WordPress: Where in the World

It was eleven years ago.  In 2003 WordPress.org opened for business. May the Twenty-Seventh, 2014 marked the launch of what has become the world’s most popular, Content Management System.

The WordPress Map Unfolds

Based on the Developers Emeritus list of members, the early WordPress community  
was largely from the San Francisco Bay area, Denver, Atlanta, England, and Ireland, though the members were spread across the world.

As word spread, interested bloggers and developers visited the WordPress user forums to get their questions answered, and stayed to help others, contributing to the development of WordPress. The WordPress community quickly grew,

In the beginning, there was too much going to to keep up with tracking visitors, but in time, the team started paying close attention to their visitors and statistics, digging deep into their demographics especially after WordPress.com, the free site hosting service, was launched in 2005.

Automattic offers charts on the spread of WordPress around the globe, representing the growth of WordPress, even though the numbers are actually hard to measure.

Statistical chart of worldwide WordPress activity

According to the chart above from Automattic, as of December 2013, WordPress is represented by approximately 1 Billion people. This includes an estimate of the following:

  • United States – 241M
  • Brazil – 113M
  • Canada – 103M
  • Japan – 91.5M
  • India – 85.6M

According to statistics, WordPress’s world map saw a surge in global users in 2009 fueled largely by a growth in users from Asia and India.

Does that fairly represent where in the world WordPress users are?

In 2007, WordPress long-time contributor and developer, Ozh created a “Bug Fixers Heat Map” representing the number of fixes to WordPress by specific contributors. If he had taken it one step further and used some geo-location information, he could have created a location map of WordPress contributors.

WordPress Contributors Heat Map 2007.

What defines a WordPress Community member? Is it that they downloaded WordPress? Visited the WordPress.org site? Member of WordPress.com? All of the above?

In 2005, WordPress 1.5 was downloaded over 50,000 times in the first two weeks of its release, breaking all previous records for WordPress releases. Since its release on April 16, 2014, the WordPress Download Counter reports that WordPress 3.9 has been downloaded over 25 million times and counting. Should be count each download as a representative of a single member of the WordPress Community?

In 2012, Forbes Magazine interviewed Matt Mullenweg and Toni Schneider about WordPress and Automattic, the commercial side of WordPress, and reported an estimate of 15,000 users by August of 2003 around the world. By 2012, over 60 million websites were using WordPress by their best estimate.

The article describes the WordPress/Automattic workforces as:

Along with independence, Automattic has an idiosyncratic workplace. As a legacy of its open-source roots its 120 employees are spread across 26 countries and six continents. Although most work alone at home, each team–usually made up of five or six people–has a generous budget to travel. “All of the money we save on office space, we blow on travel costs,” Mullenweg laughs. Groups have gathered in Hawaii, Mexico and New Zealand. Once a year everyone meets for a week at an accessible destination with a solid Internet connection. A distributed workforce means Automattic can hire talent from around the world–without having to offer the perks and pay of Google, Facebook and Apple.

Outside Automattic a massive community of developers and consultants make a living directly off of WordPress. In a recent survey, the company found 20,000 people across the globe hosting blogs, designing websites and offering maintenance services for WordPress users. Where one executive might see lost revenue, Mullenweg sees long-term value, letting Automattic focus while outside players fill in the gaps. “We look strange from the outside,” he says.

Where in the World is WordPress Now?

According to W3Techs, WordPress now represents 22.4% of all websites in the world, a market share of the Content Management System market of 60.2%. Joomla and Drupal come in line at 8.2% and 5.2% respectively.

In 2014 the world of WordPress is growing fast, blogs are currently published in 120 languages, with the top 10 listed below according to a live look at activity across WordPress.com

  1. English: 71%
  2. Spanish: 5.1%
  3. Indonesian: 2.5%
  4. Portuguese (Brazil): 2.5%
  5. French: 1.5%
  6. German: 1.3%
  7. Italian: 1%
  8. Turkish: 0.7%
  9. Dutch: 0.6%
  10. Russian: 0.5%

The WordPress map truly spans the globe.

In jest, WP Tavern tried to find WordPress on a map. Not just any map but a map by The9988Nartin Bargic known as The9988 on Deviant Art of the Internet and Gaming World. Not sure if they found it, but it boggles the mind to consider where WordPress would fit into that landscape.

Torque Mag did a good attempt to describe the WordPress Community through the WordCamps, the annual events held in regional areas globally.

Cultivation of a vibrant and enthusiastic community is just one of the common threads any area with a large amount of WordPress users may experience. The users are excited to connect with their surrounding WordPress community, and to work together to develop the best sites and tools possible.

WordPress is—at its core—an open source CMS that everyone can work on together, inspiring creativity and community wherever it’s being used.

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