March 05, 2014, 6:00 AM — Drupal, the popular open source content management system (CMS), now officially powers more than 1 million websites. According to data generated by Drupal.org, which tracks the number of live Drupal sites, it topped that number for the first time in February. In addition, research by BuiltWith finds that Drupal is now the engine behind 12% of the web's top 100,000 most-trafficked websites which use a CMS.
Image credit: flickr/Taro the Shiba Inu
Those are great numbers for Drupal, which recently celebrated its 13th birthday. Looking at more of the BuiltWith data, though, we see that Drupal still has quite a ways to go to catch up to WordPress, the leading content management system, which powers 43.7% of the top 100,000 websites which use a CMS.
The numbers are similar when looking at the top 10,000 sites, with WordPress powering 43.2% of those sites which use a CMS and Drupal 14.1%. If we expand to the top 1 million websites, WordPress now powers 51.5% of those sites that use a CMS, followed then by Joomla, another open source CMS, with 8.2% and then Drupal at 6.6%.
W3Techs provides data on CMS usage for an even larger sample, the top 10 million web sites (based on Alexa rankings). For that population, WordPress is the engine behind 21.4% of all websites, and 60% of those sites that use a CMS, followed again by Joomla with 3.1% (8.8% of CMS-powered sites) and Drupal at 1.9% (5.4% of CMS-powered sites).
It's not surprising that WordPress leads the pack here, because of its ease of use. Given the trends over time, it doesn't appear that Drupal will catch WordPress anytime soon. So, for now and the foreseeable future, WordPress is king of the CMS world.
It's also not surprising that, once we look at a large enough sample of sites, Joomla use surpasses Drupal, given Drupal's reputation for having a higher learning curve. But once we're looking at larger, more well trafficked sites, Drupal gains traction due to its functionality and extensibility.
In any case, 1 million websites is an impressive feat, so "Gefeliciteerd!" (I think that's "Congratulations" in Dutch) to the whole Drupal team!
UPDATE 3/6/14: An earlier version of this article incorrectly noted that the measure of 1 million websites using Drupal came from BuiltWith when, in fact, it comes from Drupal.org. Also, we added the clarification that BuiltWith's measures of CMS market share are based on the number of sites using a CMS technology, not all sites.
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