A data-driven answer to the very fundamental question.
Everyone who has anything to to with web is aware of the fact that WordPress is huge. Recently it has made the headlines as it has reached 30% market share in the entire internet. But what does it mean in terms of actual numbers?
Let’s jump straight into the nitty gritty!
Top Down Approach
There are over 1.8B websites as of today. This data should be taken with a pinch of salt though, as 60-75% of these are actually just parked domains with generic content. According to W3Tech 30,7% of websites run WordPress (data from March 2018).
If we take all this into account, we can quickly calculate that there is approximately 138M websites relying on WordPress.
Obviously, the top down approach has very little accuracy, so let’s look on some other ways to calculate that.
Down Up Approach
There’s another approach is commonly used by many trying to answer this question. It’s literally crawling the internet and counting every website which can be identified as WordPress. Here are some numbers gathered by those using this method.
The great thing about this numbers is that we can be certain that there is at least that many WordPress website. The downside however, is that there always will be websites not crawled and thus not counted. It is technically impossible to crawl the entire Internet as it changes every day.
That’s why the differences between data points even from the same period are so significant. Still, looking at that data we can say that someone has identified 93M WordPress websites.
Every Website Is Hosted Somewhere Approach
Number of websites based on WordPress can be also estimated from the number of hosting companies. According to webhosting.info which prepares reports about hosting industry there are 341.282 hosting companies in the world.
Nonetheless, that almost 25% of the hosting market is controlled by 10 largest companies, the long tail is extremely long. According to our scans an average hosting company has around 4.600 WordPress websites under its wings. That gives roughly 1.56B websites. If we multiply it by the already mentioned 30,7% factor we will get approximately 481M websites running WordPress.
It can clearly be see that all of these Approaches have its own weak points. The computations presented above are far off, and range from 93M to 481M websites.
We have looked deeper into our own data and we have we discovered that 30,7% WordPress market share reported by W3Tech cannot be applied to the entire internet. W3techs.com calculates their stats analyzing 10M most popular sites provided by Alexa using a 3 months average ranking. This means that their statistics are based on the tip of the iceberg and may not be representative when it comes to WordPress which has a very wide adoption in the long tail.
We have looked at a couple recent scans which we have performed and the unveiled pictured has shown a much stronger WordPress adoption rate.
These numbers they are considerably higher than the ones reported by W3Tech. with an average of 65,98%.
Using this number instead of the number reported by W3Tech, and computing again our top down approach we end up with almost 297M of WordPress websites.
Obviously, it’s just an estimation, but that’s the most solid number one can come up with using different approaches.