The WordPress market share declines
If you’ve been enjoying the ride in the stock market these past couple of months, here’s another bit of red for you:
For the first time in WordPress’ entire history, its market share went down…at least according to W3Techs*.
*W3Techs works by analyzing the top 10 million websites according to Alexa and Tranco. So it’s not analyzing the “entire internet,” but it’s pretty dang close, as 10 million websites seem to be a large enough sample.
The decline started from March 2022 to April 2022, when WordPress dropped from 43.3% market share to 43.0% market share.
As of mid-May 2022, WordPress has further dropped to 42.9%.
Here’s a table showing the last few months, along with Squarespace and Wix:
|Month||WordPress Overall Usage||Wix Usage||Squarespace Usage|
|1 Nov 2021||42.8%||1.8%||1.8%|
|1 Dec 2021||43.0%||1.9%||1.8%|
|1 Jan 2022||43.2%||1.9%||1.8%|
|1 Feb 2022||43.3%||1.9%||1.8%|
|1 March 2022||43.3%||2.0%||1.8%|
|1 April 2022||43.0%||2.2%||2.0%|
|1 May 2022||43.0%||2.3%||2.0%|
|27 May 2022||42.9%||2.3%||2.0%|
The obvious question here is – why?
Well, there are plenty of potential theories:
- The Gutenberg project is driving away core WordPress users because it’s “ruining WordPress.”
- The Gutenberg project isn’t being added fast enough because it’s the “savior of WordPress.” Yes – you’ll see both of these arguments.
- Other content management systems like Craft CMS offer a more attractive alternative to WordPress.
- Casual users would rather use a simple website builder like Wix or Squarespace. There does seem to be some data to support this, as both Squarespace and Wix expanded their usage in the same time period.
- It’s just a random blip in the data or how W3Techs is calculating things, and WordPress’ dominance will continue soon.
- …your favorite pet cause is either ruining WordPress or not getting the focus it needs to save WordPress.
Where does the truth lie? Well, I personally have no idea, though it seems like Wix and Squarespace are playing the biggest role in it (at least according to W3Techs data). If WordPress is decreasing, that means something else needs to be increasing. And according to the data, that seems to be Squarespace and Wix.
Joost de Valk of Yoast SEO fame was the first one to draw attention to this in his post, WordPress’ market share is shrinking. He posits a few potential causes, such as Wix and Squarespace improving on their performance and SEO, as well as WordPress not offering an easy enough site-building experience.
For some other perspectives, there are a ton of comments in this WP Tavern post on the subject.
Since it’s only been a couple of months, I think it’s too early to be ringing any alarm bells. It could be something as simple as W3Techs changing something in its system that led to a small difference in the calculations.
However, if these trends continue, I’m sure there will be a lot more focus on what’s causing the drop.
Interestingly, if you look at CMS market share instead of overall usage, WordPress’ market share has actually been declining since November 2021 (though it did have a jump in February 2022).