WordPress: A $600B economy.
Businesses that have emerged successfully in today’s online pivot are the ones that have leaned into digital solutions to enhance creativity, experiment rapidly with different business models or campaigns, and respond to changes in customer behaviour. Open source software, and WordPress specifically, has been fundamental by providing the flexibility and speed businesses need to quickly adapt to the rapid acceleration to digital.
Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has grown from a platform known for its popularity among bloggers to the dominant type of site on the web, making up 41 per cent of all websites globally, and the world’s most popular way to build websites.
We spearheaded the first comprehensive analysis of the combined global economy for WordPress, which reveals WordPress is a multi-billion-dollar industry valued at $597 billion, compared to AI at $327 billion and eCommerce at $618 billion. By the end of 2021, the WordPress economy is forecasted to grow to $636 billion, which is comparable to that generated by the Apple App Store at $643 billion. WordPress in Australia is valued at around USD$17.9 billion.
So, what is it that makes WordPress such a popular choice for small businesses?
On average, 2-in-5 small and medium-sized businesses (40 per cent) use WordPress globally, according to WP Engine research. WordPress saw a large surge in usage in Australia in 2020, growing by approximately 14 per cent during the pandemic.
Many small businesses could not have adapted to the explosion of online as quickly as they did without the platform, helping them get to market quickly, without breaking the bank. Metcash (IGA), for example, used WordPress to set up an emergency supply system for the elderly and vulnerable, within just several days, at the peak of COVID-19.
WordPress makes up 83 per cent of Australian websites using open-source technologies and over a third of the top 10,000 sites (36 per cent). Originally a blogging platform, WordPress is known for delivering content that informs and entertains consumers. This includes providing businesses with an easy-to-use method to keep customers informed and up-to-date about COVID-related changes such as store opening hours, sales and deliveries.
Because of its simple connectivity, the platform allows businesses to easily integrate with mobile technologies, which is invaluable when engaging with younger generations. This also goes for integrating with emerging technologies like wearables, voice assistance and AI.
The WordPress Economy also includes more than 8,300 WordPress themes (and their authors) that help sites look incredible, and in many cases, enhance site performance. This enormous collection of templates and stylesheets has grown 7X since 2010, and because themes define the appearance and display of a WordPress site, they make it easy to get started and make your WordPress site unique. WordPress users can also choose from more than 60,000 plugins or add-ons to extend the basic functionality of WordPress and further personalise sites.
WordPress is a driving force within the wider digital economy, fueling a massive ecosystem of makers, builders, and entrepreneurs that are leading the digital charge. As WordPress closes in on powering more than 50 per cent of the web, it’s clear that investments in WordPress will pay dividends for many years to come. Put simply, WordPress provides Australians with jobs and is the foundation for thousands of small businesses – particularly those that are under-skilled, under-resourced and cannot afford web developers or more expensive tools.