BuiltWith Reports a 7% Increase in WordPress’ Usage from January – July 2015

photo credit:  Luis Llerena
photo credit: Luis Llerena

BuiltWith, the popular service dedicated to monitoring internet technology trends and providing platform usage analytics, released its bi-annual internet coverage report for CMS usage from January – July 2015. The report shows that WordPress, which accounts for 48% of total CMS’s tracked, added 1.1 million domains since January.

WordPress has been found on an additional 1.1 million domains since January but only accounts for a 7% increase in customer base. Whereas Ghost was added to 2,184 domain home pages and accounts for a 17% increase in their customer base.

The title of the summary is “CMS Market Share Increases by Install Base,” but WordPress is the only CMS shown in the chart with an actual market share value assigned based on its place among tracked competitors.


BuiltWith indexed 328,852,063 domains during this quarter. Instead of simply showing the increase by usage numbers, the summary focuses on the percentage increase in customer base for a more interesting comparison. When commenters noted that this is not, in fact, market share data, Ghost co-founder John O’Nolan replied, “Relative growth compared to existing size is pretty much the only sane measure.”

Oddly, the report did not share any figures for Drupal or Joomla, which W3techs estimates as WordPress’ closest CMS competitors in terms of market share. BuiltWith’s summary appears to be limited to the fastest growing platforms based on percentage increase in customer base.

The CMS report also included some interesting stats on the WordPress versions it detected on sites indexed. These numbers roughly correspond to the project’s version usage stats, although WordPress doesn’t publish numbers for versions older than 3.0. BuiltWith found that 1748 websites are still running on WordPress 2.1, released eight years ago. This number is down 259 sites since the beginning of the year.

photo credit: BuiltWith
photo credit: BuiltWith

According to Gary Brewer, founder of BuiltWith, “Wix and Squarespace’s main acquisition for existing websites that are using a CMS are from WordPress sites.” He also notes that WordPress continues to dominate without the help of celebrity advertisements. Wix’s ad with Heidi Klum and Squarespace’s Jeff Bridges commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl, are evidence of both companies’ massive marketing budgets. WordPress.com, the world’s leading provider of free WordPress sites, has yet to explore that route.


15 responses to “BuiltWith Reports a 7% Increase in WordPress’ Usage from January – July 2015”

  1. I am surprised by the number of WordPress installations that are not updated to the latest version. For security reasons and because the latest WordPress version often offers great new features, I always update once a stable build is released.

  2. Wow! Ghost and/or Ghost.org do look very interesting–written in 100% javascript –with no PHP… (woot!)

    I’m thinking that the greatest thing WordPress and/or WPTavern.com can do for a potential market competitor is to write about a non-profit foundation like Ghost.org and mention, Ghost, the name of their open-source project.

    The marketing clout and name-brand recognition of WordPress, in terms of SEO-influence alone, is helping the ‘Ghost Website and Blogging Platform’ open-source project immeasurably.

    Granted, I’m just a (lowly) WordPress end-user and not a WP Dev or anything like that, but I had never heard of Ghost.org or even thought to #TryGhost as a potential website and blogging platform alternative to WordPress (both .com and .org) until Ghost was mentioned here on WPTavern a bunch of times.

    Perhaps some of non-profit Ghost.org’s MIT-licensed, open source ideas and innovations will serve as a market wake-up call for WordPress?

    As an end-user with a fairly decent progression in my WP-learning over the past four years, my experience with WordPress is one of increasing complexity and security concerns, inconsistent user interface, and a goofy, duct-taped hodge-podge (to this end-user anyway) of frameworks, themes, child-themes, and plugins.

    Also, considering the periodic public bickering, extremely defensive, and oft-condescending WordPress dev community, what’s not to love about a potential alternative website framework and blogging platform option like Ghost?

    Add-in the reality of the annual *cost* of a decent WordPress website (all those yearly license fees to pay for WP-plugin functionality add-up!), and you have a decently large number of us WordPress end-users who have had enough of the bull$hit. We just want an uncomplicated, usable, supportable, learn-able platform that both works and functions as a writing and material-publishing tool when we want need it. Ghost may give you a run for your money. (Run Forrest. Run!)

    From this lowly WordPress end-user’s perspective, I think the WordPress dev and WP support communities might be surprised at the size (it’s gotta be huge) of the WordPress end-user market segment that’s just begging to be presented with a less-complicated, easily maintained, user-friendly option such as that which Ghost portends to be at the expense of WordPress.

    We in the WordPress DIY end-user market segment will jump (are jumping) at what Ghost promises. Its worth at least a look and a test drive for the possibility of relief from what’s become an increasingly frustrated relationship with an unwieldy-WordPress product and WP eco-system.

    Maybe some market competition from the likes of Ghost will kick WordPress in the butt? Perhaps you guys will be forced to get your shit together? Competition in the marketplace tends to benefit the customer/end-user. (Said by the Econ Major/MBA guy here.) Here’s hoping anyway.

    That said, by fostering this discussion here, you guys are probably growing Ghost.org’s SEO and resulting market share by the minute. I guess that’s the spirit of an unbiased news website, of sharing in general, and of the open-source community as a whole. That’s pretty cool, I say!

    Thanks. I appreciate your example of unbiased reporting here.

    BTW, to any/all WordPress Devs and WP-fiends who may be inclined to be offended and would react defensively by what I’ve written here, I say…have at it. Start the pointed and personal counter-attacks! It’s all free. (Like Free Beer, right? Ha!)

    (rant over)


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