WordPress Statistics for the Top 500K Sites

The following WordPress statistics were compiled after downloading the main page of the top 500 thousand sites on the Internet according to Alexa. Statistics were generated after identifying WordPress sites through discovery of /wp-content/plugins/ and / or /wp-content/themes/ in the HTML source of the page.

104684 / 500K = 20.9%
sites were found to be running WordPress

Other studies of WordPress have found total number of WordPress sites in the 20% - 25% range. The number of 20.9% that has been observed here is significant due to fact that these sites are not personal blogs, they are some of the most high traffic sites on the Internet.

Plugin count from the top WordPress sites

A number of popular plugins such as Yoast WordPress SEO, W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache do not have visibility in the HTML source from the /wp-content/plugins/ folder. They are however usually listed in the comments. Due to the popularity of the these plugins they have been searched separately in the HTML source to determine the plugin count.

Since Google introduced speed based advantages for site listings, site administrators are more often using Caching Plugins and Minification of css and javascript. If "minified" code is being used, many plugins will not be discovered in the plain HTML source of the page.

Top 20 Plugins
Plugin Name Count
contact-form-7
24242
Yoast WordPress SEO
15208
jetpack
14755
WP SuperCache
13415
W3 Total Cache
11721
wp-pagenavi
9237
wp-polls
5004
nextgen-gallery
4826
wordpress-popular-posts
4202
google-analyticator
3616
revslider
3136
digg-digg
2617
woocommerce
2324
addthis
2280
wp-postratings
2143
commentluv
2137
social-media-widget
2060
vipers-video-quicktags
1874
mailchimp
1810
simple-social-icons
1727

Plugins
Calculated from WordPress HTML source
(/wp-content/plugins/$name/)

Theme count from the Top WordPress sites

The theme counts are based purely on the presence of the theme folder name in the HTML source as listed in /wp-content/themes/. Popular themes such as Thesis have multiple listings based on the version.

WordPress.com are offering a variety of hosting options that include the premier WordPress hosting VIP, from theme paths there appears to be 218 sites registered for VIP in the top 500K sites in the world. I have no idea if this is accurate, its just an observation from the results.


Themes
Calculated from WordPress HTML source
(/wp-content/themes/$name/)
Top 20 WordPress Themes
Theme Name Count
genesis
2747
pub
1293
twentytwelve
1159
sahifa
1038
twentyeleven
858
canvas
705
twentyfourteen
573
OptimizePress
566
jarida
510
thesis_185
474
Avada
453
twentythirteen
428
optimizePressTheme
416
lifestyle
370
twentyten
368
responsive
350
news
321
suffusion
303
enfold
296
thesis_18
290

Hosting providers of the Top WordPress sites

Update: these results have been changed this from ASN owner to organization lookup using Maxmind database. It has better granularity for Hosting companies.

We can examine who is hosting the WordPress sites by resolving the IP address and checking this against the ASN owner hosting provider using the Maxmind database .

It is difficult to get 100% accuracy with these results, there are addresses that resolve as "IP Address Not Found" by Maxmind (about 4%) and some hosting companies may be using IP blocks associated with other companies or ASN owners.

Observant readers will see that WP Engine is not listed, however we do have a count for them from the web server usage count, a solid 1831 sites. Checking the IP of wpengine.com and using Maxmind we can see this IP address is resolved to Softlayer by Maxmind.

For those wondering about Digital Ocean, the high profile new kid on the block for VPS hosting, we found 177 sites for DO.

Top 20 Hosting / Network Providers
Hosting Provider Count
Unified Layer
6958
CloudFlare
5140
GoDaddy.com,LLC
3892
OVH SAS
3170
Hetzner Online AG
2531
Amazon.com
2334
Rackspace Hosting
2131
Media Temple
1821
1&1 Internet
1192
Softlayer
1110
New Dream Network, LLC
969
Server Block
894
SAKURA Internet Inc.
831
Leaseweb
781
Net Access Corporation
650
SingleHop
634
Linode
564
Liquid Web
523
The Endurance International Group
514
Hosting Services
450
SourceDNS
435

Hosting
Listing derived IP and Maxmind

How are the updates going?

Keeping WordPress updated is an important security consideration stated in every securing WordPress guide. The versions gathered here are from the meta generator tag, not all of the sites we found have the tag present. It is sometimes removed to hide the version. We found 69376 sites with the Meta Generator Tag in place, that is 69% of the WordPress sites.

you should always keep up to date with the latest version of WordPress. Older versions of WordPress are not maintained with security updates.
WordPress.org Security Advice

From the table below it seems not everyone reads the WordPress hardening advice.


Version
Calculated from WordPress HTML source
(meta generator tags)
WordPress Major Versions
Version Count
WordPress 3.8
25658
WordPress 3.9
19951
WordPress 3.5
6068
WordPress 3.6
4206
WordPress 3.7
3737
WordPress 2.5
2664
WordPress 3.4
2227
WordPress 3.3
1478
WordPress 3.2
646
WordPress 3.0
617
WordPress 3.1
534
WordPress 2.9
261
WordPress 2.7
248
WordPress 2.8
211
WordPress 1.1
174
WordPress 201
89
WordPress 2.6
65
WordPress 4.0
45
WordPress 101
37
WordPress 3
36

Web Server Usage

By examining the HTTP Headers it is a simple matter to determine the type of web server that these WordPress sites are running on. If anyone has ideas to why there are 2563 sites running on Microsoft IIS please let me know in the comments.

Interesting to see the listing for WP Engine in the results. Nice way to get the word out.

Web Server usage by the Top WordPress Sites
HTTP Server Header Count
Apache
62532
nginx
31443
Litespeed
4344
Microsoft IIS
2563
WP Engine
1831
other
1656

Web Servers

Have you seen the WordPress Security Scanners. Nothing to install. Free and advanced options available using the excellent WPScan.
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  • Damn fine/interesting data! Thanks for putting this out.

  • Really interesting information, especially the Themes used.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • This supports our choice for the Genesis framework 🙂 Great info this!

  • Amazing data, thanks for sharing. The hosting list seems really interesting

  • Lots of good stuff here.
    The sort of post that takes a few readings.
    Good to see Genesis themes up there at #1

  • Interesting to see no third party comment plugins – does this mean more people are staying with native, or do the likes of Livefyre and Disqus have a solid userbase, just not in numbers yet?

  • Jordan

    Unified Layer is EIG, so those should probably be merged.

  • Any link to more info on the no.2 “pub” theme please? – “pub” alone doesn’t appear to be enough to go on…

    • Also, is the “lifestyle” theme the one from studiopress?

      • shucks, sorry: and the “news” and “responsive” ones too please…

  • Tomas Puig

    This is pretty interesting as a data subset. Glad to see Genesis doing so well in the rankings. I can say from WP Engine’s side we probably would go on our own line as we aren’t a Softlayer specific business. Love seeing the high nginx numbers as well!

  • I hope more small businesses check out the hosting providers here. Important to note that most sites are not running on host gator and the other cheap shared hosting. I think it is better to pay a little more for added security and growth potential.

    I am wondering if the reason why more people don’t update their WordPress version has to do with development concerns. If you have a plugin or theme using a feature that is no longer supported then your website could break if you upgrade. People might not update the code because it costs them time and money.

    • David Stevens

      Unified Layer is, in part, Hostgator along with BlueHost. CloudFlare is not a hosting provider.

  • hi, are you able to filter that Data for specified Countries?

    I’m interested in to german differeces, I would like to specify my article from worldwide view to a german view: http://mizine.de/html/das-sind-die-top-10-der-beliebtesten-wordpress-themes/

    • Olaf Weiland

      Oh, yes, the german view would be interesting for me too.

  • Thanks for the statistics and the good overview!

  • Alireza Jahandideh

    I am surprised to see Sahifa is more popular that Aavada! Great info 🙂

  • On IIS: My guess is that these sites might be running on Azure? WIndows Azure allows for users to deploy via an app, much like a shared hosting provider. However, since it is MS, it’s a Windows stack that has IIS as a default provider.

  • Thanks for pulling this data together. I thought our readers would find these stats interesting, so I included your post in the roundup of May’s best WordPress content. http://blog.nexcess.net/2014/06/05/roundup-of-mays-best-expressionengine-wordpress-and-magento-content/ Thanks again for doing this.

    Ben

  • qsdf

    So the most popular version was one release behind the current one, meaning that the majority of installs are insecure. Sad.
    Also see: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/12/php-install-statistics.html

  • Ayush Kumar

    What about Schema And Divi

  • Im surprised that the Divi theme is not listed