In a 2021 analysis of the world’s most popular websites, we’ve found that WordPress powers 10.57% of the top 10,000 websites by traffic.
This works out to an impressive 44.26% market share of known content management systems among these sites—more than four times that of its closest rival.
It’s no secret that WordPress leads the content management system (CMS) market, but these numbers further solidify its dominance among a particularly distinguished segment.
Off-the-shelf software is rare among the top 10,000 websites, with less than 24% using a known CMS. This underscores the incredible significance that WordPress alone powers 10.57%, with the remaining 13.31% split between its 126 competitors.
We also found that WordPress powers 4.4% of the top 1,000 websites, representing a 31.31% market share among the web’s upper echelon.
If you’re building a website with WordPress, you’re clearly in great company with many of the world’s top brands relying on this free, open-source CMS.
Below you’ll find the full details of this study, including market share numbers for other content management systems used by the world’s top sites.
CMS Usage Among The Top 10,000 Websites
For this analysis, we used Amazon’s Alexa Top Sites to determine the top 10,000 websites globally, based on Alexa Traffic Rank. We then ran this list through a script that uses a variety of technical indicators to check for more than 900 known content management systems.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of top sites do not use a publicly available CMS. Nevertheless, WordPress leads the pack at 10.57%, followed by Drupal (2.3%) and Adobe Experience Manager (2.04%). All other systems account for less than 1% each.
|1||Unknown / No CMS||7612||76.12|
|4||Adobe Experience Manager||204||2.04|
Among websites in the top 10,000 that use a known CMS, WordPress controls 44.26% of the market. Drupal and Adobe Experience Manager, the first and second runners-up, hold just 9.63% and 8.54%, respectively.
|3||Adobe Experience Manager||8.54|
CMS Usage Among The Top 1,000 Websites
We also analyzed the top 1,000 websites, using the same methodology.
As you might expect, the proportion of CMS usage here is even smaller at under 15%. This makes sense: websites like Google, Facebook, and YouTube are of course using their own proprietary technology.
Even so, WordPress powers 4.4% of the world’s top 1,000 websites. Adobe Experience Manager takes second place at 2.3%, followed by Drupal at 1.6%.
|1||Unknown / No CMS||859||85.90|
|3||Adobe Experience Manager||23||2.30|
Among websites in the top 1,000 that use a known CMS, WordPress holds a market share of 31.21%, followed by Adobe Experience Manager (16.31%) and Drupal (11.35%).
|2||Adobe Experience Manager||16.31|
Why It Matters
WordPress began in 2003 as a humble fork of an earlier blogging system. Since then, it has grown a massive community and evolved from a simple blogging platform to a fully fledged CMS, capable of powering nearly any type of website.
Still, it’s easy to think of a free, open-source website builder as something used by hobby bloggers and small, cash-strapped businesses. But the numbers above tell a different story: even among the top 10,000 websites, an elite segment with the resources to build their own custom solutions, more than 10% have opted to use WordPress.
This is more than an impressive stat—it’s a testament to the ubiquity of WordPress, as well as its reliability and scalability.
If you’re creating a website with WordPress, you can have confidence knowing you’re using the same proven technology as some of the most popular sites in the world.
Likewise, if you’re building a business in the WordPress community, you’ll be happy to know that the market is not only growing, but also includes an impressive roster of high-value customers.