Drupal Gains Market Share

Posted: February 26, 2013 under Drupal

Every once in a while I like to take a look at the trends in the content management system market. If you're a fan of Drupal - or perhaps considering switching to Drupal - I think you'll find the numbers very interesting.

Below is a table showing the usage for the big three CMS providers as well as numbers for the percentage of sites using either no content management system at all or some other CMS. The data comes from W3Techs.

Drupal market share, February 2013

You'll notice the percentage growth in the use of Drupal is huge - about 21%. This bodes well for those of us who love Drupal and provide solutions built on it. However, the most interesting number may be the large percentage of sites that still do not use a content management system at all.

I wasn't able to determine how many of the sites that are reported as not using a CMS are actually using a custom system. Regardless, the movement towards Drupal and content management systems in general is clear.

Poor Joomla

I've always felt that Joomla split the difference between Drupal and WordPress in many ways and as such was going to be squeezed sooner or later. The chart above shows zero growth in the percentage of sites using Joomla, but this doesn't tell the whole story.

If you look at market share trends for the various content management systems, things look much worse for Joomla. Over the past year, Joomla has lost about 9.6% of its market share. In the same period Drupal saw a gain of 7.5% in its market share and WordPress saw a gain of about 1%.

Basically what we're seeing is a CMS market that is increasing in size with Drupal making big gains and Joomla showing clear signs of loosing its footing.

Is WordPress a Competitor?

In 2011 Dries Buytaert gave an address at DrupalCon London and made a statement about WordPress not being a competitor. He went on to talk about some enterprise systems that he actually saw as the competition. I didn't care for his comments much at the time and felt that they risked turning away small businesses, hobbyists and other groups that make up a large portion of new Drupal recruits and that are very important to the future of the community.

So, is WordPress a competitor? I still think so. I've been collecting resources to do a comparison piece of the two systems with the purpose being to encourage designers to work more with Drupal. WordPress isn't standing still, and from the data above their commanding market position is obvious. As one of my business school professors used to say, "Never underestimate the power of massive market share."

Ten Percent

The worries I felt about how Drupal was being marketed have eased a bit in recent months. Drupal 8 looks very much like it's going to be an outstanding release and has something for enterprises and novices alike. That said, if you love Drupal I encourage you to not be complacent. Make the case for Drupal whenever you can.

In his most recent DrupalCon address, Buytaert set the goal of Drupal powering ten percent of websites. Very ambitious. Do you want to help make his goal a reality? One excellent place to get ideas for talking with your clients or colleagues about the advantages of using Drupal for yor next project is the Marketing of Drupal group. If you have questions, they have answers. 

If we all take the role of evangelist from time to time, we'll see Buytaert's goal of ten percent achieved to the benefit of everyone that loves Drupal.

About the Author

John Hannah

I’m John Hannah, a frontend developer, avid Drupalista and the guy behind Friendly Machine. When I'm not building websites, I travel as much as possible and enjoy hanging out with my wonderful family. My favorite place to spend my coffee breaks is Twitter, so please feel free to connect with me there.