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WordPress User Survey Data for 2015-2017

For many years, we’ve invited folks to tell us how they use WordPress by filling out an annual survey. In the past, interesting results from this survey have been shared in the annual State of the Word address. This year, for the first time, the results of the 2017 survey are being published on WordPress News, along with the results of the 2015 and 2016 survey.

So that information from the survey doesn’t reveal anything that respondents might consider private, we do not publish a full export of the raw data. We’d love to make this information as accessible as possible, though, so if you have a suggestion for an OS project or tool we can put the data into that allows people to play with it that still protects individual response privacy, please leave a comment on this post!

Major Groups

This survey features multiple groups, dividing respondents at the first question:

Which of the following best describes how you use WordPress? (Mandatory)

Those who selected “I’m a designer or developer, or I work for a company that designs/develops websites; I use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others. (This might include theme development, writing plugins, or other custom work.)” were served questions from what we’ll call the “WordPress Professionals” group.

This “WordPress Professionals” group is further divided into WordPress Company and WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist groups, based on how the respondent answered the question, “Which of the following best describes your involvement with WordPress? (2015) / Do you work for a company, or on your own? (2016-17).”

Those who selected “I own, run, or contribute to a blog or website that is built with WordPress.” were served questions in what we’re calling the “WordPress Users” group.

The relevant survey group is noted in each table below. In the case of questions that were served to different groups in 2015 but then served to all respondents in 2016 and 2017, the group responses from 2015 have been consolidated into one set of data for easier comparison between years.

Survey results

Jump to answers from WordPress Professionals

Jump to answers from WordPress Users

Jump to answers from All Respondents

Which of the following best describes how you use WordPress? (Mandatory)

201520162017
Number of responses (since this question was mandatory, the number of responses here is the total number for the survey)45,99515,58516,029
I’m a designer or developer, or I work for a company that designs/develops websites; I use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others. (This might include theme development, writing plugins, other custom work.)26,66258%8,83857%9,09957%
I own, run, or contribute to a blog or website that is built with WordPress.16,13035%5,29334%5,62535%
Neither of the above.3,2047%1,4609%1,3068%

WordPress Professionals

Which of the following best describes your involvement with WordPress? (Mandatory, 2015) / Do you work for a company, or on your own? (Mandatory, 2016-17)

201520162017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses26,6998,8389,101
My primary job is working for a company or organization that uses WordPress.9,50536%3,52940%3,66040%
My primary job is as a self-employed designer or developer that uses WordPress.9,31035%3,18836%3,44038%
I earn money from part-time or occasional freelance work involving WordPress.5,95422%1,63318%1,59017%
Work that I do involving WordPress is just a hobby, I don’t make money from it.1,9307%4916%4115%

How does your company or organization work with WordPress?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses9,342
Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for other people, companies, or organizations.7,77227%
Develop or customize themes.5,40419%
Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for my own use.4,73316%
Host websites for customers.4,39715%
Develop or distribute plugins.3,18111%
Provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress.1,3495%
Sponsor and/or attend WordCamps.1,1274%
Contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core.9143%
Other Option182 1%
Number of responses3,4573,598
We make websites for others.2,69524%2,72223%
We make websites for ourselves.2,35521%2,47021%
We develop or customize themes.1,86616%1,91016%
We host websites for others.1,56414%1,59514%
We develop or distribute plugins.1,28311%1,34211%
We provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress.5815%6315%
We sponsor and/or attend WordCamps.5615%5795%
We contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core.4444%4684%
Other Option981%961%

How would you describe the business of your typical client(s)? (2015) / How would you describe the business of your typical client/customer? (2016, 2017)

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses9,1543,3173,498
Small business6,89332%2,39831%2,51031%
Large business or Enterprise3,63517%1,36118%1,44718%
Non-profit2,64412%93412%99212%
Individual2,60012%88812%1,02212%
Education2,34411%85411%96612%
Website development (sub-contracting)2,06510%6378%6778%
Government1,4106%5247%5527%
Other Option1271%661%641%

How does your company or organization use WordPress when developing websites? (2015) / When making websites, how does your company or organization use WordPress? (2016, 2017)

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses9,0783,3693,552
Mostly as a content management system (CMS)6,36170%2,48274%2,64074%
About half the time as a blogging platform and half the time as a CMS1,22213%37011%38311%
Mostly as a blogging platform7218%1374%1294%
Mostly as an application framework6297%3039%3039%
Other Option1452%782%973%

How much is your average WordPress site customized from the original WordPress installation?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses9,0543,3023,473
A lot of work has been done, the front end is unrecognizable, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface.5,65162%2,02561%2,10561%
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added.2,23025%79924%90526%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as the original download.7568%3029%2989%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything (including the admin) has been customized.4175%1775%1655%

Roughly how many currently active WordPress sites has your company or organization built?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses8,801
200 +1,07412%
51 – 2001,72120%
21 – 501,71820%
11 – 201,28415%
6 – 101,10913%
2 – 51,41816%
13904%
0871%
Number of responses3,3583,540
Thousands.2919%3319%
Hundreds.77023%89425%
Fewer than a hundred.1,14434%1,17733%
Just a few, but they are really great.92628%89625%
Prefer not to answer.2287%2427%

How many person-hours (of your company’s work) does the typical site take to complete?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses9,0913,3533,522
More than 20093910%3099%3259%
100 – 200108012%32910%36710%
60 – 100154117%52716%51315%
40 – 60185420%58317%62018%
20 – 40206623%69121%68519%
Fewer than 20161118%47914%51915%
Prefer not to answer (2016, 2017)43613%49314%

Roughly what percentage of your company or organization’s output is based around WordPress (as opposed to other platforms or software)?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses8,9503,3453,503
100 %1,08912%43813%48014%
90 %1,04312%41712%45913%
80 %95511%36711%42412%
70 %8319%3059%34410%
60 %5346%2467%2266%
50 %97311%33510%33810%
40 %6137%2457%2026%
30 %87710%33510%3109%
20 %8069%2427%2808%
10 %1,03912%34410%34810%
0 %1902%722%923%

In which of the following ways do you work with WordPress?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses17,0095,2215,425
Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for other people, companies, or organizations15,34234%4,79534%5,06434%
Develop or customize themes10,54924%2,99721%3,02120%
Host websites for customers8,14218%2,46617%2,72818%
Develop or distribute plugins4,1259%1,39510%1,4169%
Provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress3,2767%1,1878%1,3089%
Sponsor and/or attend WordCamps1,5594%6485%7245%
Contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core1,1072%3813%3933%
Other Option3891%2432%2992%

How would you describe the business of your typical client(s)?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses16,8635,1515,353
Small business14,18535%4,34235%4,62236%
Individual8,51321%2,58121%2,58320%
Non-profit6,58516%2,00416%2,11316%
Website development (sub-contracting)4,30111%1,25810%1,2169%
Education3,4588%1,0498%1,1399%
Large business or Enterprise2,3916%8056%8577%
Government1,1503%3002%3293%
Other Option1730%1011%991%

How do you use WordPress in your development?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses16,7685,1455,372
Mostly as a content management system (CMS)11,75470%3,64171%3,95974%
About half the time as a blogging platform and half the time as a CMS2,82517%81216%72113%
Mostly as an application framework1,0126%3437%3446%
Mostly as a blogging platform9926%2465%2264%
Other Option1851%1052%1222%

How much is your average WordPress site customized from the original WordPress installation?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses16,6995,1315,317
A lot of work has been done, the front end is unrecognizable, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface.9,45757%2,83755%2,99856%
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added.5,52633%1,69433%1,78134%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as the original download.9776%3417%3106%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything (including the admin) has been customized.7394%2615%2284%

How many currently active WordPress sites have you built? (2015) / Roughly how many currently active WordPress sites have you built? (2016, 2017)

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses16,690
200 +5143%
51 – 2001,72810%
21 – 503,00018%
11 – 203,14619%
6 – 103,40520%
2 – 53,83823%
16984%
03612%
Number of responses5,1655367
Thousands.1102%1042%
Hundreds.60312%71313%
Fewer than a hundred.2,26444%2,45746%
Just a few, but they are really great.1,87136%1,81334%
Prefer not to answer.3196%2805%

Roughly what percentage of your working time is spent working with WordPress?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses16,6585,0395,241
100 %9496%4599%4619%
90 %1,3008%52710%54010%
80 %1,78411%63713%71114%
70 %1,85011%60812%62712%
60 %1,3138%4389%4659%
50 %2,09513%61212%63912%
40 %1,4389%3918%3847%
30 %2,07612%53011%51110%
20 %1,74310%4459%4298%
10 %1,81911%3427%4198%
0 %2912%521%551%

How many hours of your work does the typical site take to complete? (2015) / How many hours of work does your typical WordPress project take to launch? (2016, 2017)

201520162017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses16,6705,1645,378
More than 2005033%2224%2455%
100 – 2009736%3867%3937%
60 – 1002,27714%78815%81515%
40 – 603,89623%1,15322%1,21623%
20 – 406,06836%1,48729%1,58229%
Fewer than 202,95318%71214%75114%
Prefer not to answer4188%3767%

Which of the following have you done with WordPress?

201520162017
Group: WordPress Professional (Company/Freelancer/Hobbyist)
Number of responses20,687
I’ve written a theme from scratch.11,89425%
I’ve written a plugin.9,71921%
I’ve answered a question in the WordPress forum.8,80519%
I’ve attended a WordPress meetup.4,0629%
I’ve submitted a WordPress bug report.4,0629%
I’ve attended a WordCamp.3,5718%
I’ve contributed to WordPress documentation.1,7784%
Other Option1,7394%
I’ve contributed a WordPress core patch.1,0552%

What’s the best thing about WordPress?*

201520162017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses22,7187,8918,267
Easy/simple/user-friendly9,45042%3,45444%3,85247%
Customizable/extensible/modular/plugins/themes8,60138%3,11639%3,55543%
Community/support/documentation/help3,80617%1,21115%1,34016%
Free/open/open source2,29110%80210%90811%
Popular/ubiquitous2491%861%1872%

 What’s the most frustrating thing about WordPress?*

201520162017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses21,1447,2947,691
Plugins & themes (abandoned/conflicts/coding standards)6,12229%2,19430%2,18728%
Security/vulnerabilities/hacks2,32111%71210%82911%
Updates1,5447%4226%5087%
Nothing/I don’t know/can’t think of anything1,2766%3445%4766%
Speed/performance/slow/heavy1,1966%6449%5167%

WordPress is as good as, or better than, its main competitors.

201520162017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses (this question was not asked in the 2015 survey)8,6729,059
Agree755187%783687%
Prefer not to answer7549%7959%
Disagree3704%4285%

WordPress Users

Which of the following describes how you use WordPress?

201520162017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses15,1695,0435,521
My personal blog (or blogs) uses WordPress.9,39536%3,11736%3,42436%
My company or organization’s website is built with WordPress software.7,48029%2,51929%2,84130%
I have a hobby or side project that has a website built with WordPress.6,11223%1,97323%2,20023%
I write (or otherwise work) for an online publication that uses WordPress.2,3299%8069%8219%
Other Option8723%2343%2883%

Who installed your WordPress website?

201520162017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses15,0555,0205,523
I did.11,21666%3,65973%4,12975%
My hosting provider2,23613%66713%76714%
An external company9095%1824%1783%
An internal web person/team or a colleague8745%1784%1913%
A friend or family member7875%1924%1723%
I don’t know5023%1453%872%
Other Option3452%n/an/an/an/a

How much has the site been customized from the original WordPress installation?

201520162017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses14,7894,9975,494
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added.7,46550%2,33747%2,66048%
A lot of work has been done, the site itself is unrecognizable from the original theme, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface.4,71532%1,70734%1,87234%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as it was when I started out.1,84112%63513%67312%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything has been customized.7685%3216%2905%

What’s the best thing about WordPress?*

201520162017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses14,3284,6135,076
Easy/simple/user-friendly7,39152%2,27649%2,51149%
Customizable/extensible/modular/plugins/themes4,21929%1,56934%1,63232%
Free/open/open source1,58611%49311%53811%
Community/support/documentation/help1,0858%3888%4589%
Popular/ubiquitous2232%742%481%

What’s the most frustrating thing about WordPress?*

201520162017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses13,6814,2874,758
Plugins & themes (abandoned/conflicts/coding standards)2,53119%1,18328%1,30027%
Customization/design/look/template1,2739%3819%4089%
Code/coding/PHP9317%3067%2776%
Updates9267%2095%2966%
Security/vulnerabilites/hacks7856%2556%2926%

WordPress is as good as, or better than, its main competitors.

201520162017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses5,0265,498
Agree4,03880%4,46281%
Prefer not to answer73715%78214%
Disagree2545%2555%

All Respondents

Can you (truthfully!) say “I make my living from WordPress”?

201520162017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (combination of all three groups from 2015; this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017)42,23614,90615,616
Not really, but I do get some or all of my income as a result of working with WordPress.16,60739%5,40836%5,70237%
Yes.9,63523%4,79132%5,03332%
No.15,99538%4,71332%4,88231%

Which devices do you access WordPress on?

201520162017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (combination of all three groups from 2015; this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017)42,433
Web40,50395%
Android phone15,39636%
iPhone12,35329%
iPad11,74828%
Android tablet9,22322%
Desktop app, like MarsEdit6,01814%
Other Option18374%
Number of responses (this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017)14,84015,597
Web browser on a desktop or laptop14,16054%15,05255%
Web browser on a mobile device (tablet or phone)7,95230%8,24830%
An app on a mobile device (table or phone)3,30913%3,31112%
A desktop app like MarsEdit5172%4982%
Other Option2821%2401%

WordPress now updates minor & security releases automatically for you. Check all that apply: (question not asked in 2016, 2017)

201520162017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (combination of all three groups)39,726
I love auto-updates.17,36744%
I’d like to see auto-updates for plugins.12,79632%
Initially, I was nervous about auto updates.11,86830%
Auto updates still make me nervous.10,80927%
Auto updates don’t make me nervous now.10,70827%
I’d like to see auto-updates for themes.10,44926%
I’d like to see auto updates for major versions of WordPress.10,22526%
This is the first I’ve heard of auto-updates.8,66022%
I hate auto-updates.3,2938%

What is your gender?*

201520162017
Group: All respondents (This question was not asked in the 2015 survey.)
Number of responses13,95314,680
Male10,97878.68%11,57078.81%
Female2,34016.77%2,51121.70%
Prefer not to answer6014.31%5623.83%
Transgender110.08%80.05%
Nonbinary80.06%170.12%
Genderqueer40.03%30.02%
Androgynous60.04%50.03%
Fluid30.02%40.03%
Demimale20.01%00

Where are you located?

201520162017
Group: All respondents (This question was not asked in the 2015 survey.)
Number of responses14,56215,343
United States3,77025.89%4,06726.51%
India1,45610.00%1,4249.28%
United Kingdom8105.56%9005.87%
Germany5553.81%7294.75%
Canada5113.51%5993.90%
Australia3892.67%4603.00%
Italy2982.05%3562.32%
Netherlands3432.36%3502.28%
France2321.59%2831.84%
Bangladesh2571.76%2631.71%
Spain2711.86%2521.64%
Brazil2391.64%2511.64%
Pakistan2541.74%2401.56%
Indonesia2301.58%2261.47%
Iran, Islamic Republic of1901.30%1731.13%
Sweden1440.99%1731.13%
Nigeria1961.35%1721.12%
South Africa1931.33%1721.12%
Russian Federation1811.24%1510.98%
Poland1290.89%1370.89%
Romania1440.99%1320.86%
Switzerland1220.84%1300.85%
Philippines920.63%1250.81%
China1360.93%1230.80%
Austria890.61%1220.80%
Ukraine1050.72%1180.77%
Denmark1070.73%1140.74%
Greece1200.82%1140.74%
Portugal940.65%1090.71%
Vietnam1010.69%1080.70%
Mexico940.65%1050.68%
Nepal760.52%970.63%
Ireland720.49%940.61%
Israel780.54%940.61%
New Zealand770.53%910.59%
Finland630.43%900.59%
Turkey910.62%860.56%
Malaysia910.62%810.53%
Belgium840.58%790.51%
Norway660.45%790.51%
Argentina650.45%760.50%
Bulgaria740.51%720.47%
Japan610.42%680.44%
Thailand690.47%670.44%
Czech Republic760.52%660.43%
Serbia890.61%630.41%
Kenya580.40%620.40%
Colombia390.27%590.38%
Egypt400.27%520.34%

What is your age?

201520162017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (This question was not asked in 2015.)14,94415,636
60 and over1,1398%1,64111%
50-591,53710%1,99613%
40-492,20515%2,64317%
30-393,91426%3,97225%
20-295,01334%4,44428%
Under 2011428%9416%

Thank you to everyone who made time to fill out the survey — we’re so happy you use WordPress, and we’re very grateful that you’re willing to share your experiences with us! Thanks also to everyone who spread the word about this survey, and to those of you who read all the way to the bottom of this post. 😉

*Text Field Questions: Each survey included some questions that could be answered only by filling out a text field. In the case of the questions “What is the best thing about WordPress?” and “What is the most frustrating thing about WordPress?” we listed the five most common responses, aggregated when applicable. In the case of the question “What is your gender?” in the 2016 and 2017 surveys, we aggregated responses as best we could. Responses meant to obscure respondents’ gender entirely are aggregated in “prefer not to answer.”

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