WordPress

WordPress logo

WordPress is web publishing software you can use to create your website or blog. WordPress enables you to build and manage your full-featured website using just your web browser without having to learn how to code. Since it was released in 2003, WordPress has become one of the most popular web publishing platforms.

Quick Fact

Summary

  • Ranked #104th worldwide
  • Active users 409 M
  • Type Blogging Networks
  • Launched date May 27, 2003
  • Employees 3,800
  • Headquarters San Francisco, C.A
  • Parent company None

Founders

person
Matt Mullenweg Texas
person
MikeLittle

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 $596.7 B
  • Revenue in 2020 $125 M
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

WooCommerce

WooCommerce, the top eCommerce plugin, and toolkit for WordPress were founded in 2008 by three WordPress enthusiasts.

Even though WooCommerce isn’t one of the easiest eCommerce platforms to use, it’s the leading eCommerce technology for WordPress because it provides the best experience for end-users.

To date, the plugin has been downloaded over 83,000,000 times and powers over 28% of all online stores.

There are 3,876,748 eCommerce websites that use the WooCommerce plugin.

In terms of how many WordPress websites have WooCommerce enabled, 16.4% of them do.

WordPress Usage Statistics (2021)

WordPress powers 39.6% of the web

It is quite remarkable that something that was an obscure content management system until a few years back now powers 39.6% (and growing) of the web. The platform’s versatility, which allows it to be used everywhere from a small personal blog to a major corporation’s website, is the main reason behind this widespread adoption.

64.1% of all websites using a known content management system are using WordPress

The WordPress market share is by far the largest worldwide. There are about 46.2% of sites worldwide that do not utilize a CMS; among the rest, almost two-thirds on WordPress.

Close to 64 million,(according to conservative estimates) active websites use WordPress in absolute terms

There is no definitive number for the total websites using WordPress, partly because there is none for the total number of websites. We are basing this figure on the number of active websites in the world (approximately 200 million) according to Netcraft.

WordPress is responsible for an additional 1.1 million domain registrations every 6 months

This is a data point from 2015. The actual figure today is likely to be higher since the number of domain registrations, as well as the market penetration of WordPress, have increased.

34% of the world’s 10,000 most popular websites use WordPress

Figures on how much of the internet is WordPress-based get even more striking when only the most successful websites are considered. These popular sites include TED, Etsy, Whitehouse.gov, Reuters, Yelp, The New Yorker, TechCrunch, and People. Globally admired celebrities like Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Stephen Fry, and Jay Z also use WordPress for their sites.

Joomla, the third most widely used CMS, has a market share of 3.5%

It’s rare to see such a heavily skewed market where there are many competitors, but one of them has taken such a massive lead. There’s no definite answer to the query “What is the best CMS?”, but the figures do tell a story. Joomla is followed by Drupal and Squarespace with market shares of 2.5%, and 2.4%, respectively. Shopify enjoys a 5.2% market share.

WordPress 4.9 has been downloaded over 159M times

WordPress 4.9 is one of the most downloaded pieces of software in the world. By the time you read this, the count might have surpassed 160 million. The counter tracks downloads in real-time, so you can see for yourself how fast the number moves.

WordPress gets almost as many unique monthly visitors as Twitter does

Twitter statistics show that this platform gets 152 million unique monthly visits in the U.S while WordPress gets 149 million. In fact, until recently, both Twitter and Amazon (currently at 199 million) had lower numbers than WordPress. You realize how impressive this data is when you compare the nature of business for these three entities.

WordPress users produce about 70.5 million new posts and 52.1 million new comments each month

WordPress.com‘s stats on blogging are quite impressive too. The blogging platform continues to encourage a large number of people worldwide to add new content and to spark discussions about it.

Over 409 million people view more than 21.1 billion pages each month on WordPress sites

An even higher number use WordPress blogs for regular content consumption. These blogging stats come from the integrated stats system included in every WordPress.com blog.

WooCommerce has a 27.7% market share among eCommerce platforms

This is important information for online businesses. eCommerce platforms allow merchants to build digital storefronts to facilitate transactions over the web. WooCommerce, a WordPress-based eCommerce platform, is also growing much faster than its main competitors like Squarespace and Shopify.

WooCommerce is used by 13.2% of all websites that use WordPress

WordPress has evolved from being mainly a blogging tool into the lifeline of global eCommerce. Of all the site-building elements like photo galleries, chat forums, and social networking platforms, WordPress website stats reveal that WooCommerce is the most widely used.

Akismet blocks 7.5M spam comments every hour

Akismet is one of the more popular WordPress plugins, which saves users the time spent dealing with spam, one of the major nuisances on the internet today. As the site tells us, Akismet stops twice as much spam every single hour as there are people in Los Angeles!

The top 3 WordPress plugins in 2017 were All in One SEO Pack, WordPress Importer, and WooCommerce

According to the 2017 edition of the annual State of the Word address by Mike Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, the most popular WordPress plugin is the one that boosts the platform’s SEO capabilities. These WordPress statistics point to how seriously people take the search engine placement of their content now, and why WordPress is the CMS of choice for many.

Controversies Surrounding Gutenberg

Controversies Surrounding GutenbergMatt Mullenweg, San Francisco, California. (via facesofopensource.com)

The first question came from a user who tried Gutenberg and turned it off because of a plugin conflict. She asked if users will have to use Gutenberg when 5.0 is released. Mullenweg said one of the reasons Gutenberg has been tested so early is to give plugin developers time to get their products compatible. He also said that it has been the fastest-growing plugin in WordPress’s history, with more than 600,000 installations since it was first made available.

He said users will have the option to use the Classic Editor and that the team is considering updating it to include per-user controls and the possibility to turn it on/off for different post types.

Subsequent questions went deeper into recent controversies surrounding Gutenberg, which Mullenweg addressed more in-depth.

Mullenweg commented on how polarizing Twitter can be as a medium and how that can impact conversations in negatives ways. He said people tend to read the worst into things that have been said and that has been a new challenge during this particular time in WordPress’s history. WordPress tweets are sprinkled into timelines along with politics and current events in a way that can cause people to react differently than if the discussion was held in a Trac ticket, for example.

Mullenweg said hosts that have pre-installed Gutenberg have not reported a higher than normal support load and that it has basically been “a non-event.” It’s the users who are updating to 5.0 after many years of using WordPress who will have the most to learn.

JavaScript is what makes this cross-platform collaboration possible and it’s already evident in the work the Drupal Gutenberg contributors are doing, as well as the platform-agnostic Gutenberg Cloud project. When Gutenberg is released in 5.0, it will enable more for WordPress and the web than we can predict right now.

WordCamp Developer And User Conferences

WordCamp Developer And User Conferences
							WordCamp Europe 2022. (via europe.wordcamp.org)

WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. The first such event was WordCamp 2006 in Aug 2006 in San Francisco, which lasted one day and had over 500 attendees. The first WordCamp outside San Francisco was held in Beijing in Sep 2007.

Since then, there have been over 1,022 WordCamps in over 75 cities in 65 different countries around the world. WordCamp San Francisco 2014 was the last official annual conference of WordPress developers and users taking place in San Francisco, having now been replaced with WordCamp U.S.

First, run in 2013 as WordCamp Europe, regional WordCamps in other geographical regions are held with the aim of connecting people who aren't already active in their local communities and inspire attendees to start user communities in their hometowns.

In 2019, the Nordic region had its own WordCamp Nordic. The first WordCamp Asia was to be held in 2020 but canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

WordPress project is driven by a community of dedicated developers, users, and supporters.

WordPress started out because the development of an existing blogging software b2/cafelog was discontinued by their main developers. In 2003, two users of b2/cafelog, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little decided to build a new platform on top of b2/cafelog.

They probably didn’t know that they are about to start a journey that would eventually benefit millions of users around the globe, create thousands of jobs, and a whole industry of developers, designers, writers, bloggers, and web publishers would make their living off it.

Brief History

2003
May WordPress was released.
Aug Matt announced thе development оf thе firѕt version оf WordPress.
2004
May Version 1.2 of WordPress came with a plugin architecture.
2005
Feb WordPress 1.5 came with Pages, comment moderation tools, a new default theme Kubrick, and a completely new theme system.
Dec WordPress 2.0 was released with a new admin dashboard.

Added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, improved import system, fully overhauled the back end, and various improvements to Plugin developers.

2006
Mar Automattic, the company founded by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, filed the trademark registration for WordPress and WordPress logo.
2007
Jan Many high-profile search engine optimization (SEO) blogs, as well as many low-profile commercial blogs featuring AdSense, were targeted and attacked with a WordPress exploit.
May A study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs being run were exploitable because they were running outdated and unsupported versions of the software.
2008

A web design company called Happy Cog joined the WordPress project to help design a new WordPress admin interface.

Aug Winner of InfoWorld's "Best of open source software awards: Collaboration".
2009
Aug According to Secunia, WordPress had 7 unpatched security advisories (out of 32 total), with a maximum rating of "Less Critical".
Oct The Open Source CMS MarketShare Report concluded that WordPress enjoyed the greatest brand strength of any open-source content management system.
Nov Winner of Open Source CMS Awards's "Overall Best Open Source CMS".
2010

Winner of digitalsynergy's "Hall of Fame CMS category in the 2010 Open Source".

Jun Automattic, the company founded by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, transferred the ownership of the WordPress trademark and logo to the WordPress Foundation.

WordPress 3.0 was released.

Sep Automattic handed the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation
2011

Winner of InfoWorld's "Bossie award for Best Open Source Software”.

Post formats and admin bar made their way into WordPress.

2012

Theme customizer, theme previews, and new media manager were introduced.

2013

WordPress 3.7 came with the new automatic updates feature that allowed you to automatically update your site’s software for minor releases.

Jan New default theme "Twenty Thirteen", admin enhancements, post formats UI update, menus UI improvements, new revision system, autosave, and post locking.
Jun Some of the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to common Web attacks such as SQL injection and XSS.
Dec WordPress 3.8 was released which introduced MP6, the new admin interface.
2014
Apr WordPress 3.9 was released.
Aug The minimum PHP version requirement is PHP 5.6 which was released.
2015

WordPress 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 were released.

2016

WordPress 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 were released.

2017

WordPress 4.8 and 4.9 were released.

WordPress has a five-star privacy rating from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

2018

WordPress 5.0 was released with a brand new editing experience.

2021
May WordPress is used by 41.4% of the top 10 million websites.

WordPress.org has 58,463 plugins available.

Network Features

WordPress powers more than 41% of the web — a figure that rises every day. Everything from simple websites, to blogs, to complex portals and enterprise websites, and even applications, are built with WordPress.

WordPress combines simplicity for users and publishers with under-the-hood complexity for developers. This makes it flexible while still being easy to use.

The following is a list of some of the features that come as standard with WordPress; however, there are literally thousands of plugins that extend what WordPress does, so the actual functionality is nearly limitless.

You are also free to do whatever you like with the WordPress code, extend it or modify in any way or use it for commercial projects without any licensing fees.

That is the beauty of free software, free refers not only to price but also the freedom to have complete control over it.

For developers, we’ve got lots of goodies packed under the hood that you can use to extend WordPress in whatever direction takes your fancy.

Featured Features

Digg Newsrooms
																	Features of WordPress. (via slideshare.net)

Simplicity

Simplicity makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly. Nothing should get in the way of you getting your website up and your content out there. WordPress is built to make that happen.

Flexibility

With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites. You can make your website beautiful with themes, and extend it with plugins. You can even build your very own application.

Publish with Ease

If you’ve ever created a document, you’re already a whizz at creating content with WordPress. You can create Posts and Pages, format them easily, insert media, and with the click of a button your content is live and on the web.

Publishing tools

WordPress makes it easy for you to manage your content. Create drafts, schedule publication, and look at your post revisions. Make your content public or private, and secure posts and pages with a password.

User management

Not everyone requires the same access to your website. Administrators manage the site, editors work with content, authors and contributors write that content, and subscribers have a profile that they can manage. This lets you have a variety of contributors to your website, and let others simply be part of your community.

Media management

They say a picture says a thousand words, which is why it’s important for you to be able to quickly and easily upload images and media to WordPress. Drag and drop your media into the uploader to add it to your website. Add alt text and captions, and insert images and galleries into your content. We’ve even added a few image editing tools you can have fun with.

Full standards compliance

Every piece of WordPress-generated code is in full compliance with the standards set by the W3C. This means that your website will work in today’s browser while maintaining forward compatibility with the next generation of browsers. Your website is a beautiful thing, now and in the future.

Easy theme system

WordPress comes bundled with three default themes, but if they aren’t for you there’s a theme directory with thousands of themes for you to create a beautiful website. None of those to your taste? Upload your own theme with the click of a button. It only takes a few seconds for you to give your website a complete makeover.

Built-in comments

Your blog is your home, and comments provide a space for your friends and followers to engage with your content. WordPress’s comment tools give you everything you need to be a forum for discussion and to moderate that discussion.

Search engine optimized

WordPress is optimized for search engines right out of the box. For more fine-grained SEO control, there are plenty of SEO plugins to take care of that for you.

Use WordPress in your language

WordPress is available in more than 70 languages. If you or the person you’re building the website for would prefer to use WordPress in a language other than English, that’s easy to do.

Easy installation and upgrades

WordPress has always been easy to install and upgrade. Plenty of web hosts offer one-click WordPress installers that let you install WordPress with, well, just one click! Or, if you’re happy using an FTP program, you can create a database, upload WordPress using FTP, and run the installer.

Importers

Using blog or website software that you aren’t happy with? Running your blog on a hosted service that’s about to shut down? WordPress comes with importers for Blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, Tumblr, and WordPress. If you’re ready to make the move, we’ve made it easy for you.

Own your data

Hosted services come and go. If you’ve ever used a service that disappeared, you know how traumatic that can be. If you’ve ever seen adverts appear on your website, you’ve probably been pretty annoyed. Using WordPress means no one has access to your content. Own your data, all of it — your website, your content, your data.

Freedom

WordPress is licensed under the GPL which was created to protect your freedoms. You are free to use WordPress in any way you choose: install it, use it, modify it, distribute it. Software freedom is the foundation that WordPress is built on.

Community

As the most popular open-source CMS on the web, WordPress has a vibrant and supportive community. Ask a question on the support forums and get help from a volunteer, attend a WordCamp or Meetup to learn more about WordPress, read blogs posts and tutorials about WordPress.

Developer features

Book Discovery
																Features for WordPress Developers. (via d5creation.com)

Plugin system

The WordPress APIs make it possible for you to create plugins to extend WordPress. WordPress’s extensibility lies in the thousands of hooks at your disposal. Once you’ve created your plugin, we’ve even got a plugin repository for you to host it on.

Theme system

Create WordPress themes for clients, other WordPress users, or yourself. WordPress provides the extensibility to create themes as simple or as complex as you wish. If you want to give your theme away for free you can give it to users in the theme repository.

Application framework

If you want to build an application, WordPress can help with that too. WordPress provides a lot of the features under the hood that your app will need: translations, user management, HTTP requests, databases, URL routing, and much, much more. You can also use our REST API to interact with it.

Custom content types

WordPress comes with default content types, but for more flexibility, you can add a few lines of code to create your own custom post types, taxonomies, and metadata. Take WordPress in whatever direction you wish.

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