The journey of WordPress, with its initial release in May 2003, to date, has been nothing short of incredible. WordPress powers millions of websites around the globe and is the #1 CMS platform chosen by developers to build a website.
From countless WordPress themes to abundant WordPress plugins, this open-source CMS provides all the features needed to build and grow a successful website.
Being a top content management system, WordPress offers robust security through consistent updates for WordPress core, themes and plugins. The best part, it offers SEO and social media integration, which helps businesses increase brand visibility and reach.
If you are curious about the growth of WordPress since its inception, then the below WordPress stats infographic highlights everything – right from WordPress usage statistics to plugins, themes and security statistics to WordPress version and community statistics. Check it out!
- WordPress Statistics: Everything You Need To Know
- 1. WordPress Timeline: The History of WordPress
- 2. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?
- 3. Growth of WordPress – Versions and Milestones
- 4. WordPress Usage Statistics
- 5. WordPress Plugins Statistics
- 6. WordPress Themes Statistics
- 7. Automattic WordPress Stats
- 8. WordPress Security Statistics
- 9. WordPress Community Statistics
- 10. WordPress Jobs
- 11. WordPress Competitors
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
WordPress Statistics: Everything You Need To Know
1. WordPress Timeline: The History of WordPress
- 2001: French programmer Michel Valdrighi launched the blogging tool B2/Cafelog. Many consider this WordPress 0.5.
- 2002: Michel Valdrighi – the original creator of B2/Cafelog – abandons the platform.
- 2003: Two users of B2/Cafelog – Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little – started a new platform and named it WordPress to replace the existing blogging software (B2/Cafelog). The first version – WordPress 0.7 – was released on May 27th, 2003.
- 2004: In January, WordPress 1.0 was released. Also known as the ‘Davis’ version, which included ‘plugins.’
- 2005: In August, Matt founded the Automattic company and raised $1.1 million in funding in October.
- 2006: Automattic filed the trademark registration for WordPress and WordPress logo. In August of the same year, the first WordCamp was held in San Francisco.
- 2007: Beijing hosted the first International WordCamp outside of San Francisco.
- 2008: WordPress theme directory is launched. Anyone can develop & upload their themes to this directory, and right now, there are 8,298 themes.
- 2009: WordPress won the Packt – Best Open Source CMS Awards.
- 2010: Matt transferred the ownership of the WordPress trademark and logo to the WordPress Foundation.
- 2011: WordPress powered over 12% of the world’s websites, surpassing 50 million WordPress blogs. In February of that year, WordPress launched its official mascot ‘Wapuu’ at WordCamp Fukuoka.
- 2012: Two new WordPress versions – Green and Elvis – are released to redefine user experience.
- 2013: WordPress dominated the CMS market with a whopping share of 59%, thereby becoming the most sought-after CMS in the world.
- 2014: The non-English downloads for WordPress surpassed the English downloads.
- 2015: Automattic acquired WooCommerce – the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin.
- 2016: WordPress turned ‘13’ and Matt Mullenweg predicted: “I see the future of WordPress as an operating system for the open web.”
- 2018: Gutenberg – the new block-based editor is introduced with the WordPress 5.0 release. Since then, Gutenberg has had over 67.8 million active installations.
- 2022: WordPress is still going strong with a current market share of 64.2%.
3. Growth of WordPress – Versions and Milestones
There are 40+ major versions released by WordPress since 2003. Beginning with WordPress 1.0, all major releases are named in honour of Jazz Musicians that the WordPress core developers admire. Out of all the releases, the WordPress 5.2 version is downloaded nearly 37 million times, and the latest WordPress 5.9 version “Baker” came out on January 25, 2022. Below are some of the major releases and their features.
- 2003: The first version – WordPress 0.7 – was released on May 27th.
- 2004: In January, the WordPress 1.0 version was released (Davis) that included the ‘plugins.’ In May of that year, the WordPress 1.2 (Mingus) version comes with Ryan Boren’s plugin and featured post preview, automatic thumbnails, encrypted passwords, comment moderation, etc.
- 2005: In February, the WordPress 1.5 (Strayhorn) version was released, which focussed on user experience, and themes & static pages were introduced. In October, Matt created the Akismet spam protection plugin for WordPress. In December, the WordPress 2.0 (Duke) version was released with the WYSIWYG editor.
- 2007: In January, the WordPress 2.1 (Ella) version was released with the autosave feature. It allowed users to switch between the WYSIWYG and the text editors. You could also hide your blog from search engines, import/export content, and set any page as the front page.
In May 2007, WordPress 2.2 (Getz) was released with features such as widgets, Atom feeds, etc. WordPress 2.3 (Dexter) version was released in September and offered canonical URLs, native tagging support, and pending review features, among others.
- 2008: In March, the WordPress 2.5 version was released, which included a customizable dashboard, full-screen writing, media library, one-click plugin upgrades, built-in galleries, and multi-file uploading.
In July of that year, the WordPress 2.6 (Tyler) version was released with theme preview, track changes to post/pages, word count, customizable avatars, image caption, and bulk management of plugins. By this time, WordPress was considered a full-fledged CMS and not just a blogging platform.
- 2009: A major WP update, the WordPress 2.8 (Baker) version was released. It featured the automatic installation of themes and included the CodePress editor for developers.
- 2010: In June, the WordPress 3.0 (Thelonious) version was released that included custom post types, custom backgrounds, custom taxonomies, header, menus, etc.
- 2011: In February, the WordPress 3.1 (Reinhardt) version came out that included the admin bar; followed by the release of WordPress 3.2 and 3.3.
- 2012: WordPress 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6 releases introduced the new media manager, theme customizer, and theme previews.
- 2013: In October, the WordPress 3.7 (Blaise) version came with the automatic updates feature. Whereas, WordPress 3.8 – which was released in December – introduced MP6: the new WordPress admin interface, which was responsive.
- 2014: In April, the WordPress 3.9 version was released that featured the WordPress visual post editor. Users could now drag and drop images directly into the post editor. It also offered live widget previews and audio playlists. This was followed by WordPress 4.0 and 4.1 releases.
- 2015: WordPress versions – 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 – came with emoji support, theme customizer, improved localization, etc.
- 2016: WordPress released the 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 versions that offered the content recovery option via browser storage and custom CSS feature for theme customizer. These versions also actively started supporting HTTPS.
- 2017: WordPress 4.8 and 4.9 versions were released that included the default widgets to add images/audio/video, rich text, and HTML.
- 2018: The WordPress 5.0 (Valdés) was released, which introduced Gutenberg – WordPress’s new block editor project.
- 2019-2020: WordPress released 6 more versions during this period – 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6 versions.
- 2021: In March, the WordPress 5.7 version was released, followed by the 5.8 version in July.
- 2022: In January, the latest version of WordPress 5.9 ‘Joséphine Baker’ was released.
5. WordPress Plugins Statistics
- WordPress.org currently has over 59,686 plugins in its directory that are free to use.
- Jetpack is the most popular WordPress plugin, with over 5 million active installations.
- The WooCommerce plugin powers 28% of the top 1 million eCommerce sites across the world.
- Yoast SEO, Akismet Spam Protection, Contact Form 7, Classic Editor, Elementor Website Builder and Real Simple SSL plugins have over 5 million active installations..
- There are over 4,900 premium WordPress plugins on CodeCaynon.
- 57% of WordPress plugins have never been rated or reviewed.
- Wordfence Security is the most popular plugin with 4+ million active installations.
- Only 3% of WordPress plugins are not updated.
- Approx. 47% of WordPress plugins have a donate button.
- Bookly PRO – Appointment Booking and Scheduling Software System is the best-selling WordPress plugin for 2022.
- UpdraftPlus is a notable WordPress backup plugin with over 3 million installations.
- Slider Revolution is the top-earning WordPress plugin at CodeCanyon with 420.5K sales for $85.
7. Automattic WordPress Stats
- Automattic company was founded by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg in 2005.
- It is a fully distributed company with over 1,505 employees working from 81 countries, speaking 100 different languages, and no central office.
- WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, VaultPress, Akismet, Gravatar, Tumblr, and more are some of its noteworthy projects.
- While Automattic runs WordPress.com, it also contributes to WordPress.org, BuddyPress, and bbPress, among others.
- With the majority of the workforce working remotely, Automattic decided to shut its San Francisco office in 2011.
- Longreads, founded in 2009, is a part of Automattic. So is Simplenote, which was acquired by Automattic in 2013.
- In 2018, Automattic acquires the Atavist Publishing Platform intending to incorporate the functionality of Atavist’s CMS platform into WordPress.com and Jetpack, thereby making it available to a much wider audience.
- In 2019, Automattic announced the launch of Happy Tools – a suite of products for the future of work. The first tool that was launched in this series was the Happy Schedule – a new take on workforce management.
- As of 2019, Automattic was valued at $3 billion post-funding.
- In 2020, the company started ‘The Distributed Podcast’ to have in-depth conversations with companies about the future of work. This is hosted by Matt Mullenweg.
9. WordPress Community Statistics
Being an open-source project, WordPress has a vast community of diverse people from different backgrounds and various technical skills. The core leadership team is led by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, five lead developers, and several other core developers.
- Launched in 2014, the Five for the Future program encourages organisations to contribute 5% of their resources to WordPress development.
- Jetpack, WooCommerce, and Bluehost are some of the global community sponsors that support WordPress communities worldwide.
- Currently, there are 1,289 meet-up groups for WordPress all over the world with 750,491 active members.
- 63% of WordPress core committers are part of large agencies & corporations and not employed by Automattic.
- The first WordCamp was organised in San Francisco in 2006.
- In 2015, WordCamps were held in 34 different countries with events on 6 continents.
- There are approx. 2,030,000+ topics that you’ll find on the official WordPress support forum.
- WordPress.tv is an official video resource that is available to the WordPress community for free. It provides video resources on WordPress education, news, and recordings of WordCamp events.
- WordCamp Europe is an annual flagship event, which is one of the biggest community organised conferences for WordPress enthusiasts.
- WordPress offers developers access to and use of WordPress.com data through its APIs.
11. WordPress Competitors
- The top two competitors of WordPress are Drupal and Joomla, with a market share of 3.47% and 1.62%, respectively.
- WordPress was launched in May 2003, followed by Joomla in August 2005, and Drupal in October 2009.
- WordPress-based eCommerce platform WooCommerce is also growing and has a market share of 23.43%. Its main competitors – Squarespace and Shopify – have a market share of 23.51% and 3.69%, respectively.
- There are 8,399 free themes available on WordPress.org compared to 1200+ free Drupal themes.
- Looking at usage statistics, the current usage percentage of WordPress is 41.2%, whereas Joomla accounts for 2.1%, followed by Drupal at 1.5%.
- Compared to 58,664 WordPress plugins, the official directory of Joomla has 5,904 extensions, and the Drupal official directory has 48,5 modules.
- A search on Freelancer.com for each CMS shows that over 1,61,341 freelancers offer WordPress-related work, compared to 7927 for Joomla and 4700+ for Drupal.
- WordPress.org has an estimated annual revenue of $125 million, while Drupal’s annual revenue is estimated to be around $7 million, and Joomla’s estimated annual revenue is $13.5 million.