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9 minutes

WordPress growth: usage over the years 2011 – 2020

You might have heard from thousands of sources that WordPress is the number 1 CMS on the internet. It has been growing since the first launch. At first, people used to use WordPress only to create blogs. However, as the new plugins stated to launch, WordPress kept evolving. Now, you can use WordPress not only to create blogs but to create an eCommerce store, membership websites, course websites, etc.

Have you ever wondered how WordPress started growing this much? We are going to see here WordPress's growth over the years. And, we will compare WordPress usage growth from 2011 to 2020. This will give you a brief idea of how did it start evolving and how it reached this point so easily.
We will start with the basic overview and then continue with the stats.

Overview of WordPress

WordPress was first launched in 2003 and since then it has been evolving a lot. Now, WordPress is available in over 100 languages. The latest version of WordPress (5.3) has been downloaded more than 7 million times. That’s a huge number.

This makes it one of the most popular CMS on the internet. WordPress dominates the top 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world. Isn’t this amazing? The number is in decimal because some people use WordPress as a blog and not on the entire website. Even the top companies in every industry use WordPress, which makes it one of the most popular CMS.

With that being said, let’s jump into the usage stats.

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<a href="https://www.wpaos.com/2020/04/09/wordpress-growth-usage-over-the-years-2011-2020/" target="_self"><img src="//261728-816734-raikfcquaxqncofqfm.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/WordPress-Growth.png" alt="WordPress Growth" height="3854" width="1240"></a>

WordPress usage: 2011 to 2020

We will first see the overview of the WordPress usage by seeing the number of active websites over the years.

So, let’s see the number of active websites. Here, we will only see the year and the active website in that particular year. This is to give you a brief about the growth.

  • 2011: There were 5 million active websites
  • 2012: The number of active websites went to 7.5 Million
  • 2013: The usage was increasing and there were roughly 8 million active websites
  • 2014: By the end of 2014, roughly 10 million websites were running on WordPress
  • 2015: There were almost 12.5 Million websites by the end of 2015
  • 2016: 2016 was the year as there was a whopping increase to 17.5 Million websites. 5 million more websites were added
  • 2017: In 2017, the rough score of active websites was somewhere around 20 Million websites
  • 2018: 2018 was the year when WordPress active websites touched 22.5 Million
  • 2019: In 2019, there were more than 25 million active websites.
  • 2020: The number of active websites almost doubled here. The active score is 27.5 million in the middle of 2020.

This was the rough overview of the WordPress growth over the years. If you are wondering what things changed and what were the new features were introduced, the next section is for you. We will cover several other details and understand WordPress's growth in detail.

WordPress Usage stats with features

Now, we are going to see a year-wise comparison of what are the new things that were introduced and how WordPress changed the way we build websites.

Here, we will highlight the major features that were released in the year. In this way, you can know what caused the increase in WordPress popularity.

This will cover all the major updates such as when WordPress acquired WooCommerce and when they announced the new block editor. All of these combined led to increasing in WordPress popularity.

So, let’s begin the growth statistics and usage details where we will cover the usage growth of 10 years starting from 2011 to 2020.

2011

WordPress in 2011 was pretty simple and easy to use. It was only used as blogs till now. That’s why they launched new features such as post formats and some more admin features such as admin bars. This was the time when WordPress usage was 5 Million if you consider the entire internet. This was pretty nice and the growth was growing rapidly.

2012

In 2012, the website growth was growing continuously as there were more and more features coming out in WordPress. At this time of the year, many new features made WordPress more amazing to use. They launched features like theme customizer using which you can customize the theme as you do it now. In the same way, a couple of more features were introduced due to which the domination of WordPress increased to 15% of the market share. There were roughly 7.5 Million websites by 2012.

2013

2013 was a slowdown for WordPress for many reasons. This was the year where they instructed the whole new automatic updates feature. With this, WordPress would perform automatic updates without asking for the user’s permission. Although, WordPress updates are necessary still people didn’t want it. In 2013, there were not as many security risks as it is now. So, this was not an issue for some people. Luckily, they introduced the whole new feature by the end of the year that could ask the user if they wanted the updates or not. So, popularity started to increase again.

WordPress over years usage

2014

There was a total of 5 million websites that were not in the English language. This proved the popularity of WordPress over the world. WordPress was getting global now. People were not using WordPress across the globe. Hence, there were more updates to the WordPress version. More and more people translating WordPress to different languages. Along with this, the development of WordPress themes and plugins were also increasing at a tremendous speed. Not to mention, the developers were adding more languages to plugins and themes. The most downloaded themes and plugins were available in several languages. So, it became more comfortable for people to use WordPress in other languages too.

2015

In 2015, WordPress active websites touched 12.5 Million marks. Roughly 12.5 Million websites were running on WordPress as of 2015. This was about to increase a lot as the WordPress developers were focusing on the theme customization, localization, customizer, REST API, etc. The popularity of WordPress had decreased a lot in 2013 due to automatic updates. However, it becomes natural this year. In the same way, Automattic brought the WooCommerce solution. Therefore, everyone knew that WordPress is not focusing on building a robust eCommerce platform. The number of eCommerce websites started to increase after that. There were more and more extensions build that increased WooCommerce functionalities.

2016

In 2016, the real game began. WordPress's popularity increased. The active websites increased more than 5 million websites which made a total of 17.5 million active websites by the end of 2016. Also, the domination of WordPress was 25%. In simpler words, there were 25% of the websites running on WordPress. Some of the new features came in the new version of WordPress. The new features added custom CSS and you could also add HTTPs on your website.

2017

In 2017. More than 20 Million websites were running on WordPress. There was a flat 2% increase in total usage and WordPress growth. You can now add HTML, videos, audio, and other things easily on your WordPress website. These changes made WordPress more interesting. They were also working on the block editor in the same year. However, it wasn’t yet launched in the current year. It will be launched in the next year (that is 2018).

2018

There were roughly 23 Million active installs by the year 2018. They launched the new block editor this time of year with the name Guttenberg. The Guttenberg editor had many bugs when it was first launched. People didn’t like the Guttenberg block editor. This was the main reason why the plugin “Classic editor” became popular. With this plugin, users could restore the previous editor of WordPress.

2019

The next year increased the WordPress user base a lot. The total number of WordPress websites by the end of 2018 was roughly 26 Million. People are loving the platform and how it is evolving. Many new features came n this year. This is the primary reason why WordPress user was increasing at a tremendous speed. There were no major updates in the year but there were no major features that changed the way we use WordPress. However, usage was still increasing. At the end of the year, there was a huge increase seen in the active websites. This invited more and more developers to create new plugins and themes.

2020

It’s just half of 2020 and WordPress user has doubled from the past 5 years. In 2015, the total number of WordPress users was 12.5 Million and in 2020, WordPress had over 27.5 Million active websites. The active websites just doubled in just a few years. Since 2013, WordPress active based has been increasing since then. By the end of 2020, there might be more than 30 million websites.

So, this was the overview of WordPress for the last 10 years. As you have seen the usage increased a lot. In 2011, the total number of active websites was only 5 million and now it’s more than 27.5 million. Guess what, it’s not even the end of the year. The usage is increasing a lot. This is because WordPress is suitable for all the people whether they want to create a blog or they are looking for an eCommerce solution to create a store for their business. Either way, WordPress is the right option. Also, you can create many more exiting websites with it. This is the reason why the popularity of WordPress is increasing.

Interesting WordPress stats

Now that you know all about WordPress usage stats, let’s see a couple of interesting stats that you didn’t know about WordPress. These are about the themes, plugins, users, and similar things.

  • There are more than 54k free plugins available to power up your WordPress website and extend the features. All of them are unique in their way and provides amazing features to increase the functionality of WordPress.
  • You get more than 4k free themes to design and customize your WordPress website. Not to mention, there are more than enough premium themes also.
  • WordPress has 1148 employees across the globe. The employees are from 72 different countries who work hard to make WordPress better. Not to mention, along with this, they have a whole community working towards making WordPress better. All the companies are developing new plugins, extensions, and themes to help the users. In the same way, the users are contributing by finding or solving bugs. The feedbacks also make it better in one way or the other.
  • It takes less than 5 minutes to launch a WordPress website. All the hosting providers offer one-click WordPress Install. You can start creating amazing posts with just a few clicks.
  • There are more than 70 million new posts published every single month. That’s just the post, we are not talking about the new products and other post formats. Hence, we can say many bloggers are actively using WordPress. Even the companies are posting blogs to get ranked in search engines and to aware their visitors about different stuff.
  • There are more than 77 million comments made on WordPress websites every month. This shows the engagement ratio of WordPress websites. Everyone is familiar with the way WordPress works. So, you will get more comments on this.

So, this was an overview of some of the unique stats of WordPress.

Final words

To conclude, this was all about WordPress's growth over the years. We also saw some of the interesting stuff about WordPress growth and how people are using WordPress. If you are not yet using WordPress, you should start using it. WordPress is amazing and the functionalities it provides are worth more than anything. You can create any type of website using it. Gone are the days when it was used just as a blog platform, now you can use it to create any website.

What do you think about the popularity of WordPress, will it reach 30 Million anytime soon?

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Edvins Gailums

Edvin is a WordPress website administrator on steroids with skills in HTML, CSS, JS and WordPress page builders such as Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, and Elementor.

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