WordPress Continues to Take Over the Top 100 Blogs

Back in 2006 blogging was still in its infancy and I remember searching for a platform to launch my first blog.  TypePad and Blogger were both big at that time, WordPress.com was around and growing, and Moveable Type, Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.org were also good options.  In fact there were so many good options that it was difficult to decide what foundation I would use for what I hoped to be my new job. 

For my first few months of blogging I actually went with TypePad, but quickly found that it was very limited and wasn’t a good fit for my needs. I went back to the drawing board at that point and knew I needed something that was flexible and was also going to be around for the long haul. At that time open source was really starting to take off in the mainstream and WordPress.org was leading that charge in the blogging niche, so I decided to align myself with the WordPress community and re-launched my first blog.  Between the WordPress plugins and both the free and premium WordPress themes available, I knew I had made the right choice and was able to quickly make a custom design with little work on my end. The flexibility and the excellent open source community was the key to creating a great experience for me, and many I talked to felt the same way. 

Fast forward 7 years and WordPress continues to meet my needs and validate my early decision. One report I use to determine this is released annually by Royal Pingdom, which has done a study of the Top 100 blogs each year since 2009 and recently published their 2013 report. This report shows WordPress continues to grow as the top choice among the most prominent blogs.  Initially back in 2009, WordPress was on 32% of the Top 100 blogs.  Last year it was up to 48%.  For 2013, WordPress is now on 52% of the Top 100 blogs, and I expect that percentage to continue to grow over the coming years thanks to its flexibility and the fact that it is very user friendly.

wordpress-top-100-blogs

According to Wikipedia, WordPress is used by over 14.7% of the top 1 million websites and manages over 22% of all new websites created as of August 2011, boasting a total of over 60 million websites.  Its hard to imagine what these numbers will look like next year or several years from now.

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  • An Early Look at WP.com?

    Back in April 2009, we wrote about Automattic purchasing WP.com. At the time there was a lot of speculation about what the role of this incredible new domain would be.  It has now been a few months since they took over possession and it looks like we finally have some hints about what the role of this domain may be.

    As of the publishing of this post, it looks like WP.com still redirects to WordPress.com, but if you visit their Get WordPress subdomain, you can see the following splash page promoting their hosted service, as well as a quick comparison to WordPress.org:

    get-wp

    It will be interesting to see what they decide to do with the root of the domain.   I can’t help but wonder if it would be a good idea to move WordPress.com to a shorter domain like WP.com, giving their bloggers a smaller URL for their hosted blogs. In the age of Twitter it would be nice to have a domain like xxxx.wp.com instead of xxxx.wordpress.com.

    What would you like to see WP.com ultimately used for?

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  • How Long Should You Wait to Upgrade WordPress?

    With the recent release of WordPress 2.8 this past week, there has been a number of complications and/or frustrations from the WordPress community, leading to a lot of discussion about how long you should wait to upgrade WordPress when a new branch is released.  Historically the WordPress team has always done a great job of testing their releases, which I think lead to a strong confidence from the WordPress community when it was time to upgrade.   Combine that with the one-click upgrade option that is now built into WordPress and the annoying tag reminding you to upgrade, and you’ve got a huge number of people who upgraded to WordPress 2.8 immediately upon its release.

    Unfortunately, with each new WordPress branch comes changes which sometimes break WordPress plugins, create problems with the WordPress theme you are using, and usually includes changes to the code.   If you upgrade before the themes or plugins you rely on have been updated, this can cause problems.   The iThemes team recently touched on this subject with their post, When Should I Upgrade WordPress?  Their post also includes five helpful things that need done BEFORE you do your one-click upgrade:

    1. Make a backup of all your site data
    2. Upgrade of all your plugins
    3. Visit plugin and theme author websites
    4. Disable all plugins
    5. Ask yourself if you need to upgrade now

    I also recommend waiting a week or so to view feedback before upgrading.

    I know several of you haven’t upgraded WordPress to 2.8 yet.   How long do you plan on waiting until you upgrade your WordPress installation?  Please include which version of WordPress you are currently using with your comment!

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  • Some WordPress News from WordCamp San Francisco

    For all you fans of WordPress, this weekend has been a good one.   Although I personally wasn’t able to attend the WordCamp San Francisco event, many were able to go and we’ve been receiving a lot of great information.

    As a result, I wanted to do a quick post to bring to your attention a couple of the things we are hearing from the event, and in particular, from Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” address, which he does at each WordCamp event:

    • WordPress 2.8 Coming VERY Soon!
    • There have been hints from the WordPress team about adding a section to their theme repository for GPL-compliant premium themes (paid themes which comply with GPL).  I haven’t gotten clarification yet if their will also be a similar site setup for premium plugins that comply with GPL.
    • WordPressMU and WordPress.org will be merging.

    To those of you that attended the event, let us know about anything we missed in the comments!

    Information Sources:

    • The WordCamp Report from the event.
    • Various tweets from a number of web desginers in attendance.
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  • Automattic Purchases WP.com

    Being a long time domainer, I’ve always understood the value of a strong domain name.   It can literally make or break a product before it even launches!     Automattic appears to understand domains as well, and wants to protect their brand.   In a brilliant move, it seems they recently completed the purchase of WP.com, the common abbreviation for WordPress, which was previously owned by Yahoo.

    Here is what Matt had to say about the acquisition of WP.com:

    Yes it’s true, Automattic is now the proud owner of WP.com, which we acquired from our buddies over at Yahoo! We’ve been using WP.com as internal shorthand for this site for years now, and ever since we figured out four or five years ago that Yahoo had that domain (as opposed to the Washington Post or something) we’ve been doing our best to get it, a journey that culminated in ultimate success a few days ago.

    WP.com seemed like a great fit: people’s attention spans are getting shorter every day.  Wow the weather is great in San Francisco today. Also it’s seven keystrokes shorter to type in, which multiplied by the hundreds of millions of times people visit the site every year will be a huge productivity boost to our troubled economy and prevent RSI in a large percentage of the population.

    Matt has also thrown a question out to the WordPress community.    What should they do with this outstanding domain name?   You can leave a comment on their post here with your suggestion!

    My recommendation?   People are going completely mobile these days for everything and that trend is only going to continue over time.   After seeing what is in store for the iPhone 3.0 and the BlackBerry Storm 2.0, I am as convinced of this as ever.   At the same time, people are also loving Twitter and sending Tweets from their phones.

    Why not take WP.com and build it into a mobile blogging platform, or a Twitter competitor of some sort that ties into your WordPress.com blog?     What other ideas do you guys have?

    Note: It appears Automattic has also acquired Blo.gs.  It will be interesting to see if they decide to try to improve or somehow integrate this service.

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  • WordPress Launches WordPress.tv

    Over the weekend I noticed that WordPress has launched a sweet new visual resource for their blogging software, which can be found at WordPress.tv.   As you would probably guess by the domain extension, WordPress.tv will provide video tutorials for both WordPress.org and WordPress.com installations.

    If you look at it now, you’ll find a lot of extremely basic tutorials for people new to WordPress, but one cool thing is you can submit requests to see future WordPress video tutorials.  I would imagine over time you’ll start to find a lot more advanced WordPress tutorials.

    Some other cool things about WordPress.tv:

    WordPress.tv is also now the place to find all that awesome WordCamp footage that was floating around the web without a home. See the presentations you missed and get a peek at behind-the-scenes action. We call it WordCampTV.

    You’ll also find slideshows of presentations made by Automattic employees and other WordPress gurus, plus interviews I’ve done with the media and fellow bloggers.

    I hope you’ll consider WordPress.tv not just a support resource, but also a place to hang out and keep up with all the geeky goodness going on in the WordPress community. Tune in regularly for fresh content and updates to the WordPress.tv blog. Lots more is on the way.

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  • 10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.7

    As we get closer to the eventual release of WordPress 2.7 (due by the end of the month at last check), it is only natural that we start to focus on the exciting new changes in WordPress 2.7 and figure out how to exactly it will change things for bloggers.

    In looking back over the last few releases, I think WordPress 2.7 will be similar to WordPress 2.3 and WordPress 2.5 in how it is a major change.   There will be a new admin design to get used to, new features available to WordPress bloggers, many themes will need updated, etc.

    If you are wondering what exactly you need to know to be ready for WordPress 2.7, you’ll want to check out a new post by Technosailor: 10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.7.   I think this post does a great job of showing just how drastically different WordPress 2.7 will be, but also shows how much better it will be than its predecessors.

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  • Blog Design Studio Announces Blog Design Group Writing Project

    Just over a year ago, group writing projects were all the rage!  Sites like ProBlogger.net and DailyBlogTips.com ran them and got hundreds of participants.   Then nothing…..

    For whatever reason, over this past year I don’t think I’ve seen a single group writing project, at least until now.   My friend Mayank over at Blog Design Studio has announced an excellent group writing project with a ton of great prizes, including a Blog Design Studio redesign!

    Here is the official prize list:

    1. Win a custom WordPress theme for your blog from Blog Design Studio
    2. Premium Theme from DailyBlogTips.com
    3. Consultation from Kevin Muldoon (BloggingTips.com)
    4. Consultation from Mayank

    If you’d like to enter into this group writing project, you’ll want to write a post about Blog Design and follow these guidelines:

    • The article should be fresh and new. An old blog post will not be eligible for the contest.
    • The blog post should be at least 250 words long.
    • Give a link back the sponsors as mentioned at the bottom of the post.
    • Don’t forget to send an e-mail to us with the link to your contest entry {hello (at) blogdesignstudio (dot) com}.
    • Your blog should be at least one month old & should have at least 30 entries.
    • Your entry should come before 30th November (doesn’t matter which time zone, it should be 30th Nov.)

    Any other questions?  For more information, you’ll want to refer to their announcement post.

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  • WordPress.com Releases October Statistics

    Somehow I missed this yesterday, so I’m making up for it now with this post.  It looks like WordPress released their monthly wrap-up for October yesterday, complete with an announcement of their first billion-impression month!   That is a hard number to wrap your head around if you really think about it, making it a great accomplishment.

    Here are the October statistics for WordPress.com by Matt:

    • 323,786 blogs were created.
    • 343,832 new users joined.
    • 4,085,148 file uploads.
    • 1995.86 gigabytes of new files.
    • 531 terabytes of content transferred from our datacenters.
    • 8,862,195 comments.
    • 1,309,045 logins.
    • 1,088,583,200 page views on WordPress.com, and another 738,282,634 on self-hosted blogs (1,826,865,834 total across all WordPress blogs we track).
    • 1,418,933 active blogs and 16,599,550 active posts where “active” means they got a human visitor.
    • 1,179,018,712 words.

    Bonus statistic:

    • 53,290 PollDaddy polls added this month — a 1250% increase from September!

    It is good to see WordPress.com continue to grow and expand at such a rapid rate.

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  • Google Wants You To Upgrade Your WordPress Installation

    Some of our long time readers may remember last April when we wrote a post about Technorati wanting you to upgrade your WordPress installation.   In that post, we explained that Technorati will no longer be indexing your site if you have an old installation of WordPress running on your blog.   This is of course due to the major security vulnerabilities on some old WordPress installations.   Unfortunately this announcement didn’t get much attention, as Technorati has failed to grow with the blogging community and has basically become irrelevant over the past year.

    With that said, for those of you on old WordPress installations, maybe this will be a bigger incentive to upgrade?   According to Quick Online Tips, it looks like Google has begun warning users of WordPress 2.1.1 via their Google Webmaster Tools of the security vulnerability of this version.   If this is successful, Google will then expand to notifying webmasters of other vulnerable WordPress installations, as well as other blogging platforms.   Note: This does not affect WordPress.com users, as your sites are automatically upgraded for you.

    Why is this important?  I believe that it is conceivable that eventually Google could not index your sites that are using a version of WordPress that are considered unsafe.  This is because these blogs are targeted by hackers and inappropriate content or malicious code is often placed on these sites.  Google does not want these types of sites in their index.

    I know there are a few of you out there that don’t necessarily upgrade your WordPress installations.   Will WordPress 2.7’s easy upgrade process help you to upgrade your installations regularly?

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