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The blog platforms of choice among the top 100 blogs

We all know that WordPress is popular among bloggers, and Movable Type as well. But HOW popular? And what other platforms are being used? To find out, we went through the Technorati top 100 blogs and investigated what blog platforms they are using. It turned out to be a highly interesting survey with plenty of surprises along the way.

As a by-product we also found out some interesting things about the more popular blog networks. For example, did you know that Weblogs, Inc. and Gawker Media together have 22 of the top 100 blogs?

When you read this article, you might want to keep in mind that we have chosen to make a distinction between blogging services and self-hosted blog software.

  • By blogging services we mean services like Typepad, WordPress.com and Blogger, where a third-party service is handling the blog software and hosting for you.
  • By blog software we mean the software you use when you set up and host the platform yourself (using WordPress, Movable Type, etc).

Now let’s get on to the data.

Overall blog platform statistics – the lowdown

Before we dive into details further down, here is a diagram so you can get a quick overview of which blog platforms (and CMS) are the most popular among the top 100 blogs.

(You can find a list of all the blogs and their blog platforms (or CMS) at the bottom of the article.)

Blog software (self-hosted)

We found that WordPress is the most-used platform among self-hosted blogs, which perhaps isn’t a huge surprise. It has more than twice as many blogs in the top 100 as Movable Type, the blog platform that came in second place.

  • WordPress is used by 27 blogs in the top 100.
  • Movable Type is used by 12 blogs in the top 100.
  • Only 8 of the top 100 blogs use a custom-made blog platform.
  • Drupal is the only general-purpose CMS with any presence worth mentioning, with 4 blogs in the top 100.

An interesting side note is that very few WordPress blogs in the top 100 have updated to WP 2.7 so far.

Blogging services

Though WordPress is more popular among the self-hosted blogs than Movable Type, the situation is reversed when it comes to the blogging services based on these blog platforms. Typepad (based on Movable Type) is more popular than WordPress.com (based on WordPress). Blogger comes in at third place.

That’s at least if you count the commonly available blogging services. If you also count the AOL-owned Blogsmith that is used by Weblogs, Inc., that ends up having almost as many blogs in the top 100 as Typepad, leaving WordPress.com and Blogger in a distant third and fourth place.

Traditional media like Entertainment Weekly, CNN and Wired often use blogging services for their blogs, and most seem to have chosen Typepad.

  • More than one third of the top 100 blogs use a blogging service.
  • Typepad is used by 16 blogs in the top 100.
  • Blogsmith is used by 14 blogs in the top 100.
  • WordPress.com is used by 5 blogs in the top 100.
  • Blogger is used by 3 blogs in the top 100. (Including, of course, The Official Google Blog.)

WordPress and Movable Type as a whole

If you combine the hosted and self-hosted versions of WordPress and Movable Type (i.e. include WordPress.com and Typepad as well), they dominate, claiming 60 of the top 100 blogs.

  • WordPress + WordPress.com have 32 of the top 100 blogs
  • Movable Type + Typepad have 28 of the top 100 blogs.

Blog networks

Something we noticed while going through the top 100 blog list at Technorati is that two big blog networks have taken a large chunk of the top 100 blogs. In addition to these, Wired has created a small blog empire of its own.

  • AOL-owned Weblogs, Inc. has 14 blogs in the top 100. All use Blogsmith as a blog platform.
  • Gawker Media has 8 blogs in the top 100. Gawker Media uses its own, custom-made blog platform for its blogs.
  • Wired’s blogs are plentiful as well. There are 9 Wired blogs in the top 100, all using Typepad.

The top 100 blogs and their blog platforms

We have sorted the list by blog platform, largest first.

Top blog platforms
Blog name Technorati rank Platform
Perez Hilton 18 WordPress
Problogger 46 WordPress
Chris Brogan 69 WordPress
Zen Habits 77 WordPress
Copyblogger 89 WordPress
Think Progress 27 WordPress
VentureBeat 56 WordPress
/Film 80 WordPress
Global Voices Online 95 WordPress
The Caucus Blog – NYTimes 22 WordPress
Bits Blog – NYTimes 51 WordPress
Freakonomics – NYTimes 70 WordPress
Pajamas Media 45 WordPress
Just jared 86 WordPress
Smitten Kitchen 97 WordPress
Hot Air 48 WordPress
Neatorama 59 WordPress
TechCrunch 2 WordPress
Smashing Magazine 10 WordPress
Washington Wire – WSJ 38 WordPress
Michelle Malkin 39 WordPress
Daily Blog Tips 63 WordPress
Yanko Design 81 WordPress
Mashable 11 WordPress
Roy Tanck’s weblog 20 WordPress
CrunchGear 49 WordPress
Delicious:days 99 WordPress
Popwatch 76 Typepad
Seth’s Blog 14 Typepad
The Daily Dish 21 Typepad
Threat Level – Wired Blogs 24 Typepad
Gadget Lab – Wired Blogs 26 Typepad
Wired Science – Wired Blogs 31 Typepad
The Pioneer Woman 32 Typepad
Listening Post -Wired Blogs 52 Typepad
Political Radar 53 Typepad
The Underwire – Wired Blogs 57 Typepad
Epicenter – Wired Blogs 60 Typepad
Danger Room – Wired Blogs 61 Typepad
Geekdad – Wired Blogs 71 Typepad
How to Change the World 73 Typepad
Marginal Revolution 82 Typepad
Game | Life – Wired Blogs 93 Typepad
Engadget 4 Blogsmith
TMZ 23 Blogsmith
Joystiq 25 Blogsmith
BloggingStocks 29 Blogsmith
TUAW 30 Blogsmith
Cinematical 33 Blogsmith
Gadling 36 Blogsmith
Download Squad 37 Blogsmith
TV Squad 40 Blogsmith
Autoblog 43 Blogsmith
Slashfood 47 Blogsmith
Luxist 85 Blogsmith
Engadget Mobile 94 Blogsmith
Engadget Japanese 100 Blogsmith
Power Line Blog 96 Movable Type
Huffington Post 1 Movable Type
Talking Points Memo 35 Movable Type
Gothamist 66 Movable Type
Beppe Grillo’s Blog 74 Movable Type
http://kottke.org 78 Movable Type
Microsiervos 79 Movable Type
Stereogum 91 Movable Type
TreeHugger 28 Movable Type
Pharyngula 92 Movable Type
ReadWriteWeb 15 Movable Type
Boing Boing 5 Movable Type
Gizmodo 3 Gawker Media platform
Lifehacker 6 Gawker Media platform
Gawker 12 Gawker Media platform
Kotaku 34 Gawker Media platform
Consumerist 50 Gawker Media platform
Valleywag 67 Gawker Media platform
Defamer 87 Gawker Media platform
Deadspin 88 Gawker Media platform
Apartment Therapy 65 Custom
Seeking Alpha 72 Custom
Ars Technica 9 Custom
The Corner on NRO 44 Custom
Google Blogoscoped 58 Custom
MacRumors 75 Custom
A List Apart 83 Custom
Ben Smith’s Blog 41 Custom
GigaOM 55 WordPress.com
I Can Has Cheezburger? 13 WordPress.com
CNN Political Ticker 17 WordPress.com
Scobleizer 84 WordPress.com
Swampland – TIME 90 WordPress.com
Dooce 42 Drupal
NewsBusters 62 Drupal
Crooks and Liars 64 Drupal
43 Folders 98 Drupal
The Official Google Blog 7 Blogger
PostSecret 16 Blogger
The Sartorialist 54 Blogger
Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com 68 Bricolage
Gigazine 19 Expression Engine
Daily Kos 8 Scoop

Final words

Gathering this data wasn’t entirely trivial. In many cases you can see directly from the HTML source what blog platform or CMS is being used, and in the cases that won’t work there’s always Google, but sometimes we ended up having to email the site owner for information. We hope you found the resulting collection of data interesting.

It’s always nice to get some actual facts and figures, isn’t it? :) Now we know for sure what the current situation is for the various blogging platforms, at least among the largest blogs.

We are sure there are plenty of ways to analyze this information that we haven’t thought of. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments.

And what is your favorite CMS or blog platform? We use WordPress for Royal Pingdom.



158 Comments

Good stuff, thanks for posting this.

We don’t publish stats about it officially but the numbers skew even more strongly towards WordPress as you expand down the long tail. Not a diss on WordPress but I suspect the number of hosting services that support WordPress (and in general support PHP+MySQL) accounts for much of the popularity; folks will opt for whatever is easiest on their ISP arrangement.
-Ian
Technorati

To clarify, the Gawker Media blog platform is not based on Movable Type at all. It is a platform built and hosted by Gawker Media.

- Tom
Gawker Media

Great article Pingdom, there’s more information about blog trends at BuiltWith Trends -

http://trends.builtwith.com/?tag=blog

Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

@Ian: Thank you. Nice to see someone from Technorati commenting. :) Thanks for the additional information.

You might very well have a point regarding WordPress usage. It could partly be a matter of convenience for some users if it’s the “default” option.

@Gary: Thank you for the clarification regarding the Gawker Media blog platform. (We updated the article accordingly.)

For the long-tail it seems that Blogspot is still more popular than WordPress. WordPress is more popular among the SEO and blogging-about-blogging type blogs, of course, but that’s because they know the pros cf, Blogspot’s cons.

WordPress, anytime for me!!! Interesting to see that there are no Joomla powered blogs.

“An interesting side note is that very few WordPress blogs in the top 100 have updated to WP 2.7 so far”
Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? :)

It would be interesting to compare this with data from other blog ranking sites. But most, including Technorati, require you to register your blog with them. So you loose all those that don’t bother registering. (Of course they are probably unlikely to make it to the top 100.)

I am along with mass !! proud to be wordpress user.

Maybe I missed something… but is this data reflecting unique visitors, page views or some combination of both? Or is this list compiled from the rank on Technorati? Almost feels like an AP or USA Today poll: fair in their bias.

Thanks for the resource…was wondering if I could stick with Blogger and still move up the ranks! Hmmm….

Drupal is a great Cms but difficult for some people.

Nice job, I seem to be in the majority as usual

For more detail on this – check out my blog… “To blog or not to blog… That’s not the question” @ jamespoulter.wordpress.com

Interest list. Personally when it comes to setting up blogs for my clients we almost always recommend blogger :) What I like more about Blogger then WordPress for someone who just wants a simple blogs is 1) Open Source is very susceptible to being hacked and 2) Posts can start driving traffic in less then 5 minutes of being posted, when Google owns the blog engine they know when they need to visit your blog and cache new content.

WordPress is the best..

I’m a wordpress user myself! It’s great.

I’ve been trying to learn more about blogging software and self hosting and understanding how exactly that differs from using wordpress.com. Have you addressed that on Royal Pingdom? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

I’m thinking now of trying out Moveable Type…is it as search engine friendly as WP?

Wired has switched their blogs from Typepad to WordPress.

I think that moves your number for WordPress from 27 up to 36 (and Typepad from 16 down to 7)

I really like wordpress and it seems to be the one that has the most content, tools and plugins available.

Really pleased to see that WordPress seems to be leading the way – I only discovered WordPress fairly recently – I couldn’t believe there was such a great platform which was so easy and quick to use.

It’s good to find that I stumbled across what seems to be the best Blogging platform around.

Ive used most platforms in the past – WordPress is by far the best, and improving all the time to stay ahead of the competition.

I think that it’s important to know exactly which long-term benefits each platform has. I still use blogger and probably always will(because my blog is already established) but WordPress is probably the way to go.

Well I’m not surprised since its free and can be self hosted unlike blogger. The admin panel is also easy to use, though I hate the version 2.8 editor. It introduces a bunch of empty lines when you try to copy and paste code when in the theme -> editor

What’s happened to blogsmith? i can’t open it here, it just show a “blogsmith”logo on the loading page

Wow.. Thanks for the list :)

The CMS of the future is for sure Joomla! Best administration ( Drupal to but that’s hard to understand for the average person ), loads of extensions for free,regularly new version, good for blog as well as a normal website…

WordPress is the best blogging tool. It’s very useful. Really nice job. Thanks you so much.

Very nice list.
Waiting for 2010 ranking of the best blog. Thanks.

I am building my blog with Joomla at the moment. It is much more time consuming than wordpress, but I need some other functionality later on the road. Other than that, I would stick with WordPress!

Wow.. Thanks for the list

Great list, thank you. We use and recommend WordPress as it really is the simplest of all to install and maintain; especially with the click button installs on most modern hosts. I recently built a Drupal website for Blogging purposes, but really with the amount of effort and constant updates it requires, I advise WordPress rather – save yourself hours of frustration.

Thanks again for the list, very informative.

Drupal is a great Cms but difficult for some people.

I ask the same question as Omega, what has happened to Blogsmith, clearly they’re up there, but you click on all the links and search for them on search engines and it’s very odd, just a homepage with a logo, and no apparent explanation anywhere other than maybe they got bought by AOL at some point – ? Would love to know how all the bloggers behind those Top Weblogs which are using Blogsmith found them.

Before committing yourself to Blogger I’d advise anyone to read this thread here…

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=0e07b50a0cd483f6#all

Their search engine has been broken for over 6 months, which is pretty cute considering Blogger is run by Google, supposedly the search engine maestros.

Interesting post but I’d also be interested in what the most popular/most frequently used platform is for corporate blogs

For the long-tail it seems that Blogspot is still more popular than WordPress. WordPress is more popular among the SEO and blogging-about-blogging type blogs, of course, but that’s because they know the pros cf, Blogspot’s cons.

This is great information and a lot of effort has gone into producing this. Most people feel safer and more in control if they host their own blogging platform such as WordPress.

I always wonder though whether using Google’s own blogger will help in our web site ranking once we have built a following. Google would be foolish not to prioritise their own prodcts over and above all others and although it might be a cynical view, but I believe, it is a strong possibility that this is the case.

As always, customer loyalty is what Google is about and all content based productions hosted with a Google product might be an advantage.

Google reward good content driven web sites and blogs with a higher page ranking. If you couple this with one of Google’s own products we might just have an edge. Again, this is my view, but there are many things to think about.

If you were an advertiser with the Yellow Pages; would they prefer you to supply your own artwork for insertion or use their own examples which they knw produce results. After all, if you fail to create good business you might not be willing to spend again.

Yes, this is only an example, and blogger is “free”, but it would make sense for Google to provide you wit the very best results they can. This company will be looking to “up-sell” you later wit adwords or similar products. they want you to do well.

Food for thought.

Thanks – great info..
Mike Forty

I insist to use wordpress. Though many other cmses. It’s my favorite. Nice Post.

Thanks for this artical.

No surprise that WordPress is dominating this overview.

what blog has the best obscenity filter?

I always wonder though whether using Google’s own blogger will help in our web site ranking once we have built a following. Google would be foolish not to prioritise their own prodcts over and above all others and although it might be a cynical view, but I believe, it is a strong possibility that this is the case. Hmm good idea

Interesting post but I’d also be interested in what the most popular/most frequently used platform is for corporate blogs

No surprise that WordPress is dominating this overview.

I insist to use wordpress. Though many other cmses. It’s my favorite. Nice Post.

I’ve been using wordpress for all of mysite. Love the function and customizable ability of wordpress.Very powerful blog platform.

WordPress is the best, I don’t think of using any other platform could make it easier. I tried Drupal once, that’s it, I got back to wordpress and never look back

http://www.connect2gurukul.com/@connect2gurukul.com

I can’t sign in moveable type, it is noticed: invalid request. How do I have to do? Although I have provided password. http://www.vietnamtourism.org.vn

We are using WordPress…do you have suggestions for better plug in codes? http://www.callnerds.com/portland

Nowasys’s can supply top quality technology consulting resources to our clients enabling them to outsource specific functions at a much reduced cost. For example one of our clients have outsourced their mobile development department to Nowasys.
 
Nowasys’s outsourcing services – has been designed specifically for those organisations who are considering outsource development or who have tried the traditional outsourcing model and found that it does not meet their requirements for responsiveness, quality and manageability. The motivated, dedicated, expeienced Team solution is simple, straight forward, low risk and very cost effective – it refers to a highly qualified, self managing development team, working exclusively for you, and completely under your direction. It gives you all the financial benefits of off-shoring but in a controlled and easily managed way.
 
http://nowasys.com

WordPress is one of the best CMS. I’m using it for all of my blog. check it here http://wirelessthermostatreviews.net and you will find it very flexybel. There are so many plugin also. I love it so much.

I think blogger is the best blogging platform for free blogging. Because it have lots of free templates and it is more user friendly than any other blogging platform. And for premium blogging platform wordpress is the best. It have its unique plugins, features and system. I run some blogs in blogger. Because it supports google adsense. My one blog is about education. All the study material is available here: http://studyassignment.blogspot.com. And another is about software. You can get free activaation keys, serial keys, keygens here: http://clicktofreedownload.blogspot.com