Since the launch of WordPress in 2003, it has held the dominant share of the content management system market.
Currently, the popular platform has a 64.1% market share, according to W3Techs, which offers the most reputable and trusted data source.
In this report, you will learn about the size of the CMS market, how it has evolved over the past decade, how different content management systems compare to each other, and why it matters for someone working in SEO. .
What is the size of the CMS market?
According to W3Techs, 68.9% of websites have a CMS and Netcraft reports 1.15 billion live hostname websites.
From this, we can assume that the current content management system market size is approximately 796 million websites.
Top 10 Content Management Systems (CMS) by Market Share (Globally)
|Top 10 CMS, May 2022||Spear||Type||Market share||Use|
Data from W3techs, May 2022
What is the most used CMS?
*Charts are separated due to the dominance of WordPress market share:
- WordPress market share has increased by 16% since 2011 but has decreased by 2% this year.
- Wix grew by 17% this year.
- Squarespace grew 11% this year.
WordPress has held the dominant market share almost since its launch in 2003.
Since 2011, this position has been relatively stable – almost stagnant. In 11 years, it only increased from 16% to 64.1%.
Between 2011 – 2022:
- Websites without a CMS system decreased by 57%.
- Websites with WordPress grew by 227%.
Joomla vs Drupal vs WordPress market share
- Since 2011, Joomla has decreased its market share by 77%.
- Since 2011, Drupal has lost 69% of its market share.
Joomla and Drupal together held a 17% CMS market share, which dropped to 4.4%.
This drop took them from positions 2 and 3 to 5 and 6, as Wix and Squarespace rose and eventually replaced them this year.
That’s a hell of a drop for Joomla, which may not have had the same market share as WordPress but, until 2008, had more search interest, according to Google Trends.
Why have these popular content management systems declined so much?
This is likely due to the strength of third-party support for WordPress with plugins and themes, which makes it much more accessible.
The growth of website builders, such as Wix and Squarespace, indicates that small businesses want a simpler managed solution. And, they started nibbling market share from the bottom.
Website Builder Market Share, Wix vs Squarespace
- Wix grew by 17% this year, from January to May.
- Squarespace grew by 11% this year, from January to May.
If we look at website builders, their significant growth is a strong indication of the direction the market may take in the future.
From 2011 to 2022:
- Wix grew by 3,678%.
- Shopify grew by 2,033%.
- Squarespace grew by 1,400%.
When we compare WordPress’ 16% growth over the past 11 years to other players, that growth for the CMS giant becomes even more flattened and stagnant.
Why does this happen?
SaaS website builders like Wix and Squarespace don’t need coding knowledge and offer a hosted website that makes it more accessible for a small business to quickly get a web presence.
No need to organize a hosting solution, install a website and configure your own email. A website builder does all of this for you.
WordPress is not known as a complicated platform to use, but it does require coding knowledge and an understanding of how websites are built.
On the other hand, a website builder is a much easier route to market, without needing to understand what’s going on behind the scenes.
Consider that, during the pandemic, much of the population was working from home, which sparked more interest and attention on how being online could be a source of income.
Elementor is a WordPress-based website builder used by 17.2% of all websites that use WordPress.
It also has a lot more market share than Wix and Squarespace combined.
However, since it is a third-party plugin and not a CMS, it does not feature in the Top 10 CMS above.
If we compare the volume of traffic to the number of CMS, we see that WordPress is in the golden section, at the top and on the right, clearly favored by sites with more traffic.
Drupal fits into a niche of fewer installs but more high traffic sites, indicating that more professional sites are using it.
Squarespace and Wix are left and bottom, highlighting that they are installed on fewer sites with less traffic.
A strong indication that they are used more by small websites and small businesses.
Elementor bridges the gap between the two and has the market share clout of WordPress, but is used by sites with less traffic.
The appetite is growing for drag-and-drop plug-and-play solutions that make web presence accessible to everyone. This is the space to watch.
Ecommerce CMS Market Share, Shopify vs Woocommerce
- WooCommerce has a 13% market share.
- Shopify has a 6.4% market share.
The eCommerce CMS space echoes a similar pattern to website builders.
Technically, WooCommerce is not a standalone CMS, but a WordPress plugin – that’s why it doesn’t appear in the Top 10 CMS data table.
However, it is essential to the e-commerce space, so it is worth considering and mentioning.
8.7% of all existing websites use WooCommerce, which has a 13.0% CMS market share. 20.3% of all websites that use WordPress use WooCommerce.
Looking at the distribution, we can see a clear trend emerging. Compared to other eCommerce CMS platforms, WooCommere is dominant.
It has more market share than the other competitors combined:
Magento + OpenCart + PrestaShop + Shopify = 8.9% market share.
Magento may not have the volume of installs, but high-traffic sites favor it – indicating that Magento is a CMS of choice for larger, more professional businesses, just as we’ve seen with Drupal.
Smaller sites may favor WooCommerce, but it has the clout of the WordPress platform for market access and, therefore, more installs – much like Elementor.
Shopify has more market share, but traffic levels are similar to WordPress.
Shopify has seen massive growth during the pandemic by 53% from 2020 to 2021 and then by 27% from 2021 to 2022, far more than any other platform.
Why is CMS market share important to someone working in SEO?
WordPress retains its dominance in the CMS market, but website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are on the rise, indicating where market growth lies, especially for small businesses.
If more small businesses are turning to website builders, understanding the limitations and intricacies of these platforms for SEO could be a competitive advantage.
Shopify is installed on 4.3% of all websites (not just sites with a CMS): a total potential market of 50 million websites.
With their growing market share, specializing in Shopify SEO could be a strategic move for an SEO professional.
Likewise, specializing in Wix and Squarespace is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
WordPress may be dominant now, but that also means many other people maintain that specific CMS.
Aligning with a more specialized CMS can be a strategic decision for new customer opportunities.
All data collected from W3techs, May 2022, unless otherwise stated.
W3Tech samples its data from the Alexa top 10 million and Tranco’s top 1 million. Websites with no content or duplicate sites are excluded. Data source limitations mean that hosted Tumblr and WordPress.com sites are not included as data collection does not count subdomains as more than one site.
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