CMS Market Share

To hear some people talk, you’d think WordPress was in some danger of being rapidly overtaken by JAMstack alternatives (though it’s not entirely clear that JAMstack is the right thing to call them). It’s good self-discipline to periodically take a look at the relative CMS market share among current competitors, where it’s true that WordPress is losing market share over the past six months, and furthermore true that Gatsbyjs (the leader among the more recognized JAMstack frameworks) has gained market share in that same time period. But, to paraphrase an old saying, WordPress has lost more sites in a month than Gatsbyjs has ever had.

According to, WordPress has 335 of the top 1000 Alexa-ranked sites. That’s down 6.37 percent from mid July 2020. Overall, WordPress has 30% of the CMS market share on the web.

Gatsbyjs, in contrast, has .146 percent market share. Less than two-tenths of a percent. It runs on 49 of the top 1000 Alexa-ranked sites, which is up 33% over six months. The trend is definitely up, but to my earlier point, a bad run for WordPress may drop them 7% overall, but that relatively small loss for WordPress is 16 times more sites than Gatsbyjs has at all.

Top CMS market share holders at whatCMS

Jekyll comes in at a quarter of the penetration of Gatsby. Other JAMstack frameworks don’t turn up at all in WhatCMS’s tracking.

It’s all kind of humbling, from a “modern web stack” point of view.

On the other hand, things change quickly, stunningly quickly, in the internet world. It was only twelve years ago that CompuServe, the predominant “online service” prior to widespread public internet adoption, was shuttered. I suspect that the current generation of JavaScript developers mostly have no idea what CompuServe was (whatever it was, being online cost seven bucks an hour back then, at 28k baud).

Things change quickly, and it certainly feels like the underlying assumptions of web applications have shifted. Websites are coded using CSS-enhancing template tools, clients are React while back-ends tend toward Node.js, data is represented in JSON, services are decoupled and delivered by way of APIs.

You can tackle a JavaScript and APIs approach in a number of ways, but the cleanest and fastest really does seem to be JAMstack. I don’t think JAMstack fully meets the marketplace that WordPress serves yet, but in time it will. As more developers and agencies come up to speed on JAMstack, the world’s new projects will be JAMstack projects, or whatever JAMstack morphs into as it moves forward. This is good for website and content developers (and their roles will move closer together, at least in the technology space), but is probably going to be tumultuous for the companies that live in the JAMstack ecosystem. But that’s OK, it’ll be interesting.