A Collection Of Interesting WordPress Usage Stats: Market Share, Themes, Plugins, + More

Published on May 10th, 2018

Last Updated on March 11th, 2021

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You probably already know that WordPress is pretty popular. But just how popular is “pretty popular”? Have you ever wondered more about WordPress’ usage stats and just how many websites out there are running on the best content management system in the world (ok – that might be editorializing)?

I know I was curious – so I collected some WordPress usage stats to get a better understanding of just how popular WordPress is. Then, I decided to take things a step further and collect stats to dispel two popular myths about WordPress (“it’s just for blogs”, “it’s just for small websites”).

Finally, because I was on a roll, I decided to try and get a rough approximation of how many WordPress themes and plugins are in existence, which is something people often wonder about.

So if you’ve ever wanted some hard stats on WordPress’ popularity, this post is for you. Let’s dig into the numbers!

WordPress Powers 30.7% Of All Websites

This is the big statistic that WordPress people like to throw around. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 30.7% of all the websites on the Internet*.

*It’s not technically “every” website, but W3Techs’ surveys are based on the top 10 million sites according to Alexa, so it’s pretty dang close.

What’s more, when you change the basis of criteria from “all websites” to “all websites using a known content management system (CMS)”, WordPress’ usage shoots up to an even more impressive 59.9% market share.

WordPress Is Still Growing, Too

Here’s the really important thing about the usage stats above…

WordPress’ market share is still growing and has been consistently growing since at least 2011 (I’m sure it was growing before then, too. W3Techs’ data just doesn’t go back any further).

Here’s how many of the world’s websites have been using WordPress over the past seven years…

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2011 13.1%
2012 15.8%
2013 17.4%
2014 21.0%
2015 23.3%
2016 25.6%
2017 27.3%
2018 30.7%

That’s pretty consistent growth of about 2-3% (in actual market share) per year.

If WordPress’ market share growth continues on this trajectory, it should officially power one-third of the entire Internet around 2019.

How Many Websites Use WordPress? Broken Up By Traffic Rank

Ok, now that I hit you with the overall WordPress market share, let’s dig a little deeper and look at some WordPress usage stats based on how popular a website is.

There’s this popular myth that “WordPress isn’t for high-traffic sites.” That’s bunk…

While there is a slight dip in market share when you filter out just the world’s most trafficked websites (which you’d expect – those sites have the resources to build their own platform), WordPress still makes a regular appearance.

Here’s WordPress’ usage broken up by traffic rank, according to BuiltWith

WordPress powers…

  • 22.9% of websites in the Quantcast Top 10k (a measure of the 10,000 most popular websites in the world)
  • 22.9% of websites in the Quantcast Top 100k (most popular 100,000 websites)
  • 26.3% of websites in the BuiltWith Top Million (most popular 1 million sites)

wordpress usage stats by traffic rank

Give that WordPress powers almost a quarter of the world’s 100,000 most popular websites, I think that we can dispense with the myth that WordPress isn’t for big websites!

WordPress Is The Most Popular eCommerce Platform, Too

Here’s another myth that some people still throw around about WordPress – “it’s just for blogs“.

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While WordPress does have its roots in blogging, it’s long-ago become a full-service content management system that’s used for all types of websites.

Don’t believe me? What if I told you that WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin were actually the most popular way to build an eCommerce store on the Internet?

According to data from BuiltWith, WooCommerce powers 42% of the eCommerce stores on the entire Internet. As you’d expect, that’s good for first place!

woocommerce market share

If you break things down by traffic, WooCommerce’s market share isn’t quite as dominant. But it still makes an appearance at the top by every metric. It powers:

  • ~10% of websites in the Quantcast Top 10k (good for second place behind Shopify)
  • ~13% of websites in the Quantcast Top 100k (good for first place)
  • ~20% of the BuiltWith Top Million (good for first place)

With numbers like that, maybe the myth should be that “WordPress is only good for eCommerce”!

How Many WordPress Themes Are There? Well Over 17,214 Themes!

Ok, now that you know about WordPress’ overall usage, let’s dig into the usage and popularity of WordPress themes.

If you try to get a list of all the themes on WordPress.org, you’ll find that there are 5,737+ free WordPress themes listed at WordPress.org alone. The most popular of these themes are used on hundreds of thousands of sites.

If you hop over to the premium themes at ThemeForest, you’ll find another 11,477+ premium WordPress themes for sale across a huge variety of niches.

Put those numbers together, plus the huge, but uncountable, amount of themes that are sold directly through developers’ own websites, and you get the fact that there are well over 17,214 WordPress themes in existence.

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How Many WordPress Plugins Are There? Well Over 61,733 Plugins!

If you thought 17,000+ WordPress themes was a lot, the number of WordPress plugins out there is going to absolutely blow your mind.

At WordPress.org alone, there are over 55,246 free plugins. These plugins cover everything from contact forms to performance to SEO to WooCommerce analytics and pretty much everything else!

Impressive as that number is, it’s not the total number of plugins in existence.

If you hop over to CodeCanyon (Envato’s plugin marketplace), you’ll find another 6,487+ premium WordPress plugins covering a similarly diverse set of uses.

And just like themes, that’s not the total number because you also have a whole slew of independent developers selling plugins through their own websites.

So if you add those two published numbers together, plus the fact that there are other plugins in existence that can’t be counted, you get a minimum of 61,733 WordPress plugins in existence.

In Summary: WordPress Is Crazy Popular

All those numbers add up to one undeniable fact:

WordPress is, without a doubt, the world’s most popular way to build a website.

Beyond that, WordPress is a popular way to build any type of site – not just blogs. And it’s also used by some of the world’s most highly-trafficked websites.

Finally, with tens of thousands of WordPress themes and plugins, you’re also spoiled for choice when it comes to building your site with WordPress.

Know any other interesting WordPress usage statistics? Share them in the comments section below!

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing, WordPress and B2B writing. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi. You can also follow his travel blog.