Word Press by the Numbers

WordPress, as with any software, has competition. While it is superior in many ways, there is also a constant "war for the hearts and minds" of bloggers. At the end of the day, the philosophy behind the development of the software is to create a product that effectively disappears and enables bloggers to create the content. However, it would be remiss to not pay attention to the numbers behind this amazing software.

The top blogs, as listed by Technorati, one of the earliest and most well-known blog search and discovery sites, run a smattering of different platforms. Among these many blogs, almost one out of every three is WordPress-powered. WordPress.com powers more than 50 blogs for CNN and also runs blogs at Dow Jones, the New York Times, People magazine, Fox News, and the Wall Street Journal.

Even the United States federal government has gotten in on the game. With the newfound adoption of all forms of social media within the halls of the government, it's not surprising that many agencies have made WordPress their blog platform of choice. In 2008, the following agencies claimed to be using the software internally or externally:

• Central Intelligence Agency

• Defense Intelligence Agency

• Department of Education

• Department of Energy

• Department of Homeland Security

• Department of State

• Department of Treasury

• Drug Enforcement Administration

• Federal Bureau of Investigation

• National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

• National Reconnaissance Office

• National Security Agency

At WordCamp San Francisco 2009, Matt Mullenweg presented statistics on the ecosystem surrounding WordPress. The numbers, in some cases, are staggering and continue to grow:

• 3,500+ commits (changes) to the software since the last major release

• 11 million+ downloads

• 5.2 million+ downloads of WordPress 2.8

• 5.5 million+ WordPress.org self-hosted blogs

• 3.5 million+ WordPress.com blogs

• 60 million+ new WordPress.com posts

• 22 billion+ page views on WordPress.org and WordPress.com

• 850+ themes in the WordPress Theme Directory

• 5700+ plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory

• 4.9 billion+ spam comments blocked by Akismet

In addition, 42 percent of all WordPress downloads are from non-English speaking countries.

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