We live in an increasingly digitized and technologically-driven world. Even content creators and business owners must integrate themselves into the everchanging online landscape to stay relevant and become successful. Thus, content management systems (CMS) have become incredibly popular, as it allows users to create, edit, and publish their own web content.
There is arguably no other CMS more successful than WordPress, the free open-source system created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. With the help of thousands of open-source contributors, WordPress has grown to become the popular choice for bloggers, businesses, and even the White House.
In this article, we take a look at key WordPress statistics that are absolutely imperative to know. These numbers will give you broader insights into WordPress and its various components to help you decide how best to utilize it for your purposes.
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Over nearly two decades, WordPress has cultivated a vibrant community of open-source contributors and daily users. Its usage is not limited to just bloggers and small businesses, as media conglomerates, government institutions, and news outlets are currently using WordPress to power their sites. Its high usage is represented in its large market share, as the system regularly pulls in new users.
In this section, we take a look at the numbers to see how prominent WordPress is based on its current usage and market presence.
- WordPress sites account for 32% of the entire Web. (Techjury)
- As the most popular CMS, WordPress represents about 59% of all CMS-build sites. (Techjury)
- When compared to other CMS providers such as Wix (which has over 3.8 million active sites) and Squarespace (2.2 million live sites), WordPress remains on top with more than 27 million active sites. (WebsiteSetup)
- It currently powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites, including the New York Times, TechCrunch, Spotify, the White House website, and BBC America. (whoishostingthis.com)
- There are about 17 blog posts published on WordPress per second. (Torque)
- There are 37 million global searches made for the term “WordPress” every single month. (Torque)
- Every month, there are 70 million new WP posts, which totals to about 2.75 million posts a day. (Hosting Tribunal)
- There are over 409 million people viewing over 20 billion WordPress pages each month, with 77 million new comments on all posts. (WordPress)
- WordPress takes care of 80-90% of Google’s crawling issues, meaning that WordPress takes care of SEO optimization. (Matt Cutts)
- As stated by Automattic, WordPress is more visited than Twitter with 163 million unique visitors per month – Twitter gets around 156 million unique visitors per month. (Automattic)
WordPress Plugin Statistics
Although those usage numbers for WordPress are impressive, they do not necessarily explain why people choose to use it so often. In the next two sections, we explore the reason WordPress is so popular among online content creators and business owners by concentrating on two aspects – plugins and themes.
Starting with plugins, these tools extend the basic functionality of the WordPress CMS by helping users personalize it for their specific needs. They can offer greater security for WordPress users, or provide them with tools that help their site’s presence on search engine results. There are a plethora of both free and paid plugins available on the market.
Taking a look at the statistics behind plugins, it’s easy to see why they’re so integral to WordPress users.
- There are over 55,000 plugins on the WordPress Plugin Directory. (WordPress)
- In data collected between April 15, 2016, to April 16, 2019, 18,262 plugins have been published. (ilovewp)
- 3% of those have never been updated. (ilovewp)
- Only 30 plugins published in those three years have more than 100,000 installations. (ilovewp)
- Classic Editor is the most installed plugin, with over 4 million active installations. (Kinsta)
- About 57% of plugins have never been rated, as in they have no reviews. (MatteoDuo)
- 76% of plugins have a homepage link. (MatteoDuo)
- Most popular plugins of all time include:
- Yoast SEO: often used by bloggers with WordPress, as it helps users increase SEO for their content, and currently has over 176 million downloads (Yoast SEO)
- Akismet: a plugin made by Automattic to block spam comments, Akismet currently has over 133 million downloads – it is able to catch about 5 million pieces of spam per hour. (Akismet)
- Jetpack: developed by Automattic, Jetpack helps you with marketing, design, and security, and has almost 120 million downloads. (Jetpack)
- Wordfence Security: With over 121 million downloads, this plugin adds a firewall to your site, increasing overall protection. (Wordfence)
- Woocommerce is one of the most widely used plugins, as the total number of downloads has reached 82,477,514. (Barn2)
- 26% of the top 1 million sites using eCommerce technologies utilize Woocommerce within their WordPress sites. (Barn2)
- Woocommerce currently has over 5 million active installations. (WordPress)
WordPress Theme Statistics
Themes on the other hand are a collection of templates and stylesheets that define the look, feel, and personality of any given WordPress site. Think of it as the decorative sheen over all the functionalities on your site.
But themes are not just a throwaway gimmick for WordPress users. There are thousands of free and paid themes, just like plugins. Appearance and first impressions are important for websites in the vast internet landscape.
First-time users can use the WordPress Theme Directory to find free default themes. If you have the budget for premium themes, marketplaces like Envato Market offer well-designed WordPress themes. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers.
- There are over 7743 themes on the WordPress website. (WordPress)
- On Envato Market, one of the most popular sites to purchase WordPress themes, there are dozens of designers regularly using the marketplace who have sold over 9 million visitors per month. (Kinsta)
- There are more than 1,100 WordPress themes on Envato Market, with 70% of searches centered around niche themes. (Envato Elements)
- The mean average cost of a theme is $57.54, while the median and mode of all theme prices landed around $59. (codeinwp)
- If you decide to create your own custom WordPress website design, expect to spend anywhere between $500 to $52,800. (Kinsta)
Evolution of WordPress
It would be an understatement to say that WordPress has changed over time, as the years of online contributors bolstering the service’s functionality has made it one of the most robust CMS on the market.
WordPress continues to update its services, constantly releasing updates. For potential users, these statistics are important to consider because it outlines how well WordPress is supported, and how compatible it is for specific users.
- As of August 2020, only 20% of users have updated to the current WordPress version. (WordPress)
- Version 5.2 of WordPress has over 102,000,000 downloads. (displaywp)
- The average time frame for WordPress to release a major update is every 150 days. (codeinwp)
- WordPress is available in 196 languages. (WordPress)
- English is generally used the most, and has been used to write 71% of all WordPress content. (WordPress)
Automattic is often referred to as the company behind WordPress. Some may say that that is an oversimplification of how WordPress works, as thousands of open source contributors regularly add to the project.
Nevertheless, Automattic is integral to the success of WordPress and has developed supplementary programs and plugins for the CMS. These statistics give an idea of the company’s body of work, as well as their overall worth.
- Automattic is the company known for being behind WordPress and other companies such as Woocommerce, Jetpack, and Akismet. (Automattic)
- Automattic was valued at $1.16 billion in 2014. (Wall Street Journal)
- They currently employ 873 people, many of whom are working remotely from all over the world. (Wall Street Journal)
WordPress Security Statistics
WordPress is generally known to have tight security, but it remains one of the most vulnerable CMS due to its sheer popularity. Therefore, it’s not immune to data breaches or invasions.
The following statistics provide an overview of WordPress security metrics by illustrating the most common forms of invasions and their most common causes.
- In 2011, nearly 18 million WordPress users had their sites compromised due to an attack, making it the worst security breach in its existence. (skilled.co)
- The most common WordPress malware infections are backdoors, drive-by downloads, pharma hacks, malicious redirects, and stolen passwords. (Smashing Magazine)
- In 2018, Sucuri, a company behind a popular security plugin, reported that 90% of its cleanup requests were from clients using WordPress. (Sucuri)
- Sucuri reported that 44% of website hacks in 2018 were caused by outdated WordPress sites. (Sucuri)
- 41% of WordPress attacks happen because of vulnerability on the hosting platform. (wpwhitesecurity)
- 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities are related to WordPress plugins. (keycdn)
- 39% of WordPress vulnerabilities are because of cross-site scripting (XSS), while 37% are caused by exploitations of the WordPress core, and 11% of attacks are caused by WordPress themes. (iThemes)
- Cross-site scripting or XSS attacks account for 84% of all security vulnerabilities on the internet. (Acunetix)
WordPress Community Statistics
Over the years, WordPress has inspired thousands of developers and other frequent users of the program to form a community based on helping others become familiar with the software and providing new updates.
These communities are composed of people of different ages, race, ethnicity, and technical backgrounds, and even inspired fundraising events all in the name of WordPress. Here are some statistics to get a better understanding of WordPress communities.
- WordCamps are not-for-profit events organized by volunteers around the globe. (WordCamp)
- There have been 990 WordCamps in 73 cities, in 65 countries, across 6 continents. (WordCamp)
- WP Campus has 1365 members in over 686 institutions. (WP Campus)
- Pressnomics is a WordPress community event holding charity fundraising opportunities that have raised over $50,000 (Pressnomics)
WordPress Career Statistics
In case you were interested in building a career out of developing WordPress themes, plugins, or other functionality, you might be in luck.
On top of its vibrant community, there are numerous opportunities for designers, developers, and other professionals to earn money through WordPress. Let’s take a look at the numbers behind WordPress career paths.
- The national average salary for a WordPress Developer is $76,526 in the United States. (Glassdoor)
- The average WordPress theme developer salary ranges depending on the exact title – WordPress Developers earn approximately $61,582 a year, while Front End Developers annually earn up to $108,816. (Indeed)
- Hosting companies like WP Engine passed $132 million in annual recurring revenue in 2019. (Hosting Journalist)
- Half of all WordPress theme makers on Envato Market make at least $1000 per month, while an additional 5% earn over $10,000 per month. (Winning WP)
- Less than 4% of all themes available on Envato Market have sold for less than $1000 in total revenue. (Winning WP)
- WordPress developers charge anywhere between $20 to $100 per hour, as the lower end of the spectrum is represented by creators from countries with lower wages. (Kinsta)
WordPress Development Costs
Because WordPress is free to download, the cost of building a site comes down to everything involved with setting it up and personalizing its features. Some of the best themes and plugins available usually can vary in price, but purchasing the domain name and various security programs are also important to consider when analyzing the cost of a WordPress site.
Here are some basic statistics regarding WordPress development costs.
- A domain name costs around $12 a year. (WebsiteBuilderExpert)
- Depending on whether you want to host using WordPress, WP Pro, or WooCommerce, hosting plans range in price from $2.95 a month to $49.95 a month if you use sites like Bluehost. (WebsiteBuilderExpert)
- Custom themes are often sought after for specific looks – they can range in price from about $1,500 to $10,000 depending on whether a user wants built-in features or plugins. (WP Beginner)
- Plugins, depending on the service and premiums that a user adds, can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,000 a year. (WP Beginner)
- Security plugins such as WordFence and iThemes run at around $99 and $52 a year respectively, though they offer free versions. (QuickSprout)
WordPress Maintenance Statistics
It’s easy to believe that once a WordPress site is set up with all the right plugins, themes, and security, to just leave it to run by itself. Although that would be nice, oftentimes WordPress sites need constant maintenance to keep it running smoothly. That might mean checking for updates for themes and plugins, as well as for spam and other factors that can slow down your site.
Here are some statistics pertinent to WordPress maintenance.
- Most recommend updating plugins and themes at least once a month, or every 30 days. (Gregory J. Development)
- 49% of WordPress users whose sites were infected with viruses had outdated plugins and themes at the time of the hack. (Sucuri)
- Programs that check whether a site is down can run tests as often as every 5 minutes on any given day. (WP Beginner)
- 35% of WordPress users use “weak” passwords that leave their sites open to invasions. (WP White Security)
Leveraging WordPress Statistics
As the world’s most popular CMS, the popularity of WordPress is only likely to increase. Its diverse functionality and customizability make it an accessible and robust tool for building the right website for content creators, businesses, and the like. It can also open up avenues for designers and web developers to start their own careers because of the vibrant community that facilitates the sharing of themes and plugins.
The key to leveraging the many benefits of WordPress, you have to construct your own strategy. What do you want to do with your site, and how do you want to accomplish it? WordPress offers a plethora of customization options, but only you can decide how to make those work for you and your site. Let WordPress work for you by finding out what works best.
- https://yoast.com/; https://akismet.com/; https://jetpack.com/; https://www.wordfence.com/