WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) online today. This open-source platform has been helping web designers build gorgeous websites since 2003.
While the software started as a blog publishing platform, it has grown far beyond personal websites. Hundreds of thousands of (if not more) businesses and organizations around the world rely on the CMS to run their websites.
The internet has changed a lot in almost 20 years, so we’re taking a closer look at WordPress’s market share and the big websites that use WordPress.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How big is WordPress market share?
- WordPress’s market share
- Big companies and bloggers alike use WordPress.com
- Big websites using WordPress
- Is WordPress expected to maintain its position as the leading CMS on the internet?
- Trends: Is WordPress market share increasing or declining?
- Who Are WordPress’s Biggest Competitors in the CMS Market?
How big is WordPress market share?
WordPress has an estimated CMS market share of 63.0% in 2024
While it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how many websites are running at any given moment, one source estimates approximately 455 million websites worldwide run on WordPress.
Built With estimates at least 28,183,000 live websites currently run the software, including over 36% of the top 10,000 high-traffic websites.
WordPress has a dominating lead over its competition. W3 Techs’ 2021 data shows WordPress powers over 42% of websites online today. For websites running a CMS, that share is over 65%. Their closest competitor, Shopify, runs on fewer than 4.5% of websites.
WordPress is more popular than all other CMSs combined. That can be attributed in part to their dedication to keeping their software open source.
The program has been improved countless times over the years by thousands of users. Each addition has created a system that allows for complete control of your content. WordPress is easy to install and customize.
Big companies and bloggers alike use WordPress.com
The pricing options available on WordPress.com encompass a spectrum, offering users a selection that ranges from a freemium plan, albeit with more restricted features compared to alternative free website builders, to e-commerce plans suitable for small businesses. At the upper echelon of their offerings lies the WordPress VIP service, a hosting solution designed to meet the demands of large enterprises.
Notably, WordPress.com boasts an impressive clientele that includes renowned entities such as CNN, Spotify, People, TIME, Microsoft, and The Rolling Stones. In a strategic move, Microsoft opted to discontinue its Windows Live Spaces blogging service back in 2010 and opted for a partnership with WordPress.com.
Big websites using WordPress
Millions of users rely on WordPress. Some of the websites running the CMS may even surprise you:
- Whitehouse.gov — the official website of the White House has continued to use WordPress over the past few administrations. This government website is understandably focused on security and decided on a reliable CMS for that reason.
- Sony Music — one of the largest music companies in the world, Sony Music runs a sleek, modern website with WordPress. Sony uploads content from all their artists quickly to the website and showcases it with a simple design.
- Cisco — The networking giant runs its blogs on the WordPress platform, making it easy for multiple contributors to add new stories as needed. Cisco publishes hundreds of articles, so it needs a CMS that seamlessly handles the influx of content.
- TechCrunch.com — a billion-dollar technology news site that uses WordPress to share breaking news quickly. The website has a simple, easy-to-navigate layout and content optimized for search engines.
- Harvard University — One of the most trusted universities in the world runs its website with WordPress. They use its features for a variety of content, including multiple contact forms and animations with the service.
- Katy Perry — The pop superstar’s website runs videos, music and a store on WordPress. Eye-catching graphics load quickly to draw in users.
- Clorox — The publicly traded company also chose WordPress for its clean-looking website. Its design is classic and optimized for visitors.
- Rolling Stone — The music and pop culture magazine also uses WordPress for its website. They publish new video and graphic-heavy stories every day for thousands of readers.
And these are just a few of the million other websites using WordPress. These organizations have different reasons for choosing the platform, but the easy-to-use themes and plugin customization appeal to most users.
WordPress websites are easy to build with website builders too. That allows virtually anyone to edit their website like a pro.
Is WordPress expected to maintain its position as the leading CMS on the internet?
WordPress seems poised for continued growth, maintaining its agility and strong support as a well-established open-source product. Over the years, it has consistently demonstrated its ability to swiftly address bugs and security vulnerabilities, and there is no indication that this will change.
The integration of WooCommerce, a prominent e-commerce plugin acquired by Automattic in 2015, has played a pivotal role in WordPress’s ability to stay competitive and pertinent for online store owners. Notably, WooCommerce holds a substantial market share, solidifying its position in the competitive landscape.
In addition, WordPress.com, its associated hosting provider, is progressively approaching Wix.com, setting the stage for an intriguing competition in the forthcoming years.
The question of whether WordPress.com will ultimately surpass Wix.com as the leading site hosting service remains uncertain. However, it’s highly likely that WordPress’s enduring open-source design is here to stay, and time will be the ultimate judge of any potential shifts in popularity.
Trends: Is WordPress market share increasing or declining?
WordPress currently holds the top position globally in terms of CMS market share. The question that arises is the trajectory it is on. Will WordPress continue to uphold its dominance in the market, or might contenders like Shopify seize the throne?
Over the years, WordPress has exhibited substantial growth in market share, with a notable increase from 54.3% in 2012 to 64.3% in 2022. This trend strongly indicates that WordPress is poised to maintain its prevailing role in the CMS industry. It’s worth noting, however, that most of WordPress’s market share gains have come at the expense of similar competitors, specifically free, open-source content management systems such as Joomla and Drupal.
Conversely, platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix, which deviate from the WordPress model, have witnessed noteworthy growth, even from a minimal presence a decade ago. Consequently, it’s plausible that these platforms may pose a challenge to WordPress’s market share in the years to come.
Who Are WordPress’s Biggest Competitors in the CMS Market?
WordPress faces competition in the Content Management System (CMS) market from several prominent platforms. Here’s an overview of each competitor:
Type: Shopify is primarily an e-commerce platform, but it also offers website-building capabilities.
Strengths: Known for its user-friendly e-commerce features, including product management and online store setup.
Weaknesses: While strong in e-commerce, Shopify may not be as versatile for non-e-commerce websites.
Use case: Ideal for businesses looking to establish and manage online stores efficiently.
Read more about Shopify vs WooCommerce
Type: Wix is a website builder and hosting platform.
Strengths: Offers a wide range of templates, a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, and various add-on features.
Weaknesses: May have limitations for complex or highly customized websites.
Use case: Suited for individuals, small businesses, or anyone seeking an easy-to-use website builder.
Learn more about Wix vs WordPress
Type: Squarespace is a website builder and hosting service.
Strengths: Known for its elegant and visually appealing templates, excellent for creative professionals.
Weaknesses: It may have limitations for highly complex or custom websites.
Use case: Popular among artists, photographers, and creative professionals for showcasing portfolios.
Type: Joomla is an open-source content management system.
Strengths: Offers flexibility, extensibility, and robust community support for building a wide range of websites.
Weaknesses: May have a steeper learning curve compared to some other CMS platforms.
Use case: Suitable for web developers, businesses, and organizations looking for a versatile and customizable CMS.
While WordPress continues to dominate the CMS market with its vast user base, strong developer community, and versatility, each of these competitors has its unique strengths and caters to specific use cases. Businesses and individuals should assess their specific needs, technical expertise, and goals when choosing the most suitable CMS platform for their projects.
Common questions related to the market share of WordPress
WordPress is extensively used across various industries, but it is particularly dominant in sectors like blogging, small to medium-sized businesses, and eCommerce. Its versatility and ease of use make it a preferred choice for content creators, entrepreneurs, and online retailers.
The future of WordPress in the CMS market is promising, thanks to its continuous evolution and adaptability. Trends show an increasing shift towards block-based editors (like the Gutenberg editor), enhancing ease of use for non-technical users. There’s a growing emphasis on mobile responsiveness and accessibility, ensuring websites are user-friendly on all devices. Integration with emerging technologies like AI and machine learning for better SEO, personalization, and content management is also on the rise
The cost of running and maintaining a large website on WordPress with Bluehost can vary significantly based on several factors. Key expenses include hosting (shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, or WordPress hosting), premium themes and plugins, custom development, security measures (like SSL certificates and security plugins), and ongoing maintenance and support services.
Final thoughts: WordPress market share and the big websites using WordPress
WordPress is working on more websites than ever. The workhorse CMS appeals to backend developers and designers alike due to its flexibility and ease of use. Hundreds of large brands, NPOs, and organizations rely on the platform too.
To run a website on the software, you just need to install WordPress on your domain. You can easily do that with any Bluehost plan.Get started building your new website today with one of Bluehost’s WordPress-powered plans.