The WordPress economy has been valued at $596.7 billion (£431.69bn) in 2020, and is expected to reach $635bn (£459.4bn) by the end of 2021.
This is according to WP Engine, the WordPress technology company, which examined the economic value and social impact of the ecosystem in first-of-its-kind research.
In comparison to GDP, this means WordPress would rank 39th in the world if it were a country.
Heather Brunner, chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine, said the research demonstrated “the definitive leadership role WordPress plays in the global digital economy”.
The content management system is free, accessible to use, and therefore very popular with businesses. WP Engine claims that 41% of the internet is built on WordPress, with more than 82 million WordPress sites online.
In order to improve your business, the research suggested a direct correlation between WordPress and income. The study found that users who spent more than 15 hours a week on WordPress derive 48% of their income from the CMS. For the majority of survey respondents, WordPress generated at least 25% of their income.
However, the CMS is not limited to small business owners, as 35% of the top 10k sites by traffic are in fact built on WordPress.
Brunner added: “WordPress looks to cross 50% of the web; we see it playing an even larger role with individuals and businesses of all sizes.”
David Lockie, founder of Pragmatic, a WordPress specialist agency, considers the community of the CMS invaluable.
He said: “WordPress is the commons of the web. It allows people to communicate with freedom. And that creates tangible value and wealth, but it also creates intangible value for our societies in this time of centralization of power. Two very different, but very critical values.”
How WordPress helped the small business Cornelius Creative
Husband and wife team, Simon and Lucy Cornelius, started a product design and marketing company before the first lockdown. Although the lockdown caused several clients to suddenly withdraw, Simon and Lucy focused their efforts onto their website to improve business.
They said: “We used the extra time we gained to work on our brand, develop a business plan and build our website, and eventually the work started to come in.”
Their success supports WP Engine’s correlation between hours on WordPress and income.
As a new business navigating a remote world, online presence was crucial.
They explained: “Technology was fundamental to us running our business successfully. A website is a must. At the beginning of running our business, before our website had launched, we had so many clients ask for our web address to find out more about us. We probably lost some clients by not having a website at that time.”
The couple had previous experience with content management systems, but chose WordPress to best suit their business.
Simon Cornelius said: “Lucy built our website in the evenings, after our baby had gone to bed. We felt confident using WordPress as it’s a platform we’re familiar with, but we also know that it’s indexed well by search engines, which was important to us as a new company. We found a theme that we liked and would work well with our brand, downloaded it and went from there.”