back to article WordPress is now 30 per cent of the web, daylight second

The web-watchers at W3Techs have just noted a milestone: WordPress now accounts for 30 per cent of the world's websites. W3Techs crawls the top 10 million websites as determined by Amazon's Alexa rating service and peers into their innards to figure out what they're running, and sells details reports on its findings. It also …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vanity of Vanities. All is Vanity.

  2. Pomgolian
    Stop

    Wordpress is NOT a CMS

    Please stop referring to it as a CMS it isn't. It's a blogging tool. Just because all sorts of crazy shit is built on top of it does not make it a CMS, or even a good idea. It's a piss poor insecure mess that I've had to clean up more times than I care to remember.

    1. luminous

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      If it only had posts and media then fine. Please tell me how wordpress is NOT a content management system? 30% of the web uses it to manage their website's content.

      Probably like trying to say snapchat is only for sexting. It was originally made for that, but is now used by millions to share content, messages and communicate.

      Wordpress was originally made only for blogging, but has since evolved to be a pretty decent CMS.

      Also you probably should complain to wiki if you feel that strongly about it: "WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      Nowadays the security vulnerabilities come from the plugins, not the Wordpress core. Things like plugins writing their cache to a directory served by the webserver and allow an attacker to specify the filename and content for items to be cached ( ie: gimme_shell_access_please.php )

      Developing plugins for it is an awful experience however.

      1. agurney

        Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

        "Nowadays the security vulnerabilities come from the plugins, not the Wordpress core. "

        Really? I setup a generic Wordpress site in a dusty corner of a sandbox, and it wasn't long before it acquired the knack of displaying unwanted crud.

    3. Chris Hunt

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      It's a system used to manage website content, including - but definitely not limited to - blogs. That makes it a CMS in my book.

    4. skugga

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      It looks like a CMS, it act's like a CMS... tell me, how isn't it a CMS?

      Running multiple sites here all on Wordpress (zero plugins) without a blog in sight and it fits all ouf our CMS needs just fine.

      1. nevstah

        Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

        just because you can use a tool for something other than what it was designed for, doesn't mean becomes a different tool.

        You can hammer a screw into a piece of wood, doesn't mean you're hammer is now a screwdriver

        1. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

          @nevstah

          just because you can use a tool for something other than what it was designed for, doesn't mean becomes a different tool.

          You missed out a word which invalidates your conclusion. Wordpress was originally designed for blogs. Drupal was originally designed as a CMS. Wordpress evolved into a multi-purpose tool (by adding CMS), as did Drupal (by adding blogs).

          One can argue over how well either of those two (and others, such as Joomla) have evolved into multi-purpose tools. One can argue over whether Wordpress's CMS is better or worse than Drupal's CMS or whether Wordpress's blog is better or worse than Drupal's blog. One can argue which of them is a better multi-purpose tool, although that is heavily influenced by what one uses the tool for.

          What you can't legitimately argue is that any of them are no good at what they now do based upon what they originally did. You would take exception to me claiming that you are hopeless at coding software because originally all you could do was eat, sleep, cry and shit yourself. Things change.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

          A CMS has a framework to extend it with arbitrary types of *content* backed by SQL tables through an ORM layer. Wordpress has only blog posts, tags, comments, users, a few key-value attribute tables which allow a crude form of extension. It lacks basic features like internationalization, and always will because Automattic wouldn't dare to undermine major commercial plugin developers who provide that functionality via horrid kludges. The further you extend it from a basic blog, the more fragile and expensive it gets.

          That said, while Wordpress is utter shit, real CMSes are pretty crappy too, and there's little money to be made working with them.

    5. Dominion

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      If you'd made that assertion many, many years back when I was evaluating WordPress vs Joomla I'd have agreed with you, and it's why I went down the Joomla route. If I had to make the same decision now I'd probably go with WordPress.

    6. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      Not enough upvotes, Pomgolian.

      Wordpress is biggest piece of shit I ever seen. How people became convinced it was easier to use than HTML is one of the most stunning con jobs I've ever seen.

      1. Dominion

        Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

        It's easier for non-techies to publish content via a CMS. Which is precisely why I went from a website with flat HTML pages to a CMS. Whilst I'm happy to code HTML with notepad and upload with command line ftp, having a CMS means non-techies can publish content without bugging me to do it for them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

          So optimistic. Non-techies can't use a CMS. They're afraid of breaking the site. That goes for Wordpress as well.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

        > Not enough upvotes, Pomgolian.

        And so many downvotes. Methinks the WP shill brigade has arrived.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

          It's obvious innit?

        2. roselan

          Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

          Nah, it's the russian hackers!

      3. The Sprocket

        Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

        "Wordpress is biggest piece of shit I ever seen. How people became convinced it was easier to use than HTML is one of the most stunning con jobs I've ever seen."

        Wow. That's a very brave statement. Bravo!

        As a career Communication Designer, I do agree though, that it is a con job, as it creates a false illusion that 'anyone' can create an effective web presence. True, any monkey can slap in poorly crafted text, a litany of square-cut photos into a common template, but that doesn't make for a well-crafted piece of communication that stands out in a noisy marketplace. Yes . . . WP is a stunning con job indeed.

    7. roselan

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      Come up with something people like to use then.

    8. wpmad

      Re: Wordpress is NOT a CMS

      Ok, so what does CMS stand for? Is it 'Content Management System' by any chance? Oh, right. So can you 'manage' content with the WordPress system? Oh, yes. So it's a CMS... Full stop... Why is the world full of idiots like you?

  3. No Quarter

    How do they know...

    ...whether sites run a CMS or not? Many of my sites do but you would never know looking at the source code.

    1. steamrunner

      Re: How do they know...

      It's pretty easy to tell. If the source code to the main home page is a tangled mush of indecipherable nested code then it's using a CMS. If the mush has at least a tiny bit of structure then it's just using a framework. If you can read and vaguely understand it, it's been hand-coded.

      :-)

    2. rh587

      Re: How do they know...

      ...whether sites run a CMS or not? Many of my sites do but you would never know looking at the source code.

      Really?

      It's right there in the header:

      <meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.9.1" />

      And there's usually a "Powered by Wordpress" down in the footer somewhere.

      Even if you stripped those out, the entire structure of Wordpress belies it's core. It's not hard to look for URLs in the source pointing at directories with names like "/wp-includes/" or "/wp-content/" unless you've literally gone through the entirety of WP with a find-and-replace to strip out any "wp-" references (which will probably break updates and installed plugins).

      Other CMSs will have their own directory structures and distinctive headers which will give away their core, unless they've undergone a ground-up refactoring - which 99.9% of installations won't.

      1. IneptAdept

        Re: How do they know...

        https://builtwith.com/

        This is just one of a myriad of tools that will tell you what a site is run on via some http requests etc

        To be honest I hate wordpress for the reason that anyone can make a dynamic content based website that will let the world + dog do things that professional developers have spent years learning to do properly (mostly)

        There is at least 1 major Wordpress outbreak each year because of badly coded extensions or the install not being setup properly etc

        1. unimaginative
          FAIL

          Re: How do they know...

          I tried several of my own and clients' sites on built with and it failed to identity the framework behind any of them.

          Assuming this survey used I am pretty sure most of the sites that were "no CMS" were built on a framework of CMS that is sufficiently customisable to make it difficult to detect the CMS.

        2. roselan

          Re: How do they know...

          I like the "whatruns" extension personally.

      2. No Quarter

        Re: How do they know...

        I can tell a Wordpress site as easily as anybody. I was talking about the bespoke CMS that I use on many of my sites.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How do they know...

      > ...whether sites run a CMS or not?

      For a standard-installation dynamic CMS it is not difficult to find tell-tales. I would be more interested in how could they identify (and discriminate between) static site generators; even if you look for tell-tales of predefined "themes", there are literally thousands of them.

      Either way, a useful statistic for plugin vendors perhaps. For users, quantity does not equal quality and quality¹ is a relative measure anyway.

      ¹ Conformance to one's requirements.

  4. Lee D Silver badge

    Why does the bottom half of the article read like an advertisement?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Reg has long dropped biting for loving nibbles at the hand that feeds IT.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big user base

    Big target

    1. Seajay#

      Re: Big user base

      Yep, but also best support (in the open source sense of easiest to google an answer). That's the deal you make.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well that's depressing

    WordPress is a steaming pile of shit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well that's depressing

      While not the most intelligent comment I've read, it's 100% accurate.

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Well that's depressing

      As a WP user, I can agree with that. But it is getting better.

      And let's face it, there are worse commercial offerings that will cost you an arm and a leg and won't deliver the same functionality as WordPress will.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well that's depressing

        And let's face it, there are worse commercial offerings that will cost you an arm and a leg and won't deliver the same functionality as WordPress will.

        And there, in a nutshell, is the modern world summarised. These days we've become so accustomed to living with shitty solutions because the bar for superiority is set just so fucking low. I've even had it with trades people whereby the job really isn't crash hot but they were the best that you could find. It really is depressing.

    3. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Well that's depressing

      I tried to make our website in Wordpress but gave up in frustration as organising image files did not seem to be supported - I was driving mad. It seemed that you just chucked the into a big pile and if you needed to use the same image again, you uploaded again. I am too old for that.

      There were more, but I decided to go with Joomla as that was closer to my way of working. Not perfect, but possible to work with.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another poor article

    > The web-watchers at W3Techs have just noted a milestone: WordPress now accounts for 30 per cent of the world's web sites.

    That claim cannot be substantiated. It accounts for 30% of the sites that those chaps monitor amongst the CMS known to them, as their page clearly says.

    https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all

    But first and foremost, no mention at all of the main finding in those guys' survey? The statistic that 50.2% of the websites monitored do not run a CMS¹ at all?

    ¹ Known to W³Techs

  8. Chris Hunt

    "Another oddity: Squarespace and Wix, both of which advertise heavily to small business, have 0.9 and 0.5 per cent share among CMS-users respectively."

    Not that odd. If you're a non-techie plumber looking to set up a simple website for your business, Wix is probably a reasonable solution (never used it myself, so can't say). But that website is unlikely to make the top 10 million sites on the web, so won't be counted in the survey.

  9. ellemorgan

    You will say one day!

    Wordpress is the future of websites. I don't think Google is directly targeting sites just because the CEOs woke up one morning with steam coming out of his ears and decided on a whim to destroy every small business on the planet. Google is targeting all low-grade sites. And the fact is that most affiliate sites add zero value to the internet as a resource. So when you say wordpress is nothing, you know nothing. Google likes WordPress :). I know some other CMS that I love, Joomla, RevGlue.com etc. If you hire a developer, So many bucks will gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You will say one day!

      Yes, it's the "Windows" of the web.

      An insecure bloated mess, where every fucker uses it, nobody likes it, and "developers" are ten-a-penny.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You will say one day!

        Some many elitist jackasses here. It’s accessible and extensible, therefore easier for people to mess up. This has always been true in tech. Haters are probably the same bunch who feel Javascript is the worst language ever. Well, the loser is you because the striving pragmatic industry doesn’t care what you think and will just leave you behind. Yeah PHP sucks too, except some programmers became billionnaires using PHP to actually ACCOMPLISH things, instead of complaining why tools aren’t perfect.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wordpress could be far better, I look forward to the day the next big thing comes along to replace it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      WordPress 5.0?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >WordPress 5.0?

        LMFTFY

        Dogshit V5.0

  11. ecofeco Silver badge

    Worpdress is shit

    WORDPRESS IS SHIT.

    I can't believe the Internet devolved this fast. Wordpress is absolute shit. People will spend more time learning Wordpress's utter garbage interface and code instead of simple HTML.

    People really are fucking morons.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any system, not just IT, that approaches being a mono-culture - is prone to extinction disasters.

  13. Alister Silver badge

    It could be worse...

    30% of the web could be sites built using Dreamweaver or Frontpage...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: It could be worse...

      Frontpage sucked. Dreamweaver was fine in the hands of a pro.

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: It could be worse...

        Except most often it isn't. I known several graphics designer types (who aren't really even proper graphic designers but just did a course) who specialise in charging high fees to create custom websites for idiots with more money than sense that use Dreamweaver to pop out little WWW turds on a regular basis. They got into it because they had time on their hands after the kids went to school full time and it was a nice little earner. They cannot code for shit and have zero concept of the way anything should be setup but can drag, drop, and publish. Job done.

  14. JohnHMorris

    Drupal UX is kind of broken, but at least it's built on a proper database.

    WordPress' data model is weak in the extreme and database integrity is the responsibility of plug-ins. In other words one rapidly becomes behoven to plug-ins.

    Richer business semantics - beyond blogging - is not what WordPress is about. Most business side folks don't get that business value comes from the expression of richer domain-specific business semantics.

    There are new kids on the block that will serve better. Easy and more powerful.

    Interestingly the journalism / media / review community could do a better job of exploring the real implications of product alternatives. One almost never finds a WordPress review that comments on database issues and business implications. And yet this question is very important.

  15. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    So many negative waves!

    Wow. Such venom. Would I choose WordPress to build Amazon.com? Of course not. Would I use it for a static ten page site for a Dogwalker company? You bet.

    I've hand coded sites, back in pre CSS days, in notepad. And relied happily for years on Dreamweaver in the pre-mobile age, then early WordPress, abandoned it for several years for Joomla and Drupal, only to return to WordPress this year for a small project.

    Anyone who claims to be hand-coding contemporary sites today is a liar, or a fool, or has a client who is one.

    Joomla, Drupal, and large CMS are fine for people who use them day in and day out, but for anyone else they're ridiculous, over-complex, unintuitive, and break easily.

    For someone who just needs something that is small, quick to set up, easy to maintain, looks decent on laptops and mobile devices, and most importantly doesn't require a four week hands-on training course to use, Wordpress is a good choice.

    Yes you need to stay on top of security, but that's true of any software.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: So many negative waves!

      Anyone who claims to be hand-coding contemporary sites today is a liar, or a fool, or has a client who is one.

      What a curious statement. There are thousands, if not millions of contemporary sites out there which either don't need a CMS, or are custom built and don't use an off-the-shelf solution.

      If nobody was hand-coding, as you put it, there would be no need for php developers, .NET developers, etc, they could all become Wordpress drivers.

      1. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: So many negative waves!

        I must be a lying fool.

        ok ok, I admit it... I'm using "export to web page" in Word.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So many negative waves!

      > Anyone who claims to be hand-coding contemporary sites today is a liar, or a fool, or has a client who is one.

      Not much of a developer, sir, are we?

      And not much of a reader either, as the W³Tech site clearly says over half of all websites in the sample did not show evidence of a CMS.

      1. unimaginative
        FAIL

        Re: So many negative waves!

        That says more about their ability to detect what technology is used that what people use.

        I tried seven of my own and clients sites. It currectly detected the back end language in two cases, did not detect the framework used in any. In two cases also misclassified two Django sites as Wordpress (I think because the www. brochure sites run wordpress while the web apps that really run things run on Django)

    3. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: So many negative waves!

      I'll follow up a bit. When I referenced people "hand-coding" web sites I was imagining someone sitting down with a text editor, a blank screen, and typing <html> and going from there. Obviously, and I've dealt with projects like this, there's heavy duty coding happening on any moderately large site.

      However, and this was my point, I'm pretty sure that no-one, except for a few edge cases, ever starts from zero and builds a site from nothing. I'd wager that 98% of web projects begin with an existing, well-tested, well understood, well supported platform or framework, and builds on that structure. I can't imagine many cases where you won't take something "off the shelf" and then adapt it to suit a specific project. If a large part of the work has already been done it would be foolish to not use it.

      I can't be bothered getting all pedantic about whether WordPress (or any other tool) is a "real CMS." The point of the exercise is to have something on-line that lets people add, subtract, and change content elements at will. In other words, Manage your Content.

      If a nice little WordPress install is the right tool for a small job, that's what should be used. It's ridiculous to foist some gigantic, complex software package on someone just because WordPress is cool enough for you.

      The success of WordPress rests on one thing: one heck of a lot of people and companies don't want to have the expense of an in-house tech developer just to have a little web site. WordPress, and lately things like SquareSpace, give them what they need with minimal expense and minimal hassle. That's not a bad thing.

      And honestly, WordPress has come a long, long way from the days when it was just a blogging platform. It's more than powerful and flexible enough for a lot of small projects, is well enough supported that you can solve problems pretty quickly, and out of the box gives you something that looks not too bad on most devices.

  16. ProperDave
    Coat

    Am I the only one reading "W3Techs" as "Wet X"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm afraid so.

  17. unimaginative
    Stop

    Percentage of sites.

    Really big sites rarely run wordpress, so its share is mostly from the bottom end of the sites surveyed - so its share of web pages or time spent on the web is much lower.

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