Pingdom writes WordPress completely dominates top 100 blogs. I’m quoted in the article saying that the 49% marketshare we have among top blogs will continue to grow, and I’d like to expand on that a bit because it’s a strong statement.

Typepad and Blogsmith, the two platforms that dropped the most over the past 3 years, are going to disappear either through blogs still using them losing relevance, or their active blogs switching away. Movable Type will likely follow suit, unless its now Japanese-led development makes a pretty drastic change in its product direction. (Consultants focused on Movable Type and Typepad have already started shifting focus to switching their clients to modern platforms to avoid losing the relationship.)

The other big shift will come from the ~22% on custom platforms — this is going to become as niche as writing your own web server instead of using Apache or Nginx. Some organizations like Huffington Post might continue to make the necessary investments of over 40 engineers to maintain a platform at scale, the rest will find better return investing those resources in editorial. Great stories find an audience regardless of their platform.

WordPress’ biggest challenge over the next two years, and where we’re focusing core development, will be around evolving our dashboard to be faster and more accessible, especially on touch devices. Many of our founding assumptions about how, where, and why people publish are shifting, but the flexibility of WordPress as a platform and the tens of thousands of plugins and themes available are hard to match. We might not always be the platform people start with, but we want to be what the best graduate to.

40 thoughts on “WordPress and the Top 100

  1. I’ve run a business on WordPress since around 2006 and have always loved it. The only thing I honestly think needs a little work is the commenting system. WP should buy disqus or something like that. Facebook commenting is not the answer, I despise blogs that switch to that.

      1. Thanks Matt I look forward to it. I forgot about IntenseDebate and Jetpack so I’m glad I checked those out again.

      2. If you are talking about the WP native “commentform” with WP, Twitter and FB login options… that’s all I need to start using Jetpack, I have been waiting for it from the day Jetpack was released.

  2. Hi Matt,

    Congratulations on the % of blogs in the Top 100. WordPress is an amazing blogging platform.

    I’m not sure I agree with this though:

    “where we’re focusing core development, will be around evolving our dashboard to be faster and more accessible, especially on touch devices”

    The 3.3 menu change (the 3rd in 3 releases) is a hover menu, and hover doesn’t really work well with touch devices and is inherently inaccessible .

    A number of our clients (charities / education / government) have been adamant that they can’t upgrade to 3.3 as they believe it falls foul of the UK and/or EU accessibility and disability discrimination guidelines (something we raised back in Sept/Oct).

    It’d be good to get some clarification on that at some stage, but for now, enjoy your moment in the sun – its well deserved :)

    Take care,
    Kev

    1. You’re right — anything that hovers doesn’t work on a touch screen and needs to be re-thought. I don’t think it matters from a Big A accessibility point of view (you can always just turn off JS to get completely accessible fallbacks, or switch it off with a 2 line plugin) but for tablets and phones that isn’t really as much of an option.

  3. The biggest opportunity for improvement in WordPress is its content editing, which even as a committed WordPress developer, user and fan I regard as awful.

    The only thing more amazing than this, given that the content editor is one of the most critical (if not *the* most critical) aspect of WP usability, is that it has hardly changed since I started using WordPress about a year ago.

    Some glaring examples of its awfulness:
    - no undo
    - applying and the removing formatting often fails
    - changes that can only be made in HTML mode are often broken by WYSIWYG mode
    - etc

    There are many more, but developers (who are often regular users) have probably become immune to them.

    Having said that, for me WordPress is a fantastic platform, for my own websites and those of my clients. I do though shudder a bit at the thought of how easily people can become confused by WordPress, or find it completely screws the content they’re trying to edit.

    And as for recovering the old version. Well, what are unsophisticated users supposed to make of the post history. No WYSWYG, no diff/comparisson etc. Its awful.

    And while I’m on the subject of post history: almost every post I’ve ever written has ended up with a “autosave version” that is supposedly different than the last saved draft, even though I know that’s not true.

    And I still love WordPress :-)

    Mark

    1. There is undo (both a button and CTRL + Z), but on the other issues you raise sometimes the WYSIWYG can be quite temperamental. I’ll forward your comment to Andrew who leads the integration of TinyMCE and WP and can hopefully help you some more.

    2. This is (often) a question of user perception :)

      Think of the Visual editor as Window’s Wordpad, or MS Word, or Open Office’s Writer. The great majority of users don’t need some sort of HTML programming IDE, they need a simple and usable rich text editor.

      In that terms TinyMCE works quite well for nearly all users. The availability of HTML editor compliments that and provides the alternative for people who prefer to be in control of their HTML code.

      However the HTML editor is still an editor, it has it’s own functionality. Most importantly it converts line breaks to paragraphs, so unlike the “pure” HTML code, line breaks in the HTML editor matter.

      1. Thanks Matt & Andrew for replying. I really appreciate that! Not sure why I said no, undo but also I apologise there.

        Andrew, I’m unhappy that you appear to write off serious criticism as “perception”. Whether perception or not it is still a problem, and so needs a solution. I don’t though agree that this is a perception issue, there are real issues with the content editing as it stands, both in and also around the editor itself (which Matt acknowledges, but you seem not to want to consider).

        I dashed off very quick and a largely non-specific criticism, but believe me I am not expecting a fancy editor here. I’m looking for one that is easy for novice users (i.e. most of my clients). You and I are adept, and so don’t notice half these problems when we want something done, we know how to get it done. But for a non-expert, casual user, or non-IT thinker, I have to say I question my integrity when I extoll the vitues of WordPress considering what a bitch it can be at some of the most basic things everyone needs.

        I’m a big WP fan, but am not encouraged that these issues will be addressed from within the developer community, precisely because it does not seem to have a realistic view of many of the people who are, or who could be, using WordPress, and the difficulties those people have with it.

        I hope a way can be found to include the needs of less dedicated, less frequent, less adept users, and have a really fantastic UI & UX for at least the core functionality.

        Regards,

        Mark

    3. There is a great plugin to rid yourself of all those autodrafts called Better Delete Revision.

      While I’m on the topic, there was a time where you had to autosave your post manually. As with everything ruled by murphy’s law.. if you never saved it you lost it!

      Ah the good ole days… not!

  4. This is great news for WordPress, and even better to see the solid reasoning behind your statement.

    I think WordPress VIP is likely another big reason for this. Granted, the service is aimed at high end sites like these, so it should definitely impact a list looking only at high end sites, but I think it’s great for smaller sites too.

    It really helps to remove the risk in deciding to go WordPress. A site may not be at the level of needing that scale of hosting *yet*, but their team can be much more confident in choosing to move to WordPress because they know the service will be there if they do grow to that level.

    That and the availability of other professional grade services (Like Vaultpress) really makes WordPress a safe, reliable choice. So even though I’ve never developed for a WP VIP client, its existence alone has been another good way to convince clients to choose WP. :)

  5. Hi Matt, I have just installed a self-hosted WordPress blog, and then saw your post by the feed. I always use WordPress for blogging, and I’m really used to it. I really think WordPress is easy to use. Congratulations btw.

  6. Hi Matt,

    Great numbers :-) WordPress is getting there, it’ getting a tremendous momentum as a blogging platform but also as a CMS for small business sites.

    I agree with THEWEBALYST. Content editing could be made far better. It’s one of the most used option of WordPress (beside reading posts ;-)

    Some idea’s

    TinyMCE can use style sheets, why not import the themes CSS like how header’s are formatted. It will make it much more WYSIWYG. Which is a strange, to state, actually TinyMCE in WordPress is only partly WYSIWYG)

    What to think about standard support of Textile and Markdown? Great ways to write a post saves a lot of time if you write a post every day. yes there are plugins, but there are issues, so why not integrate these input methods into core, so everyone with a standard install can benefit.

    I also would like is more import options. I like to work in Apple Pages (iWorks) would love to have an import option which would import all the header format and other layout information.

    So hope the message comes across: Dashboard is important, but better text input, real WYSIWYG, as the theme would display it, is maybe more important, it would make WordPress a stronger and better platform to work with and more people would switch to WordPress version 4 ;-)

      1. You are totally right! I missed that one setting up my child theme from 2011 (which is a great theme in many ways) Also no worries about SEO and document structure, 2011 is so well done in that aspect! :-)

        I was worried about using h1′s in my body text and setup h4′s in my child theme, but when I checked out the HTML5 of 2011 It’s al taken care of in the structure. with the “article” and “header” in the “article” tag’s and also can not be misread by google from the blog header which is in the “header” and the “hgroup” tag’s.

        It very well done in smart way! I’ll update my child theme’s with the editor-style.css and all will be wysiwyg again.

        Thanks for pointing this out.

  7. Hi Matt,

    I’m not a programmer but since early 2006 WordPress is the platform I use for many websites, blogs and photo blogs, not only for me but for other people around… In a word… even without considering the good position in the top100 WP is an unbelievable good tool for people like me… it offers lots of customization possibilities, is very forgiving and is very simple to undo in real time the mistakes when occurs.

    This could sound as an exaggeration but I could not imagine my life without WordPress!

    This position in Top100 deserves congratulations but more than this I wanna say a simple Thank You to you personally and to the team behind the scene!

    Please keep the good work!

    P.S. I dunno if this is the right place to say this… when developing further versions of WP it would be great if you can add a feature, in the option menu of each picture to have apart of Title, Description, Caption etc a field, eventually with a checkbox for EXIF info to be shown underneath the image in the post. Eventually with the possibility to choose which EXIF data to be shown… This would be a great improvement for photo bloggers… I know there are some plugins but they have limitations and no one works with galleries for instance.

  8. Matt, congrats on those numbers. I need to highlight one issue in wp.com – Most of my readers don’t like the idea of logging into wp.com or gravatar to post comments on other wp.com blogs. Some of us post comments on about 20 blogs every day (at various times) and hence it is very difficult to log-in every time. Please look at migrating to an easy to use comments system soon.

  9. One of things which bugs me ( or is my query) will Apps remain to be used as much as mobile browser evolves more? Opera has fantastic mobile browser, and to access a site I use it rather than an app because 1 browser = infinite sites.

    If browser will be the ruler its going to be great – WP is already optimized for browser. Its also great for any newbie dev/amateur/hobby website builder who do not have to think of unnecessary complez and limiting things like WP.

    The only future-lacking thing isn wp com and org is the so called social layer – I cannot add friends and see their likes/comments either in wp com or org. Buddypress is there, if its integrated it can be as good as G+ or the much disliked FB.

  10. Mobile admin improvements will be a very exciting addition to WordPress! Over the past year I’ve seen a noticeable trend in the number of clients that have asked for a way to quickly post via a mobile device. Many have asked for multimedia email to post capabilities like posterous has. I think auto-resizing images and improved email to post capabilities would be a cool addition.

  11. I didn’t need much convincing to move from Blogger or Microsoft Office 365 for my businesses.

    The ease of use for daily postings, simple widgets and great Theme designs made it a quick and painless choice.

    Congratulations on your success and best of luck on your continued success.

    - peipie

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