Any entrepreneur should build a website to establish the business’s online presence, credibility, and primary information source. One of the most convenient ways to do this is to use WordPress — a free open-source content management system (CMS).
Facebook Newsroom, BBC America, and TechCrunch are some of the biggest brands that currently use WordPress. Additionally, the software giant powers 40% of all the websites on the internet.
Like millions of power brands and small business owners using WordPress, you can use this revolutionary software to enhance your marketing efforts. Read on to learn more about the incredible brand, from its history to the latest statistics and facts. These figures will help you decide if WordPress is the ideal marketing tool for you.
What Is WordPress?
If you search Google for the term WordPress, the top results will reveal two software variations — WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Before picking the software for your business, it’s essential to learn about their differences.
Often called self-hosted WordPress, WordPress.org is an open-source CMS with a PHP/MySQL platform. On the other hand, WordPress.com is a for-profit blogging software offering basic functionality.
WordPress.com uses the WordPress.org software, but their similarities end there. The former offers plans to have the company handle the technical aspects of your site, including theme and plugin installations. With WordPress.org, you decide on all website aspects: finding a host, installing software, troubleshooting, etc.
Throughout this article, we will refer to WordPress.org when we talk about WordPress. We recommend this software because it lets you create a flexible and customizable website that you own 100%.
The WordPress Story
The WordPress story began with a software called b2 or cafelog, which then 18-year old Matt Mullenweg used on his blog called Photomatt.net. At the time, he wanted to share photos from his trip to Washington, D.C.
After some time, developer Michel Valdrighi stopped upgrading b2. This move inspired Matt to update it himself to serve his blogging requirements. As a blogger, he knew what he wanted in software: flexibility and ease of use.
In 2003, developers Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little released WordPress — an improved version of the then-existing software b2. The duo saw a need for a more polished personal publishing system. With the help of many open-source contributors, they made significant changes to the software that differentiated it from its predecessor.
The founders’ vision was to enable users without PHP or MySQL skills to develop aesthetic, functional websites. They teamed up with other developers to create an enhanced installation process, templating system, and navigation experience.
With its open-source nature and plugin options, WordPress.org is in a league of its own. It quickly grew into a community of bloggers, developers, and non-developers transforming websites into online shops, photo galleries, informational pages, and a broad assortment of other tools.
Check out this article to learn more about the WordPress story.
WordPress is the world’s most widely-used, fastest-growing CMS today. Every month, 409 million internet users view 21.2 billion WordPress pages. It boasts of these impressive figures:
- WordPress powers 40% of websites worldwide.
- Users create 500 new sites with the software daily, almost ten times as many as new Shopify sites.
- It powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites, such as Bloomberg Professional, The New Yorker, and Disney.
- On a larger scale, WordPress powers 313,050 out of the top one million websites.
- Members publish 17 blog posts per second through this platform.
- There are 37 million monthly searches for the term WordPress, attracting similar traffic volumes as Amazon.
WordPress offers the same benefits as its CMS competitors Joomla, Drupal, and Shopify. They all provide clients with convenient and accessible site-building options.
WordPress currently enjoys the lion’s share of this market and accounts for 59.7% of software-built sites. It has enjoyed the title of most popular CMS for seven years in a row now. Its closest rival Joomla owns 6.7% of this category — an astounding 88.8% lower than the market leader.
WordPress provides business owners a convenient way to break into the digital world — with the help of many built-in tools. With little to no investment, companies can create groundbreaking websites that can handle massive traffic.
The platform’s versatility goes beyond its initial exclusive blogging features. Today, some of the most prominent shops, pages, journals, and government agencies trust WordPress, including the White House and Sweden!
A plugin is a software extension that adds new functions to a program without altering it. To date, WordPress offers over 55,000 free and paid plugins, with many new additions daily. Whether you’re looking for SEO analytics, shopping carts, or video players, you can find the right tools for your website that fit your budget. Users have downloaded WordPress plugins over 1.6 billion times, proving just how useful they are to site owners.
WordPress owes its versatility to the extensive selection of plugins available to its clientele. We would recommend this software to our clients because of the brand differentiation options that can help businesses stand out in a sea of competition.
The most popular plugins have gained over one million downloads each, 11 of which hit the seven million mark. The top three most downloaded ones are WooCommerce, All-in-One SEO (AIO SEO), and Akismet.
- WooCommerce: This software adds e-commerce functions to your site. It powers a whopping 70 million WordPress shops today. Out of the top one million e-commerce sites on the web, 22% use this plugin.
- AIO SEO: Launched in 2007, this plugin aims to help business owners improve SEO rankings and discover growth opportunities. Users have downloaded this free add-on over 48 million times.
- Akismet: This plugin is the most well-known spam protection add-on on WordPress. With over twelve million downloads, it flags comments that look like spam and detects misleading links.
Its plugin division CodeCanyon offers over 6,000 premium plugins on its site. Statistics show that 80% of searches on CodeCanyon are functionality-based, where users look for social media buttons, online forms, countdown timers, etc.
We always tell our clients that how a website looks plays a role as crucial as all plugins combined: it creates first impressions. It takes first-time visitors 0.05 seconds to decide whether they like a website or not based on how it looks.
Another factor to consider nowadays is mobile-friendliness. More than half of site visitors say they won’t recommend a website with a poorly designed mobile site. Check out your site’s mobile-friendliness before launching it to avoid making negative first impressions.
Like plugins, WordPress offers its clients a vast selection of free and paid themes. Shane Melaugh and Paul McCarthy introduced the what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor functionality to WordPress. This feature enables users to see site changes in real-time.
WordPress releases free themes annually for beginners and businesses with limited budgets. If you prefer premium themes, you can check out WordPress or template sites like Envato (formerly known as ThemeForest), MyThemeShop, and StudioPress. We recommend checking out Envato for variety. It offers over 11,000 themes, 70% of which serve niche template searches.
WordPress premium themes won’t cost you an arm and a leg. On the contrary, they only cost $45 on average across different marketplaces for a one-time fee. If you want a completely customized site, it may cost anywhere between $500 – $50,000.
Here are the three most downloaded internal themes, making up 17% of all WordPress sites.
- Top 1: Genesis framework, 7%
- Top 2: Divi, 6%
- Top 3: Avada, 4%
If you need help determining the best template for your business, we’re here for you. Call us at 404-590-2133 to create a website that generates leads, converts visitors, and increases revenue.
Today, WordPress is the most used website-building platform globally. With its millions of clients, this CMS is prone to hacking.
In 2016, WordPress had to deal with the Panama Papers Leak, affecting 2.6TB of data, 11.5 million files, and 4.8 million emails. This unfortunate event happened because a website wasn’t running the latest version of the Slider Revolution plugin.
Wordfence is a security WordPress plugin protecting four million users from online threats. In 2020, this Wordfence report revealed blocking over 90 billion malicious attempts from 57 million different IP addresses. This rate averages 2,800 WordPress attacks per second.
The four most common attacks WordPress users face are stolen passwords, backdoors, drive-by downloads, and pharma hacks. Here are some security statistics you should know before creating a website using WordPress:
- WordPress sites deal with almost 90,000 attacks per minute.
- Fake SEO plugins have infected up to 4,000 websites with malware.
- An estimated 3,972 identified vulnerabilities cause these attacks.
- Security company Sucuri reveals that WordPress hosts 83% of CMS-based hacked websites.
- Experts associate 82% of WordPress vulnerabilities with cross-site scripting.
- A little over half of the vulnerabilities come from plugins.
- Outdated WordPress sites cause 44% of all hacking incidents.
- Out of the top one million websites, an estimated 31% use old WordPress versions, making them inviting to hackers.
- Hackers succeed in gaining access to eight percent of WordPress accounts because of weak passwords.
To prevent such vulnerabilities on your site, follow these tips:
- Use a WordPress security plugin.
- Keep all plugins and themes up to date.
- Download plugins and themes from reliable sources.
- Don’t use common passwords.
- Limit login attempts.
- Create a two-step authorization login.
Observe these habits to defend your site’s security. Protecting your clients’ sensitive information is crucial to your success.
A diverse group of individuals representing different ages, races, and skillsets makes up the WordPress Community, connected by their love for the software. We find it a generally warm and helpful one, with many members contributing software updates and offering WordPress advice.
WordPress has an official community page that provides the following:
- Not-for-profit events
- Mentorship programs
- Diversity initiatives
- Outreach programs
- Other community-wide activities
Members use the blog for policy updates, project announcements, and status reports. All members are welcome to participate in any community activity.
WordPress members often initiate WordCamps — informal community events organized by users from around the globe. Members keep adding new locations to address the needs of individuals from places without established WordCamps. Whether you’re a new member or a software contributor, there’s an ideal activity for you.
In 2006, Matt Mullenweg organized the first official WordCamp in San Francisco. Since then, there have been almost a thousand WordCamps recorded across six continents, 65 countries, and 75 cities.
WordCamps aim to be accessible for all members, with tickets selling for as low as $40 for a two-day event. While event organizers usually do not pay speakers, ticket fees cover event expenses like venue rent, marketing, and contingency. Additionally, members sometimes get global and local sponsors to subsidize ticket costs to make events more affordable. Members who miss WordCamps can access them through WordPress.tv.
Individuals who prefer more intimate gatherings can initiate WordPress meetups — the inspiration behind WordCamps. Check out WordPress on Meetup to find small events near you. To date, the group has over 460,000 members and 740 groups in more than one hundred countries.
You may also visit WPCampus, WooConf, and Pressnomics for more WordPress-inspired events. Look for events near you to meet new people, discuss ideas, and make the WordPress Community a safer, more fun place for all users.
Do Better Online
Since its inception, WordPress has always focused on two crucial aspects for site owners: flexibility and ease of use. Today, the platform still stays true to this vision. The software may have grown from an exclusive blogging tool to online shops, pages, journals, and government sites, but developers have never lost track of the initial goal.
WordPress now offers thousands of plugins and themes to help a diverse selection of businesses achieve their goals. You will find the smallest companies and megacorporations alike trusting WordPress to create their official websites.