$140B or More(?!) WordPress Related Market Volume (Estimated)

$140B or More(?!) WordPress Related Market Volume (Estimated)

TL; DR

  • 142 Million: The number of WordPress sites that are currently active
  • 64 Million: The number of WordPress sites that are newly launched or renewed in a year
  • $143 Billion: Annual WordPress Building Market Size

As of March 2018, WordPress share among all the websites exceeded 30%. In December of 2017 it was 29.2% in the last three months it increased by 1%, this is incredible growth. (Statistics provided by W3Techs) WordPress has a lot of potential and has grown its market share even while looking at the past data.

However, “30%” is just a number. It exhibits the current situation and the ratio of the entire market, but it does not exhibit the potential of WordPress expansion and the market size based on capital. Therefore, when I look at this number, I always think, “What is the reality of WordPress market size?”

With using the estimated numbers, which are publicly available, I attempted to calculate the market size. It is just an estimate, but I hope it close to what the readers have also estimated? I hope you take a look at the estimate I calculated and compared to the estimate you reached. Furthermore, I appreciate if you can give me some feedback on Twitter and/or leave some comments in the comment section below!

$140B or More #WordPress Related Market Volume (Estimated) Click To Tweet

What is the reality of WordPress market size? – Figuring out the calculation method

The fluctuation of WordPress Share (The number is all gathered on the 1st of Jan of each year)

According to W3Techsthe number has fluctuated as listed below.  In the last 5 years, the number has changed from 17.4% to 29.2%. This is an extremely large growth rate.

Historical yearly trends from W3Techs: https://w3techs.com/technologies/history_overview/content_management/all/y

 

I would like everyone think about how capital the actual WordPress market has. While there are a lot of articles about WordPress’s market share, unfortunately there are not many articles about how much market capital WordPress actually has. In this article of Freeminus, it is indicated that the market size of plug-ins is more than $1 billion.

It is difficult to calculate the market size out of the blue, thus I am going to take following steps to figure out the estimates. (If you know any other methods, please let me know by leaving me a comment in the comment section below!)

  1. The number of websites in the world
  2. The number of WordPress sites
  3. The number of sites renewed in a year
  4. The number of sites that are terminated
  5. The number of sites that are newly launched
  6. The estimate of total WordPress sites that are newly launched and renewed in a year
  7. Calculate the market size from above figures 

The data source is from sites like w3tech and Internet Live StatsHowever, I am also using my own numbers so please understand that these numbers are estimates. 

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1. 467M(Million): The number of websites in the world

For this, I am borrowing the figures from Internet Live Stats. What we should pay attention is that active websites are actually 25% of all the websites in the world..

It must be noted that around 75% of websites today are not active, but parked domains or similar.
– Internet Live Stats

As of April 2018, the estimated number of websites in the world is 1,867 million. Thus, the active websites in the world in April 2018 is 467 million.

2. 142M: The number of WordPress sites

With the use of “the number of websites in the world,” multiplied by the WordPress market share, the estimated active WordPress website is calculated to 142 Million.

3. 110M (WordPress: 30M): The number of sites renewed in a year

The increase in the number of WordPress sites in a year is calculated to 142 M – 121 M = 21 Million. However, this is not the number of actually constructed WordPress sites. In reality, there are websites that are renewed and also terminated. Since this is the case, how are we going to calculate these figures?

When I researched these figures, the only thing I found that seemed useful was  Orbit Media Studios – “What is the average website lifespan?” According to this source, the average year is listed as 2.7 years.

We took the top 200 marketing websites according to Alexa and looked them up in the Wayback Machine. We looked at the design and structure of each site over many years, and we determined the interval between major website redesigns for each site.
The average website lifespan is 2 years 7 months. Actually it was 2.66 years which is 2 years, 6 months and 27 days, but close enough.

This is the number calculated by the average of top 200 marketing websites in the world. Hence, I believe the actual number is expected to be lower than this. (Though we can predict that the average of the entire sites would not be shorter than 2.7 years.)

At this point, we base the idea of the 25% of all existing sites are renewed ≒  the average renewal year of every 4 years as the base. Additionally, we have the base of the 10% of all existing sites are terminated, to reach the figures below.

If you multiply 25% to the numbers of 2017 January, you can get the numbers below.

  • The number of websites renewed in 2017: 442 M x 25% = 110 M
  • The number of WordPress sites renewed in 2017: 121 M x 25% = 30 M

4. 44M (WordPress: 12M): The number of sites that are terminated

Similarly, if you multiply 10% to the number of 2017 January figure, you find below:

  • The number of websites that are terminated in 2017: 442 M x 10% = 44 M
  • The number of WordPress sites that are terminated in 2017: 121 M x 10% = 12 M

5. 69M (WordPress: 34M): The number of sites that are newly launched

Now we have the number of terminated sites so we can calculate the newly launched sites. In order to calculate this, you can calculate by the number of pure increase + the number of terminated sites = the number of newly launched sites.

The finding is listed below:  

  • The number of sites that are newly launched in 2017:(467 M – 442 M) + 44 M = 69 M
  • The number of WordPress sites that are newly launched in 2017: (142 M – 121 M) + 12 M = 34 M

6. 180M (WordPress: 64M): The estimate of total websites that are newly launched or renewed in a year

The list below represents our findings so far: 

Let’s summaries the findings of 2017 estimated market numeric values …

  • The number of new or renewed websites was 180 M. Of these, WordPress sites = 64 M
  • WordPress market share was 64 M/180 M = 35.61%. Thus,
    • Website constructed per day was: 64 M/365 days = 175.31 K websites per a day
    • WordPress sites constructed per month was: 64 M/12 months = 5.33 Million per a month
180M (WordPress: 64M): The estimate of total websites that are newly launched or renewed in a year Click To Tweet

64 M WordPress sites built per year – Is this a reasonable number?

Let’s inspect the number 64 million. For this inspection, WordPress Daily Theme Download count is used (obtained with API). In January 2018, the week of Jan 15th to 21st, the daily average of 182,826 themes were download. If we make this count for a year, we can say “182,826 downloads x  365 days = 66.73 M downloads.”

This number also includes the users who downloaded and never used a theme. Furthermore, there are also cases where people download only from WordPress.org and also download/purchase through theme developers or other websites. Thus, we may not be able to get the exact number, but I believe, 64 million seems to be not completely off from the actual number.

Daily Theme Download Counts at WordPress.org

01-21: 143,559
01-20: 152,201
01-19: 183,402
01-18: 203,564
01-17: 220,769
01-16: 186,462
01-15: 189,824

7. $143 Billion: Calculate the market size (capital) from above estimates

Well, let’s convert these numbers to actual totals. As for the market, we base the calculation by the fee required for initial setup (omitting the hosting fee etc.). The preconditions are listed below:

  • We assume 50% is used for business and thus budgeted as business
  • We assume for initial setup, there is an average cost of $4,500

Based on this above, we estimate the market site of 64 M x 50% x $4,500 = $143 Billion (Annual WordPress Building Market Size)

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$143 Billion. What do you think about this number?

To calculate $143 Billion, these assumptions, 4 variables listed below, are largely influential.

  • The ratio of websites that are renewed: 25%
  • The ratio of websites that are terminated: 10%
  • The ratio of WordPress sites that are for business purposes(with budgets): 50%
  • The average cost of business purpose WordPress sites’ initial setup fee: $4,500
WordPress building market size is $143 Billion, behind 64 Million WordPress sites are newly launched or renewed in a year. Click To Tweet

What do you think about these estimated figures? Let me know what you think and let’s have a discussion!

Daisuke Kawabata

Founder of ReadyShip, a developer who loves Ramen, sons, development and WordPress. Twitter: @kwbtdisk

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Very interesting numbers. Looks like the future for WordPress developers is promising. What do you think about the current market saturation? Some people say it’s saturated and less space for new comers?

    1. Hi, Tran. Thank you so much for the comment!
      Let me answer about it.
       
      I think, the market around building websites is little growing, and there are so vast/various needs like an apparel business. Established but always changing on the inside. So I tried to view it from multiple points.

       
      In my opinion:
      – For OSS or CMS Players: Now it’s already too hard to build their positioning for a newcomer. There are already powerful competitors including WordPress (yes, the king!). Just 2 days ago, Adobe released that they acquired Magento: http://news.adobe.com/press-release/corporate/adobe-acquire-magento-commerce. This news tells the CMS market is literally “saturated”.
       
      – For SaaS Players (like WIX or Squarespace): I think there is still a chance if the newcomer focuses on a specific category like cosmetics EC, web magazine or school website and so on. The low-price market (for small businesses or individuals) are completely dominated by WIX, Squarespace, and a few players. They are still growing around YtoY 40% as I remember. I believe that focusing the niche and setting mid-range price (like $25 – $50 per a month) are nice choices as a new challenger.
       
      – For WordPress developers: As you said, the trend will work good for us – especially this year will be an evolutional one with Gutenberg. These changes will raise the number of non-develper users more and more, as WordPress aims. (Before that, I feel like page-builder plugins like BeaverBuilder have been contributed to increasing WordPress population!) For those premium theme/plugin developers, this is clearly the chance.
       
      One more trend of WordPress is Enterprise Hosting like WPEngine who raised $250M in this January: https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/04/wp-engine-a-managed-wordpress-platform-raises-250m-from-silver-lake/
      Overall, the WordPress market and its trend change so fast that always there are chances for newcomers.
       
       
      And, ReadyShip enable those WordPress experts to make the business into subscription one, with enabling to provide entire WordPress site with our hosting like SaaS business 😉
       
      Hope this answers your question!

      1. Hi Daisuke,

        Thanks for your answer. So much info in it. I’ve been working with WP for over 10 years and I see things are changing so fast. There are many players in the ecosystem and things are not as easy as they were before. Some theme shops have seen the decrease in their revenue.

        However, Gutenberg might change the game, hopefully. It actually takes some market share from platforms like Wix or Medium to WordPress. And it opens a new door to a way we make WordPress themes/websites. So, more room to breath, and more chance. What do you think about the market share that WordPress can take more?

        1. Thank you for your reply! 🙂
          >about the market share that WordPress can take more?
          Yes, I guess WordPress will get the share more and more as until now! Even though Gutenberg is still under development, the doors seem to be already opened – as you know, there are so much nice feature-rich and non-dev user-friendly plugins and themes (like your nice plugin https://metabox.io/ ). Those items have attracted and pulled the non-dev users into WordPress ecosystem.
           
          In the last three months, the share increased by 1%.
          And, then let me try to estimate the number of months to reach %50 share:
          1.2% increased in 3 months (2018 Jan 1 – 2018 Apr 1: 29.2% => 30.4%).
          – Today’s the market share is 30.9%.
          – With this number, until reach to %50 it will took…
          21.1% / 1.2% * 3(months) = 52.75 (months) = about 4.4 years
           
          Well, I believe this will happen in our future! 😀

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