WordPress Infographic – September 2021
Last year, DisplayWP released its first WordPress infographic. This year, a fresh infographic is available with comparative statistics and a bunch of new data.
DisplayWP has been collecting WordPress versions-related data for the past 5.5 years. The data was reorganized and presented as charts to make it easier to see trends.
Last year, for the first time, infographics were generated in order to uncover previously hidden insights. The majority of the revelations are unique to DisplayWP and can’t be found elsewhere.
WordPress Versions Insights
Since may 2003, WordPress had 525 releases (42 major versions and 483 minor versions), compare to 458 releases last year (39 major versions and 419 minor versions).
WordPress was download over 2.21 billions times compared 1.86 billion times at the same period last year. Meaning that it was downloaded 350 million times only in the past year.
The average size of the ZIP file is growing continues to grow. With the current growth rate, it can be predicted the WordPress 6.x average ZIP size will exceed 20MB.
WordPress 4.9 is still the most popular versions in terms of downloads. It was downloaded over 253 million times (including all the minor versions). Let me remind you that WordPress 5.0 introduces the Guttenberg editor which was not accepted by a large portion of users that decided to continue using 4.x versions. In addition, we see that WordPress 4.9 holds a significant market share compare to some of the later releases. No change since last year.
All 0.x, 1.x, and 2.x versions are not in use. 3.x versions are used by 1.2% of active installs. Less than 5% of all active WordPress websites use version 4.6 and below. Approximately 14% of all active WordPress websites use 0.x – 4.x versions. All 5.x versions used by 86% of all active installs. Only 44.1% of all active WordPress websites run the latest 5.8 version meaning that 55.9% don’t use the latest version.
Last year 3.x versions used by 1.8% of all active installs, this year it’s only 1.18%. Last year 4.x versions used by 20%, this year it is down to 12.8%. And finally 5.x releases were used by 78% of all active installs compered to 86% today. Browsers have automatic updates, is it time for WordPress to apply automatic updates for major releases too?
Talking about automatic updates, it helps WordPress handle the claims it’s not a secure by offering patching vulnerabilities with minor versions. The first 20 major versions (wp0.7 – wp3.6) reached their EOL. The rest (wp3.7 – wp5.8) are actively supported and received updates which are auto-updated. After 8 years since it was released, WordPress 3.7 is still being auto updated.
Versions lifespan is another interesting metric. It’s calculated as the time (in days) between two versions. By looking at the chart you can see that the versions lifespan is getting shorter. The comparison shows that in average, short release cycles (bellow 3 months) decreased from 12.82% to 11.9%, regular release cycles (3-4 months) increased from 15.38% to 19.05%, long release cycles (4-6 months) decreased from 41.03% to 40.48%, and very long release cycles (over 6 months) decreased from 30.77% to 28.57%. In conclusion we see more 3-4 months release cycles.
In reality, when taking into account the yearly releases data, WordPress release cycles are not becoming shorter. WordPress releases up to 3 major versions every year. Matching the 3-4 months release cycle adopted over a decade ago.
We do see an improvement in the naming convention as more versions are named after female musicians. The gender ratio is 1 : 4.13 compared to 1 : 5.33 last year.
Translation is still a pain point. With more translation string added to each version, you see less locales completed.
Click the image to see the infographic.
Feel free to share the image, quote the insights and spread the word. If you find a mistake or have other insights, share them in the comments area below!