Open source platforms (including WordPress!) on the decline?

I dunno about you, but it seems a week doesn’t go past where I don’t hear someone spruking the growth and importance of open source in the enterprise – or how OS principles are going to revolutionize how we work etc. etc.

And yet, check out this latest data from compete – comparing the homepages of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Concrete5 and TextPattern

Are open source platforms declining in popularity?

Not looking too great, huh!

And then take a look at the yearly changes:

Annual data doesnt look to great either


So sure, Compete isn’t that accurate, but it’s also generally not that wrong – are we seeing a significant shift in the use of OS software… the wrong way?


Comments (19)

  1. We’re certainly seeing a decline in visits to the home pages of those OS services, but is that the same thing as a decline in their use. I’ve been using WP for years and can’t think of a single time I’ve gone to

  2. Interesting stat, I don’t know about other platforms, but with wordpress there was a lot of hype with WP3. Now that hype has died down and things are back to normal.

    I don’t think anything as good as wordpress is on the scene yet, or mashable and the works would be raving about it…

  3. Thanks James for the interesting post. I will throw a few close source systems, similar to WordPress to baseline the graph above.

    I think the internet usage is changing because of the way we get information, specially around systems like these. In the last 10 WordPress deployment I completed, I have not even visited once. I used cloud instances that will download the latest copy from their website.

  4. I don’t really see the correlation between page views and open source usage?

    You’ve got a stack of people already using CMS such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Surely looking at the number of downloads/updates of these systems.

    For example, one click installers like Simple Scripts and Fantastico don’t have to go to to register a page view to show their usage but when they pull down the latest trunk they’ll register as a download on as will WordPress updates as well.

    Can you give me some reasoning behind how the views on a site reflects the actual platform usage/adoption?

  5. Having an interesting chat on the facebook version of this post speculating that people are spending more time at premium service providers (like, ahem, WPMU DEV :) than at the .org sites – seems to be a believable proposition?

  6. The number of people that visit the homepage would probably drop many weeks following the release of software, and being a month away from the release of 3.1 I’m not really surprised that there is a drop in traffic to the websites. As for the others, I really can’t be certain.

  7. I believe some people are adopting frameworks like web2py, django, (some ruby frameworks?) and maybe other alternatives to the known CMSes. There are too many options nowadays.

  8. It’s very easy to show a graph and make your own conclusions… Last week I heard on television that internet fraud in Belgium has increased with 25% over the last 5 years, but what they didn’t say is that there are more people buying on the internet, more people using the internet and more people that go to the police when they are the victim of internet fraud….

    This graph doesn’t tell anything about the USE of those platforms…

  9. What about rather than just looking at the home pages you compare WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc on Google Trends. WordPress still shows a good upwards trend.

  10. It’s weird, but I believe that pay alternatives to these platforms (ie Squarespace) may be at the root of the downturn. Another thought nights be the adoption of the “one click install” of open source platforms on many hosting provideres.

  11. Chip Bennett hit it on the head. It’s all about the downloads. It’s not a 1-1 ratio, download to deployed website. But it can’t be as a bad as 3-1, or for every 3 downloads and evaluation/comparison for each website deployment.

  12. Bad stats. Open source products are not in decline. More and more, organisations I deal with already have WordPress or are considering using it or another open source CMS.

    Compare downloads, compare visits to support pages, but not home page visits.

  13. I think your research is a little flawed. As someone else in the comments mentioned it might be better to look at search traffic for these platforms rather than examining traffic to their main homepages.

    Take a look at Google Insights data for the same platforms:

    That graph is much more realistic. Open Source CMS use is exploding if you ask me.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics :)

  14. Either way, I was pretty surprised when I saw the data (I was actually sussing out concrete5 at the time) – as it’s a different perspective to the one we hear pretty much 99% of the time.

    @Ed, thanks for the insights link, yeh WP is doing better there, but overall I’m not so sure.