. In 2010 Microsoft shut down their Windows Live Spaces blogging service and began a partnership with WordPress.com
WordPress.org continues to grow in popularity
In the past five years, WordPress has grown from being used by 23.3% of the top 10 million most visited websites in the world to being used by 38.2, outpacing the growth of all of its competitors. The flexibility of large companies to either self-host a modified WordPress site, or use the enterprise services of WordPress.com make it far and away the largest CMS on the Internet and continues to keep growing.