Written by, Sandeep Kumar
Updated June, 21, 2021
WordPress is no stranger to the Internet and its users, and it is the most famous and broadly used CMS on the Internet.
WordPress is no stranger to the Internet and its users, and it is still the most famous and broadly used CMS (content management system) on the Internet. For those who aren’t familiar with WordPress—It’s ideal for developers, this is the ultimate tool for those building websites.
Though this free CMS was initially meant to be a blogging-publishing system, it eventually went on to be a support to various web content types (from forums to online stores).
And, this was just a brief intro to what’s coming up. Stay with us and learn the answer to questions like How many WordPress sites are there? Or, how many websites use WordPress? Also, we’ll explore their safety and take a little trip into the history of WordPress.
Let’s check out some of these hand-picked WordPress stats:
There are around 2 bn websites out there.
(Sources: Hosting Tribunal, Netcraft, WebsiteSetup)
Though, this number keeps on changing, and very fast. Still, it shouldn’t come as a surprise since more than 4 bn around the globe alter these numbers with their everyday online interaction. Yet, this is a rough estimation of the current situation in regards to websites.
That being said, let us remind you that more than a thousand websites are emerging during a day.
But, how many of them use WordPress? Let’s find out next.
Nearly 40% of all websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress.
(Sources: WordPress.com, CreativeMinds, Website ToolTester)
There is no definitive number of WordPress users because the number fluctuates and there are a lot of sites that are not active at all times. But the latest data published by Hosting Tribunal shows that WordPress powers around 40% of all the websites on the Internet. This means that more than 400 million websites use WordPress. And, Kinsta revealed that
WordPress’s market share is more than 60%.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it? But, how does WordPress attract so many users and businesses? Let’s see.
WordPress’s popularity is due to its flexibility and the ease that it offers in making various types of sites.
(Sources: WPBeginner, Plesk)
Whatever you’re thinking of WordPress, it would be wrong to regard it as a blogging tool only, because it grew to be much more than that. Apart from its flexibility and the ease with which you can create all sorts of websites, here are some more perks that chip into its popularity:
Now that we know why WordPress is so popular, let’s find out who its top users are.
More or less, 15 percent of the top 100 websites around the globe are powered by WordPress.
WordPress is used by as much as 15 percent of the world’s top 100 websites. That being said, it’s worth noting that number goes above 30 percent for the web’s top 1.000 websites.
Additionally, of the top 10.000, there are more than 2.500 websites powered by WordPress. Furthermore, over 22.000 websites (of the top 100.000) also use the platform.
We have a clue of WordPress’s top users, but are you curious to learn who uses it in general?
WordPress is a dream-developing tool for those who’d want to run a professional business and grow the same.
(Sources: WP Beginner, WP Beginner/ 6 Important Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress, Kinsta)
WordPress is of great value to anyone who wants to be in charge of things, i.e., of their product and services, anyone looking to expand their business; it’s also ideal for beginners since it is easy to go around and comes with straightforward instructions.
WordPress is open-source and free for that matter, you can control expenses, you are in charge of how simple or advanced your website needs to be, etc. And to achieve all these and much more, it comes with thousands of plugins to make things smoother and much simpler.
That being said, it occupies more or less 40% of all the websites (as mentioned earlier). Meaning, there are plenty of companies and brands that are using the perks WordPress offers.
For example, here is a small portion of some of those big names: The New Yorker, TechCrunch, Bloomberg Professional, BBC America, MTV News, and many more.
We’ve heard what percentage it occupies among the total number of sites worldwide, but, what do you think, is it a fast-growing CMS?
WordPress is growing with the speed of over 500 sites a day.
(Sources: W3Techs, Kinsta)
Imagine this: over 500 websites popping up every day, and more or less 17 blogs being created not every day, but every second—yes, WordPress won’t stop growing and it’s getting larger by the second. Furthermore, more than 400 million people are visiting 20+ bn WordPress pages. Hence, enriching WordPress with no less than 70 brand new posts and more than 70 million fresh-to-read comments. This is just a portion of what adds up to its rapid growth by the minute, or day.
Popular, fast-growing, and good for beginners and professionals. However, is it mobile-friendly?
WordPress offers numerous plugins that can enhance/convert your website into being mobile-friendly.
(Sources: Search Engine Journal, Digital.com, Search Engine Journal/6 Awesome WordPress Plugins, WP Engine, HubSpot)
Hard data on this isn’t an easy task to get done. But, Search Engine Journal published WordPress exceeds in numerous fields, including mobile efficacy, speed, and security. Even better, since WordPress is open-source, there are thousands of plugins that can give you the level of a mobile-friendly site that you wish for.
For instance, for enhancing your mobile responsiveness via WordPress plugins you can install any of the following:
In addition to the above mentioned, keep in mind that WordPress has many websites that have proven to be highly responsive and mobile-friendly. For example, eBay, SONY, and Best Buy.
WooCommerce helps run more than seventy million eCommerce shops.
(Sources: Hosting Tribunal, Kinsta, Barn2Plugins)
If you want to sell and place your goods or services via a WordPress website, then WooCommerce is your go-to plugin. Data provided by Hosting Tribunal unveil that this particular plugin is used by nearly 94 percent of the total WordPress eCommerce sites.
Furthermore, Barn2Plugins brings us closer to some interesting information— the WooCommerce plugin is installed by more than five thousand stores worldwide. And in addition to that, it is integrated into no less than 68.000 of the top million sites globally.
Let’s shed some light on WooCommerce usage.
The WooCommerce plugin has around 400.000 downloads via automatic updates, solely.
(Sources: Barn2Plugins, SaaS Scout, WordPress.org)
After a single update release, WooCommerce, automatically reaches more or less 400.000 downloads. This is a good way of keeping track of all the active users/stores.
Further data revealed that the highest number of WooCommerce downloads is a mind-blowing 474.000 in just ONE DAY!
Apart from this figure, there’s another high-end download figure of slightly more than 405.000, also achieved in just a day. Consequently, the number of total downloads is roughly more than 82.000.000 at the moment, and it won’t stop here.
WooCommerce accounts for nearly 30% of the top million sites that are using eCommerce tech.
(Sources: Barn2Plugins, BuiltWith)
Following the recent information provided by BuiltWith, we find out that WooCommerce occupies around 30 percent of the high top million websites that employ eCommerce tech (2021). Opposed to 2020, when WooCommerce market share was no more than 26 percent. This may sound like a low 3 percent increase, but this is proof of its leading role among precisely a million sites related to eCommerce.
Squarespace Online Stores with a market share of nearly 23%, is WooCommerce’s biggest competitor.
Even though WooCommerce it’s the heavy champion in its category, still it does have a good portion of competitors. For instance, Squarespace Online Stores is on the top of the list when it comes to WooCommerce’s competition. However, let’s check out some more of its competitors. As follows:
Nearly 94% of all eCommerce related WordPress sites are using WooCommerce.
(Sources: DataFeedWatch Blog, Hosting Tribunal, MakeWeBetter)
According to the latest data conveyed by DataFeed, WooCommerce powers an incredible 28 percent of the total number of online stores. Or, in other words, that’s above 3 million sites. In addition to this, the latest statistics point out that WooCommerce accounts for more or less 8 percent of all websites worldwide.
WordPress has been around ever since 2003.
(Sources: Namecheap, Kinsta)
To be more precise, it was developed on May 27th, eighteen years ago, by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, and is still wildly popular. Nonetheless, WordPress, as we mentioned earlier in this article, was first created to be a blogging tool. But, it has proven to be much more than just a blogging tool.
We found out when WordPress was born, now let’s go straight to its major milestones.
This section of the article will focus on all of the WordPress versions, from the very beginning til the latest one (by year).
(Sources: WP Beginner, WordPress.org, Name Cheap, Core, ThemeKite)
The first version of WordPress—known as 0.7—appeared on May 27, 2003 (at the very beginning of WordPress). It was built as a publishing system using PHP scripting language and MySQL relational database management system.
2004 versions 1.0, 1.2
WordPress version 1.0 introduced browser installation, search engine permalinks, and many other features. In the same year, WordPress’s competitor, Movable Type, changed its licensing terms. This pushed many of its major users to migrate to WordPress.
In 2005 WordPress launched a new admin dashboard and theme system that allowed the development of static pages. That’s when WordPress started functioning as a content management system, and developers started creating plugins.
2007 versions introduced features such as autosave and spell-check. User experience was changed significantly with the option to switch between content and code editor. This made it possible to optimize the speed of plugins and filters. Also, the introduction of widgets helped WordPress become more focused on design. Furthermore, these releases introduced a blogger importer and limitless comment system. Among the other novelties were: notification updates, new status posts, and URLs.
In 2008 versions, WordPress launched a new administration UI design by Happy Cog. It also introduced the dashboard widget system and the shortcode API. Later the same year, it implemented post revisions and “Press This.” The administration UI was redesigned to improve usability and make the admin tool more customizable.
In the 2.8 and 2.9 versions, WordPress introduced a built-in theme installer and made improvements to widgets, taxonomies, themes, and speed all-in-all. The very year, it launched image editing, the “Trash/Undo” feature, and oEmbed support, thus, enabling integrated third-party providers.
This was a major update that introduced custom menu management and custom post types. It also made custom taxonomies simpler. With the release of new APIs, the implementation of custom menus, post types, backgrounds, headers, short links, and taxonomies without file editing, were also enabled.
These versions featured the “Admin Bar” and “Post Formats” functions. Additionally, the 3.2 updates made WordPress faster, while 3.3 made it more beginner-friendly with welcome messages and feature pointers. Further improvements included introducing new co-editing support, navigation, a new toolbar, and a drag-and-drop uploader.
These versions came with “Theme Customizer.” Also, the Media Library was extended to support custom headers and to allow changing the height and width of images. Later that year, WordPress introduced a new media manager with a new default theme called “Twenty Twelve” – a theme that represented a solid foundation of a content management system, and it was mobile responsive.
In the 2013 versions, there was a new default theme – “Twenty Thirteen,” as well as a built-in audio/video support, scalable Revisions. WordPress also made security updates and introduced a brand new magazine-style, default theme called “Twenty Fourteen.”
The 2014 versions were primarily focused on the content part; it offered an improved media experience with header previews and live widgets. There were also improvements to the plugin section that now provided more details and a better search experience. Also, WordPress introduced an updated Distraction Free Writing mode and a new default theme called “Twenty Fifteen.”
Extended characters and emoji support were some of the new features in these versions. Plugin updates became dynamic for WordPress pages, so there was no need to reload. The 4.3 version included built-in site icons support and formatting shortcuts in the visual editor. The 4.4 updates featured responsive images, embeddable posts, and a new default theme called “Twenty Sixteen.”
2017 versions are regarded as significantly improved and enhanced, and more user experience focused. Among the many new additions happening in 4.9, to separate are the new draft saver and bat scheduler. The widgets also saw some upgrades, alongside the customizer. And, maybe the very best of this version was the major addition of code syntax error highlighter and text editor.
Whereas, the 4.9.8 version brought a brand new plugin ‘Gutenberg’—this plugin introduces ‘blocks.’ By using ‘blocks,’ you can shift your full attention to the content appearance more, instead of being preoccupied with other configurations.
2018 version 5.0
The 5.0. brought along a new theme ‘’Twenty Nineteen.’’ This theme supported the release of the Gutenberg plugin, also this version was supported by as many as thirty-seven languages.
2019, brought lots of improvements and it was focused on making things rather smoother and faster too. 5.1 especially throws light on important tools for developers and site administrators. On the other hand, 5.2 was dedicated to fixing and correcting hardcore errors, and some configuration defects, i.e. this version brings along a Site Health Check and PHP Error Protection, as well as various developer updates. The 5.3 version introduces a new theme, ‘’Twenty-Twenty.’’ This version also introduces some improvements, mostly concerning the Block Editor and the Editing Experience.
2020, is a step up compared to many of its previous versions. This is when all the pages and posts breathe in life and gain that vivid look and sound. However, apart from the live boosting in images and media, 2020 versions, also focus on speed across many parts, for instance, frontend websites. These versions also made significant changes for developers (REST API, environment variables, etc).
The latest and the first release for this year by WordPress comes in totally different and brand-new colors. It also eases up quite a bit the editors’ work, since now you can enter parts without coding or hiring someone who can code for that matter. In addition to this, it aligns all the controls you need so no need for wandering up and down. And, last, but not least, the layouts cannot get any simpler than what they are in this very version.
We have gone through all WordPress versions. So, now let’s dig into more stats and figures related to WordPress.
WordPress has more than 58.000 plugins.
(Sources: WordPress.org, Hosting Tribunal)
There’s an abundance of WordPress themes and plugins, but do you know how many?
It’s hard to pin down exact numbers as they keep rising. However, the WordPress plugin directory shows that it currently has over 58.600 plugins and counting. And when it comes to themes, WordPress’s library is huge—there are more than 3.500 GPL licensed themes.
Nonetheless, there are free themes among these, and then, there are lots to choose from and purchase from a third-party seller. Out of the 3.500 and more themes, you can get over 1.100 themes through the language packs.
And if this isn’t enough, let’s check out some other WordPress facts.
WordPress has more than a hundred developers working in their teams.
(Sources: Hosting Tribunal, WebsiteSetup, Digital.com, DoubleStack)
It’s not that easy to give a straightforward answer to a question like this. This is mainly the reason because there are quite a lot of freelancers, part-times, some have their own business and some work for other agencies.
However, research done by multiple job offering sites (Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn), collected some data and revealed that there around 8.300 WordPress developers available (2020). On the other hand, we are certain about the number of developers in WordPress’s team—over 100.
As far as their salaries go, after thorough research, we came up with some numbers for you. Let’s check them out:
Taking these figures into consideration, we could state that on average what a WordPress developer makes goes up to roughly $140.000 per year.
The average range of a WordPress theme is between $15 and $60, and higher.
(Source: WebsiteSetup, CreativeMinds)
Most WordPress plugins and themes are free, although there are some premium ones that you need to pay for.
The price of WordPress premium themes usually ranges between $15 and $60+. For example, the Wix plugin starts from $13 to $39 a month for basic websites, and $23 and up to more than $500 a month for eCommerce and business sites.
The average price for a WordPress premium plugin is around $140.
(Source: CreativeMinds, SmartSlider3)
This seems like a lot of money for just a single plugin. Though, this is not the most expensive single plugin, because there are plugins that reach a price of at least $200. And there are also plugin packages – they contain multiple plugins. Multiple plugin packages easily go higher than $500—The usual price range is somewhere between $200 and $500+.
Twenty Seventeen is the most popular free theme.
(Sources: Themeisle, Digital.com)
The most popular WordPress theme that has sold over 200.000 copies is Avada. Furthermore, this theme costs only $59. Even more impressive is the fact that just in one year it sold more than 12 million copies – that’s impressive.
As for free themes, the latest data on WordPress theme usage, proved for Twenty Seventeen, with nearly 7.600.000 downloads, to be among the most often used.
One of the most searched-for, free WordPress plugins is Yoast SEO.
(Sources: ThemeJunkie, WebsiteSetup)
One of the most requested plugins that enable better search engine optimization on your WordPress site is Yoast SEO. It has both free and paid versions. You can get the Premium Yoast SEO package for no more than $89 (VAT excluded) for a year and includes free updates and support.
And, it’s also worth noting that the WooCommerce plugin is free to use as well. WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce plugins (like we mentioned earlier before). Hence, it’s a great solution if you want to sell digital or physical products from your WordPress website.
Even though a huge portion of websites is on WordPress, still, some aren’t. Therefore, yes, WordPress does have some competition. Let’s see who that might be.
WordPress takes up nearly 65% of the CMS market share.
What’s left for their competition? Let’s see how the rest of the percentage is divided and between whom. Here is the market share in % for the top 5 WordPress competitors:
As you can see, it’s more than obvious the throne belongs to WordPress.
In the last few years, we’ve seen a huge number of website hacks and data leaks. What part of those attacks targeted WordPress sites?
WordPress consists of exactly 90 percent of sites that are/or can get hacked.
(Sources: Patchstack, Infosecurity Magazine)
In general, more than 30.000 websites are getting hacked daily, and WordPress is one of the most vulnerable CMS out there. For instance, as reported by Sucuri, WordPress is responsible for the biggest part of the vulnerabilities among CMS platforms.
Furthermore, in 2018 a security vendor analyzed over 18,300 hacked websites and found that 90 percent of them were WordPress sites.
WordPress websites get hacked mostly because of their popularity, but their vulnerability mostly comes from the numerous plugins they have.
(Sources: Infosecurity, WP White Security, WebARX Security Blog, Website Planet)
By now, we’ve learned how big is the share that WordPress occupies, and how many thousands of plugins it comes with. So, this is why it’s an evident attraction to hackers. Hackers hack things from which they can profit, and hacking a platform of the size of WordPress isn’t a small thing. To clear things, no, WordPress isn’t getting hacked because of lack of updates—Instead, plugins are making things easier for hackers to succeed in doing so.
That being said, hackers are looking more into hacking an eCommerce site, because this type of platform has a large amount of information about people (credit cards, personal information, etc).
To break it down and clear things why really WordPress is an attractive hacker’s target, we enlist the most common reasons:
Stay with us, because next, we’ll share some advice on how to avoid being hacked.
This section is dedicated to what to look after primarily when you run a website on WordPress, and what precautions you need to take into consideration regarding the many plugins and extensions they have.
(Sources: Patchstack, Website Planet, Hashed Out, WP WhiteSecurity)
Here are a couple of advice and pointers why these are must-pay attention to:
You should steer clear of dubious hosting providers. Since, going for the lowest price to save up, can make your site vulnerable to attacks from hackers and risk losing much more. Moreover, low-end hosting providers usually don’t scan for malware and don’t provide firewall, DDoS protection, or directory protection.
Because WordPress is open-source, hackers may attempt to breach websites by attacking compromised plugins or themes.
According to Website Planet, over 20% of hack attacks take advantage of vulnerable plugins, while around 29% exploit weakly secured themes.
Using older versions of WordPress makes your website more open to attacks. A more recent study noted that over 70% of the most popular WordPress installations are less safe and very exposed to hack attacks.
While different data from 2018 research showed that nearly 51% of WordPress websites ran on the latest version. So, we can state that more or less 49% don’t have the latest version and therefore, are exposed to a hack attack. On the other hand, around 34% of all WordPress websites were at least two updates behind – this is alerting.
Or, let us go further back, to 2013. In 2013, a study revealed that 30.95% of sites were running on an exposed and unsafe version of WordPress (especially the ones with the 3.6 version).
This is a list of the most popular websites that use WordPress:
To sum up. We have enlisted quite a lot of information to be processed, and among the many questions we managed the one that raises quite the curiosity among you: how many WordPress websites are there?
But, one thing is clear, WordPress has a 60+ percent market share, and as much as 40% are powered by none other than WordPress.
Why wouldn’t they be? WordPress is open-source and therefore free to download and install. This is a CMS platform that is ideal for people who are starting their own business or want to bring their existing business to a higher and more sophisticated level. On the other hand, WordPress works miracles for bloggers and writers too. We’ve been writing about the most popular CMS platform ever, hopefully, we managed to satisfy your curiosity on some or most topics related to WordPress.