According to the front page of WordPress.com (screenshot, in case the page changes):

WordPress powers 27% of the internet.

Unfortunately no source is provided for that statement. Is this number true?

  • 41
    To be sure, wordpress (the software) powers exactly 0% of the internet, even saying they powered 27% of websites would be reaching, what's apache do if it's not powering the website? I'd settle for "Wordpress takes up 27% of the internet" or "Wordpress is used on 27% of websites".. No clue where they got the 27% from. – 8eecf0d2 Dec 12 '16 at 1:58
  • 7
    @DarioOO A crawler won't be able to give you the whole picture. Any webserver can easily masquerade that it uses any technology or simply hide it's details from the crawler. I can configure my web server to report that it runs on "Hamsters and caffeine version 9.34" and a web crawler will gladly report that statistic. However, it's the best we got. – MonkeyZeus Dec 12 '16 at 16:29
  • 3
    I highly doubt that number. If I remember correctly, the majority of "the Internet" is still email, not the web, and WordPress has exactly nothing to do with email. For WordPress to power 27% of the Internet, they would have to power far more than 27% of the web, which is highly doubtful. One number I heard was that about 2/3 are email, which would mean for WordPress to reach 27%, there would a) have to be nothing else except the web and email (but there is also file transfer, for example) and b) WordPress would have to power close to 100% of the web. – Jörg W Mittag Dec 12 '16 at 21:26
  • 20
    Electricity! It powers 100% of the internet! Sign up today! – djsmiley2k Dec 13 '16 at 8:00
  • 2
    @ManojKumar you can't validly disagree, I'm not wrong. ;) – djsmiley2k Dec 13 '16 at 12:44
up vote 109 down vote accepted

This number comes from W3Techs - World Wide Web Technology Surveys.

According to that survey, as of December 2016,

WordPress is used by 27.2% of all the websites

that they monitor. (Source.)

However,

  • when they say "all websites", they mean "the top 10 million websites",
  • when they say "websites", they mean "domains", and
  • when they say "used by", they mean "used by at least one page on that domain."

As they note:

When interpreting our surveys, you should know the following:

  • We investigate technologies of websites, not of individual web pages. If we find a technology on any of the pages, it is considered to be used by the website.
  • We include only the top 10 million websites (top 1 million before June 2013) in the statistics in order to limit the impact of domain spammers. We use website popularity rankings provided by Alexa (an Amazon.com company) using a 3 months average ranking. Alexa rankings are sometimes considered inaccurate for measuring website traffic, but we find that they serve our purpose of providing a representative sample of established sites very well.
  • We do not consider subdomains to be separate websites. For instance, sub1.example.com and sub2.example.com are considered to belong to the same site as example.com. That means for example, that all the subdomains of blogger.com, wordpress.com and similar sites are counted only as one website.

(Also see their disclaimer for further caveats.)

  • 36
    Aren't Alexa rankings based on the use of the Alexa toolbar and thus represent a really really small and biaised sample? Because in this case WordPress would represent 27.2% of the American Wide Web, not the WWW... – Shautieh Dec 12 '16 at 2:52
  • 10
    A simple count of websites is misleading. My (hypothetical) personal website might hold a single page of text, yet it is a website, just as e.g. Google, Wikipedia, or indeed, StackExchange. – jamesqf Dec 12 '16 at 5:14
  • @jamesqf Note that since StackExchange uses (or has used) Wordpress for their blogs, that would also count their domains in the "powered by Wordpress" statistic. – Xiong Chiamiov Dec 14 '16 at 0:37
  • 3
    A nitpicky thing, but the quote also says "the internet", while your answer points out that the data they're referencing is for the web. There's a lot of internet traffic that isn't part of the world wide web, like email, irc, usenet, etc. – Xiong Chiamiov Dec 14 '16 at 0:39
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Oddthinking Dec 14 '16 at 0:57

While the number is real it means (as per other answer) something different in W3Techs report (source for it) — share in top 10 million sites by traffic sample.

But that doesn't say if the number is true or close to true for global market share.

I had looked into other possible estimates for my blog post on topic:

  • BuiltWith currently estimates WordPress to have 4.9% market share based on 365 millions sites sample;
  • previously released WordPress site count of 77 millions in 2014 put market share at approximately 7.8% at the time.

So while the number is real for specific sample of sites, applying it to whole web market share seems like a stretch and makes result inconsistent with other sources.

There is also huge variation possible depending on how hosted WordPress.com sites are counted. They make a very significant portion of total WordPress sites but are counted as a single site if subdomains are not considered.

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by Community May 24 '17 at 2:39

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .