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WordPress completely dominates top 100 blogs

WordPress is no doubt a very popular web publishing platform for blogs and other types of websites. But just how popular is it?

We just completed a study and found that WordPress is in use by 48% of the top 100 blogs in the world. This is an increase from the 32% we recorded three years ago.

Other developments since then include that custom blog publishing platforms are more common now, TypePad has all but disappeared from the top 100, Tumblr has made an entrance, and some companies really don’t want to spill the beans about what solutions they use.

Update: Following a comment (see below) we have adjusted the article a bit. TUAW is running BlogSmith, so it has been removed from WordPress self-hosted. TMZ is running CrowdFusion, so it has been removed from BlogSmith, and CrowdFusion added to the list. This bring the total for WordPress to 48. We also adjusted Gawker and Gizmodo to being on Gawker’s platform, moving them from the Custom category.

WordPress is big, period

Just over three years ago we looked at what blog platforms and content management systems (CMS) were used by the sites listed in Technorati’s top 100 blogs. We found that WordPress was the number one blog platform with 32% of sites using it.

Doing the same survey now in 2012, we find that quite a bit has happened in three years. Most notably, WordPress now completely dominates the top 100, accounting for almost half of the blogs.

Here’s what we found in our survey:

Publishing platforms for top 100 blogs

You can read more about how we went about finding out what platform each site is using at the end of the article. To summarize it, we used common tools to try to figure out for ourselves first, what the site is using. Only if that did not reveal anything, did we try to contact the site’s owners and administrators directly to ask them.

Comparing 2009 to 2012

Now, lets look at some of the important findings of our 2012 study, especially the changes since 2009:

  • In total, WordPress has increased from 32 to 48 out of the top 100 blogs.
  • Hosted WordPress sites has increased from 5 to 9, while self-hosted solutions increased from 27 to 39.
  • TypePad has decreased dramatically, from 16 to only 2.
  • Movable Type lost quite a bit, dropping 5 sites.
  • Drupal gained 2 sites.
  • Out of the publisher-specific platforms, Gawker has decreased by 1 site, and BlogSmith by 10 sites.
  • Tumblr makes an entrance on the top 100 with 1 site.
  • CrowdFusion also makes an entrance on the list with 1 site.
  • Google’s Blogger is holding fairly steady, dropping 1 site down to 2.
  • Daily Kos is still the only site in the top 100 that runs Scoop.
  • Expression Engine and Bricolage drop out of the top 100.
  • The 8 sites marked as “N/a” we just didn’t manage to get any information about.
  • It’s very likely that a big chunk of the “N/a” sites are in fact custom, and if we add the two categories together, that’s 20% of the top 100 list.

We should point out that hosted “WordPress – hosted” includes WordPress.com and WordPress VIP SaaS. As the name would suggest, WordPress VIP Self-Hosted falls in the self-hosted category.

And if you want all the details, here are the aggregated numbers for all the platforms, in alphabetical order:

Top 100 blogs and their blog platforms – comparing 2009 and 2012
Platform 2009 2012
Blogger 3 2
BlogSmith 14 4
Bricolage 1 0
CrowdFusion 0 1
Custom 8 12
Diderot 0 1
Drupal 4 6
Expression Engine 1 0
Movable Type 12 7
Gawker 8 7
N/a 0 8
Scoop 1 1
Tumblr 0 1
TypePad 16 2
WordPress – hosted 5 9
WordPress – self-hosted 27 39

Looking at these developments it’s clear that a lot has happened in three years. Some platforms have lost ground, while others have gained, as could be expected.

WordPress Matt expects even more

In the three years since our last survey, not only has WordPress strengthened its grip on the top 100 blogs, it has all but taken over. At 48%, WordPress is clearly the dominating blogging platform as well as of growing importance as a more generic CMS.

It’s also interesting to see that our findings are not far off compared to what Technorati found in its State of the Blogosphere 2011 report. In it, Technorati found that 51% of blogs in the world use WordPress.

With WordPress having made such a strong advance recently, is there room for more growth?

Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress as well as the founder (and Chief BBQ Taste Tester) of Automattic, certainly thinks so. We contacted him and he told us that he expects even more from WordPress in the coming years:

”The last few years we’ve really focused on both the usability and flexibility of WordPress, which has resulted in accelerating growth in both big and small sites. I expect even higher adoption among the largest sites and blogs over the next year.”

Complete list: top 100 blogs and their blog platforms

Here is the complete list of the top 100 blogs, presented in order of Technorati rank:

Top 100 blogs and their blog platforms – complete list
Rank Name URL CMS
1 The Huffington Post huffingtonpost.com Movable Type
2 Mashable! mashable.com WordPress – self-hosted
3 BuzzFeed buzzfeed.com Custom
4 The Daily Beast thedailybeast.com N/a
5 The Verge theverge.com Custom
6 TechCrunch techcrunch.com WordPress – hosted
7 Engadget engadget.com Blogsmith
8 Gizmodo gizmodo.com Gawker
9 Think Progress thinkprogress.org WordPress – self-hosted
10 Ars Technica arstechnica.com Custom
11 The Next Web thenextweb.com WordPress – self-hosted
12 Boing Boing boingboing.com WordPress – self-hosted
13 Gawker gawker.com Gawker
14 Hot Air hotair.com WordPress – self-hosted
15 VentureBeat venturebeat.com WordPress – hosted
16 Mediaite mediaite.com WordPress – self-hosted
17 Bits bits.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
18 Jezebel jezebel.com Gawker
19 GigaOM gigaom.com WordPress – hosted
20 TMZ tmz.com CrowdFusion
21 CNN Political Ticker politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com WordPress – hosted
22 Business Insider businessinsider.com Custom
23 Deadline deadline.com WordPress – self-hosted
24 Kotaku kotaku.com Gawker
25 SlashGear slashgear.com WordPress – self-hosted
26 L.A. Now latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow TypePad
27 ZeroHedge zerohedge.com Drupal
28 DeadSpin deadspin.com Gawker
29 SB Nation sbnation.com Custom
30 Daily Intel nymag.com/daily/intel N/a
31 Lifehacker lifehacker.com Gawker
32 Laughing Squid laughingsquid.com WordPress – self-hosted
33 9 to 5 Mac 9to5mac.com WordPress – hosted
34 The Caucus thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
35 Daily Kos dailykos.com Scoop
36 ReadWriteWeb readwriteweb.com Movable Type
37 Joystiq joystiq.com Blogsmith
38 Media Decoder mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – hosted
39 County Fair mediamatters.org/blog Custom
40 The Gothamist gothamist.com Movable Type
41 Big Government biggovernment.com N/a
42 The Foundry blog.heritage.org WordPress – self-hosted
43 This isn’t happiness thisisnthappiness.com Tumblr
44 MacRumors macrumors.com Custom
45 RedState redstate.com WordPress – self-hosted
46 Big Journalism bigjournalism.com N/a
47 ArtsBeat artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
48 Neatorama neatorama.com WordPress – self-hosted
49 Eurogamer eurogamer.net Custom
50 Ubergizmo ubergizmo.com WordPress – self-hosted
52 Autoblog autoblog.com Blogsmith
51 TPMMuckraker tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com Movable Type
53 BGR bgr.com WordPress – self-hosted
54 Flavorwire flavorwire.com WordPress – self-hosted
55 PopWatch popwatch.ew.com WordPress – hosted
56 Michelle Malkin michellemalkin.com WordPress – self-hosted
57 City Room cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
58 Wired Science wired.com/wiredscience WordPress – self-hosted
59 Grist grist.org WordPress – hosted
60 Search Engine Land searchengineland.com WordPress – self-hosted
61 Threat Level wired.com/threatlevel WordPress – self-hosted
62 Gizmag gizmag.com Custom
63 TreeHugger treehugger.com Movable Type
64 The Official Google Blog googleblog.blogspot.com Blogger
65 Hit & Run reason.com/blog Diderot
66 Jalopnik jalopnik.com Gawker
67 Bleeding Cool bleedingcool.com WordPress – self-hosted
68 Infowars infowars.com WordPress – self-hosted
69 Brain Pickings brainpickings.org WordPress – self-hosted
70 EurekAlert! eurekalert.org N/a
71 Funny or Die funnyordie.com N/a
72 The Onion theonion.com Custom
73 The Opinionator opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
74 Watts up with that wattsupwiththat.com WordPress – hosted
75 The Unofficial Apple Weblog tuaw.com BlogSmith
76 Taegan Goodard’s Political Wire politicalwire.com Movable Type
77 Playstation Blog blog.us.playstation.com WordPress – self-hosted
78 Bleacher Report bleacherreport.com Custom
79 Epicenter wired.com/epicenter WordPress – self-hosted
80 White House Blog whitehouse.gov/blog Drupal
81 Cinema Blend Feeds cinemablend.com Custom
82 Danger Room wired.com/dangerroom WordPress – self-hosted
83 Inc. Magazine inc.com N/a
84 Android and Me androidandme.com WordPress – self-hosted
85 Pocket Now pocketnow.com N/a
86 Colossal thisiscolossal.com WordPress – self-hosted
87 Joe. My. God joemygod.com Blogger
88 FP Passport blog.foreignpolicy.com Drupal
89 News Busters newsbusters.org Drupal
90 Paul Krugman krugman.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
91 Crooks and Liars crooksandliars.com Drupal
92 Balloon Juice balloon-juice.com WordPress – self-hosted
93 PSFK psfk.com WordPress – self-hosted
94 Economix economix.blogs.nytimes.com WordPress – self-hosted
95 The Awl theawl.com WordPress – self-hosted
96 Right Wing Watch rightwingwatch.org Drupal
97 Towleroad News towleroad.com TypePad
98 Hollywood Life hollywoodlife.com WordPress – self-hosted
99 Kottke kottke.org Movable Type
100 Animal animalnewyork.com WordPress – self-hosted

More secretive about platforms

One reason it took us so a while to publish this article was the problem with finding out from quite a number of sites what blog platform or CMS it was running.

In fact, one thing that seems to have happened since our survey in 2009 is that site owners and operators have become more secretive about their choice of platform.

In one case, we were even told by the person who is listed as the administrative contact on the domain registration, that he was under non-disclosure agreement to not reveal anything about the site.

So, in the last three years, big websites, or at least the people who run them, seem to have become more secretive about the technology behind them.

That’s just another example, we suppose, of how the blogging platform or CMS running a site, is a part of a site’s competitive advantage.

The blogging landscape is changing

There’s no denying that we have a certain affinity for WordPress, especially since it’s what we use for our blog. But we also find it very interesting to see how the blogging landscape has changed in just a few years. For example, we noted recently that Tumblr has reached 50 million blogs. That’s a remarkable feat for a site launched in 2007.

WordPress Matt may be optimistic about the future, but what will the situation really look like in 3 years time, if we do a similar survey then?

Only time will tell, but it’s safe to assume that WordPress will also then play an important role.

Methodology: Since the Technorati Top 100 is updated every day, we froze our list on March 20, 2012, and then set out to investigate what blog system or CMS each site is using. For each site, we started by using third-party services like BuiltWith, WhoIsHostingThis, and Wappalyzer, to see if they would reveal anything about the site. If that did not give us any results, we proceeded with tools like host, whois, and dig. Only if that still didn’t tell us what we needed, did we get in touch with the site through contact details published on the site (mainly email, phone, and Twitter), or in the domain registration. In most of the cases marked “N/a” the other party simply did not want to respond to our repeated requests. In just a few cases, they declined to answer.



192 comments
AluminumGates
AluminumGates

Your website is good, but you let Spammer throw everything on your page ! :)

catwebdesign
catwebdesign

WordPress is always best for making a blog or website if you are not expert in prograaming knowledge.

Federico Trabucco
Federico Trabucco

1) 


VERY IMPORTANT WARNING PLEASE 


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LisaTosi
LisaTosi

WordPress is just so simple to use and looks professional.  Very useful post.

Ryan_R_Bayne
Ryan_R_Bayne

I just seen the latest stats on your new post and you mentioned older stats. Nice job following this up a year later, you have caught my attention.  I'm put a note in my calendar on http://www.webtechglobal.co.uk to come back in a year and see what you have next. I don't suppose you want to get these statistics into a Wordpress plugin. Dashboard widget showing this information as it changes? I would like that, I have a thing about statistics man lol

vickymark36
vickymark36

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maarikvl
maarikvl

Really wordpress is a great tool for blogging. Thanks for the Wordpress Team.

Pauly2013
Pauly2013

Amazing Article. I am also using Wordpress in most websites, Wordpress is very easy for maintain and update our websites. Wordpress CMS have lot of beautiful theme for free and paid.   Paul, http://www.howtoloseweightfast-diet.com

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ucuk4141

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FreeWordpress2
FreeWordpress2

Wordpress will continue to be the dominant CMS because it is so easy to use. Also the customization puts it over the top. I do not see any immediate threat to their dominance.    http://ww.responsivethemehq.com

thorroofer
thorroofer

Blogger is pretty dam easy but I prefer wordpress.  The plugins make it fun!

RonShimoff
RonShimoff

Wordpress is one of the most amazing tool ever invented. It has so much functionality and you can build a complicated website with awesome design in a matter of minutes. It is also optimized for SEO. Here is my blog: http://homerunningmachines.blogspot.com/

RonShimoff
RonShimoff

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purplers
purplers

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AlexandrinaKevin
AlexandrinaKevin

WordPress wins without doubt as the most popular free CMS and it is exploding in popularity as well. Ebay, Sony, Ford, NFL and CNN- they are some of the prominent players in the brand cosmos that have one thing in common: They all use WordPress. World domination is just around the corner!   Alexandrina, <a href="http://www.howtoloseweightfast-diet.com/">Lose weight fast diet</a>

AlexandrinaKevin
AlexandrinaKevin

WordPress wins without doubt as the most popular free CMS and it is exploding in popularity as well. Ebay, Sony, Ford, NFL and CNN- they are some of the prominent players in the brand cosmos that have one thing in common: They all use WordPress. World domination is just around the corner!   Alexandrina, http://www.howtoloseweightfast-diet.com

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