WordPress themes have been extracted from our latest analysis of the worlds top 1 million websites (by alexa rank). Digging into the data shows interesting trends in the WordPress content management space, and can also provide insight into security vulnerabilities. Third party wordpress components that include plugins and themes can introduce exploitable security issues.
Methodology: To determine themes in use by the worlds most popular WordPress based websites a search of the source html from the primary page was analysed for "wp-content/themes/" this is a good indication of a WordPress installation and also reveals the theme in use. As you would expect from a Free open source content management system; of the 160438 sites we found with WordPress themes many are running free themes, but many are also running premium commercial themes.
Top 5 Premium WordPress Theme Providers
To determine the commercial themes in use; the 100 most popular themes have been counted (35930 total wordpress sites). Of the 100 most popular themes 51% were premium or commercial themes. This clearly shows how significant the WordPress "economy" is in the world of web development.
It is interesting to note the high number for the OptimizePress theme; this is a single purpose theme whereas the others in the Top 5 are all theme frameworks. OptimizePress is very much a sales focused theme using techniques such as "funnels" and "squeeze pages" to push users into a sales pitch. It shows that WordPress is much more than just a blogging platform.
Woothemes has the most popular general purpose commercial theme with its "canvas" theme coming in at number 16.
Free themes are of course very popular with the top 2 themes being themes that are bundled with WordPress default installations (twentyten and twentyeleven).
Summary of the Top 20 WordPress Themes
Premium vs Free Themes in the Top 20
This shows a very different result to the statistic for the top 100, in the Top 20 only 35% are premium themes, this appears to due to the large number of twentyten and twentyeleven themes in use.
WordPress.com Hosting in the Top 1 Million
Over at wordpress.com you can get free hosting for a wordpress installation; they also offer a VIP hosting option for commercial grade hosting. Looking at the theme paths we are able to see that 2.8% (4492) of the 160k wordpress sites are running on wordpress.com (path /wp-content/themes/pub/) and 147 are running on wordpress.com in a paid for capacity (/wp-content/themes/vip/).