WordPress User Survey Data for 2015-2017

By Andrea Middleton 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So that information from the survey doesn’t reveal anything that respondents might consider private, we do not publish a full export of the raw data.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)

2015
2016
2017
Number of responses (since this question was mandatory, the number of responses here is the total number for the survey)
45,995

15,585

16,029

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.)
26,662
58%
8,838
57%
9,099
57%
I own, run, or contribute to a blog or website that is built with WordPress.
16,130
35%
5,293
34%
5,625
35%
Neither of the above.
3,204
7%
1,460
9%
1,306
8%
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)

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Professional

Number of responses
26,699

8,838

9,101

My primary job is working for a company or organization that uses WordPress.
9,505
36%
3,529
40%
3,660
40%
My primary job is as a self-employed designer or developer that uses WordPress.
9,310
35%
3,188
36%
3,440
38%
I earn money from part-time or occasional freelance work involving WordPress.
5,954
22%
1,633
18%
1,590
17%
Work that I do involving WordPress is just a hobby, I don’t make money from it.
1,930
7%
491
6%
411
5%
How does your company or organization work with WordPress?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
9,342

Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for other people, companies, or organizations.
7,772
27%

Develop or customize themes.
5,404
19%

Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for my own use.
4,733
16%

Host websites for customers.
4,397
15%

Develop or distribute plugins.
3,181
11%

Provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress.
1,349
5%

Sponsor and/or attend WordCamps.
1,127
4%

Contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core.
914
3%

Other Option
182
1%

Number of responses

3,457

3,598

We make websites for others.

2,695
24%
2,722
23%
We make websites for ourselves.

2,355
21%
2,470
21%
We develop or customize themes.

1,866
16%
1,910
16%
We host websites for others.

1,564
14%
1,595
14%
We develop or distribute plugins.

1,283
11%
1,342
11%
We provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress.

581
5%
631
5%
We sponsor and/or attend WordCamps.

561
5%
579
5%
We contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core.

444
4%
468
4%
Other Option

98
1%
96
1%
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)

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
9,154

3,317

3,498

Small business
6,893
32%
2,398
31%
2,510
31%
Large business or Enterprise
3,635
17%
1,361
18%
1,447
18%
Non-profit
2,644
12%
934
12%
992
12%
Individual
2,600
12%
888
12%
1,022
12%
Education
2,344
11%
854
11%
966
12%
Website development (sub-contracting)
2,065
10%
637
8%
677
8%
Government
1,410
6%
524
7%
552
7%
Other Option
127
1%
66
1%
64
1%
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)

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
9,078

3,369

3,552

Mostly as a content management system (CMS)
6,361
70%
2,482
74%
2,640
74%
About half the time as a blogging platform and half the time as a CMS
1,222
13%
370
11%
383
11%
Mostly as a blogging platform
721
8%
137
4%
129
4%
Mostly as an application framework
629
7%
303
9%
303
9%
Other Option
145
2%
78
2%
97
3%
How much is your average WordPress site customized from the original WordPress installation?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
9,054

3,302

3,473

A lot of work has been done, the front end is unrecognizable, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface.
5,651
62%
2,025
61%
2,105
61%
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added.
2,230
25%
799
24%
905
26%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as the original download.
756
8%
302
9%
298
9%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything (including the admin) has been customized.
417
5%
177
5%
165
5%
Roughly how many currently active WordPress sites has your company or organization built?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
8,801

200 +
1,074
12%

51 – 200
1,721
20%

21 – 50
1,718
20%

11 – 20
1,284
15%

6 – 10
1,109
13%

2 – 5
1,418
16%

1
390
4%

0
87
1%

Number of responses

3,358

3,540

Thousands.

291
9%
331
9%
Hundreds.

770
23%
894
25%
Fewer than a hundred.

1,144
34%
1,177
33%
Just a few, but they are really great.

926
28%
896
25%
Prefer not to answer.

228
7%
242
7%
How many person-hours (of your company’s work) does the typical site take to complete?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
9,091

3,353

3,522

More than 200
939
10%
309
9%
325
9%
100 – 200
1080
12%
329
10%
367
10%
60 – 100
1541
17%
527
16%
513
15%
40 – 60
1854
20%
583
17%
620
18%
20 – 40
2066
23%
691
21%
685
19%
Fewer than 20
1611
18%
479
14%
519
15%
Prefer not to answer (2016, 2017)

436
13%
493
14%
Roughly what percentage of your company or organization’s output is based around WordPress (as opposed to other platforms or software)?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Company

Number of responses
8,950

3,345

3,503

100 %
1,089
12%
438
13%
480
14%
90 %
1,043
12%
417
12%
459
13%
80 %
955
11%
367
11%
424
12%
70 %
831
9%
305
9%
344
10%
60 %
534
6%
246
7%
226
6%
50 %
973
11%
335
10%
338
10%
40 %
613
7%
245
7%
202
6%
30 %
877
10%
335
10%
310
9%
20 %
806
9%
242
7%
280
8%
10 %
1,039
12%
344
10%
348
10%
0 %
190
2%
72
2%
92
3%
In which of the following ways do you work with WordPress?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
17,009

5,221

5,425

Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for other people, companies, or organizations
15,342
34%
4,795
34%
5,064
34%
Develop or customize themes
10,549
24%
2,997
21%
3,021
20%
Host websites for customers
8,142
18%
2,466
17%
2,728
18%
Develop or distribute plugins
4,125
9%
1,395
10%
1,416
9%
Provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress
3,276
7%
1,187
8%
1,308
9%
Sponsor and/or attend WordCamps
1,559
4%
648
5%
724
5%
Contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core
1,107
2%
381
3%
393
3%
Other Option
389
1%
243
2%
299
2%
How would you describe the business of your typical client(s)?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
16,863

5,151

5,353

Small business
14,185
35%
4,342
35%
4,622
36%
Individual
8,513
21%
2,581
21%
2,583
20%
Non-profit
6,585
16%
2,004
16%
2,113
16%
Website development (sub-contracting)
4,301
11%
1,258
10%
1,216
9%
Education
3,458
8%
1,049
8%
1,139
9%
Large business or Enterprise
2,391
6%
805
6%
857
7%
Government
1,150
3%
300
2%
329
3%
Other Option
173
0%
101
1%
99
1%
How do you use WordPress in your development?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
16,768

5,145

5,372

Mostly as a content management system (CMS)
11,754
70%
3,641
71%
3,959
74%
About half the time as a blogging platform and half the time as a CMS
2,825
17%
812
16%
721
13%
Mostly as an application framework
1,012
6%
343
7%
344
6%
Mostly as a blogging platform
992
6%
246
5%
226
4%
Other Option
185
1%
105
2%
122
2%
How much is your average WordPress site customized from the original WordPress installation?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
16,699

5,131

5,317

A lot of work has been done, the front end is unrecognizable, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface.
9,457
57%
2,837
55%
2,998
56%
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added.
5,526
33%
1,694
33%
1,781
34%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as the original download.
977
6%
341
7%
310
6%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything (including the admin) has been customized.
739
4%
261
5%
228
4%
How many currently active WordPress sites have you built? (2015) / Roughly how many currently active WordPress sites have you built? (2016, 2017)

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
16,690

200 +
514
3%

51 – 200
1,728
10%

21 – 50
3,000
18%

11 – 20
3,146
19%

6 – 10
3,405
20%

2 – 5
3,838
23%

1
698
4%

0
361
2%

Number of responses

5,165

5367

Thousands.

110
2%
104
2%
Hundreds.

603
12%
713
13%
Fewer than a hundred.

2,264
44%
2,457
46%
Just a few, but they are really great.

1,871
36%
1,813
34%
Prefer not to answer.

319
6%
280
5%
Roughly what percentage of your working time is spent working with WordPress?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
16,658

5,039

5,241

100 %
949
6%
459
9%
461
9%
90 %
1,300
8%
527
10%
540
10%
80 %
1,784
11%
637
13%
711
14%
70 %
1,850
11%
608
12%
627
12%
60 %
1,313
8%
438
9%
465
9%
50 %
2,095
13%
612
12%
639
12%
40 %
1,438
9%
391
8%
384
7%
30 %
2,076
12%
530
11%
511
10%
20 %
1,743
10%
445
9%
429
8%
10 %
1,819
11%
342
7%
419
8%
0 %
291
2%
52
1%
55
1%
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)

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist

Number of responses
16,670

5,164

5,378

More than 200
503
3%
222
4%
245
5%
100 – 200
973
6%
386
7%
393
7%
60 – 100
2,277
14%
788
15%
815
15%
40 – 60
3,896
23%
1,153
22%
1,216
23%
20 – 40
6,068
36%
1,487
29%
1,582
29%
Fewer than 20
2,953
18%
712
14%
751
14%
Prefer not to answer

418
8%
376
7%
Which of the following have you done with WordPress?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Professional (Company/Freelancer/Hobbyist)

Number of responses
20,687

I’ve written a theme from scratch.
11,894
25%

I’ve written a plugin.
9,719
21%

I’ve answered a question in the WordPress forum.
8,805
19%

I’ve attended a WordPress meetup.
4,062
9%

I’ve submitted a WordPress bug report.
4,062
9%

I’ve attended a WordCamp.
3,571
8%

I’ve contributed to WordPress documentation.
1,778
4%

Other Option
1,739
4%

I’ve contributed a WordPress core patch.
1,055
2%

What’s the best thing about WordPress?*

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Professional

Number of responses
22,718

7,891

8,267

Easy/simple/user-friendly
9,450
42%
3,454
44%
3,852
47%
Customizable/extensible/modular/plugins/themes
8,601
38%
3,116
39%
3,555
43%
Community/support/documentation/help
3,806
17%
1,211
15%
1,340
16%
Free/open/open source
2,291
10%
802
10%
908
11%
Popular/ubiquitous
249
1%
86
1%
187
2%
What’s the most frustrating thing about WordPress?*

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Professional

Number of responses
21,144

7,294

7,691

Plugins & themes (abandoned/conflicts/coding standards)
6,122
29%
2,194
30%
2,187
28%
Security/vulnerabilities/hacks
2,321
11%
712
10%
829
11%
Updates
1,544
7%
422
6%
508
7%
Nothing/I don’t know/can’t think of anything
1,276
6%
344
5%
476
6%
Speed/performance/slow/heavy
1,196
6%
644
9%
516
7%
WordPress is as good as, or better than, its main competitors.

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress Professional

Number of responses (this question was not asked in the 2015 survey)

8,672

9,059

Agree

7551
87%
7836
87%
Prefer not to answer

754
9%
795
9%
Disagree

370
4%
428
5%
WordPress Users
Which of the following describes how you use WordPress?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress User

Number of responses
15,169

5,043

5,521

My personal blog (or blogs) uses WordPress.
9,395
36%
3,117
36%
3,424
36%
My company or organization’s website is built with WordPress software.
7,480
29%
2,519
29%
2,841
30%
I have a hobby or side project that has a website built with WordPress.
6,112
23%
1,973
23%
2,200
23%
I write (or otherwise work) for an online publication that uses WordPress.
2,329
9%
806
9%
821
9%
Other Option
872
3%
234
3%
288
3%
Who installed your WordPress website?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress User

Number of responses
15,055

5,020

5,523

I did.
11,216
66%
3,659
73%
4,129
75%
My hosting provider
2,236
13%
667
13%
767
14%
An external company
909
5%
182
4%
178
3%
An internal web person/team or a colleague
874
5%
178
4%
191
3%
A friend or family member
787
5%
192
4%
172
3%
I don’t know
502
3%
145
3%
87
2%
Other Option
345
2%
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
How much has the site been customized from the original WordPress installation?

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress User

Number of responses
14,789

4,997

5,494

There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added.
7,465
50%
2,337
47%
2,660
48%
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.
4,715
32%
1,707
34%
1,872
34%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as it was when I started out.
1,841
12%
635
13%
673
12%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything has been customized.
768
5%
321
6%
290
5%
What’s the best thing about WordPress?*

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress User

Number of responses
14,328

4,613

5,076

Easy/simple/user-friendly
7,391
52%
2,276
49%
2,511
49%
Customizable/extensible/modular/plugins/themes
4,219
29%
1,569
34%
1,632
32%
Free/open/open source
1,586
11%
493
11%
538
11%
Community/support/documentation/help
1,085
8%
388
8%
458
9%
Popular/ubiquitous
223
2%
74
2%
48
1%
What’s the most frustrating thing about WordPress?*

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress User

Number of responses
13,681

4,287

4,758

Plugins & themes (abandoned/conflicts/coding standards)
2,531
19%
1,183
28%
1,300
27%
Customization/design/look/template
1,273
9%
381
9%
408
9%
Code/coding/PHP
931
7%
306
7%
277
6%
Updates
926
7%
209
5%
296
6%
Security/vulnerabilites/hacks
785
6%
255
6%
292
6%
WordPress is as good as, or better than, its main competitors.

2015
2016
2017
Group: WordPress User

Number of responses

5,026

5,498

Agree

4,038
80%
4,462
81%
Prefer not to answer

737
15%
782
14%
Disagree

254
5%
255
5%
All Respondents
Can you (truthfully!) say “I make my living from WordPress”?

2015
2016
2017
Group: All Respondents

Number of responses (combination of all three groups from 2015; this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017)
42,236

14,906

15,616

Not really, but I do get some or all of my income as a result of working with WordPress.
16,607
39%
5,408
36%
5,702
37%
Yes.
9,635
23%
4,791
32%
5,033
32%
No.
15,995
38%
4,713
32%
4,882
31%
Which devices do you access WordPress on?

2015
2016
2017
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

Web
40,503
95%

Android phone
15,396
36%

iPhone
12,353
29%

iPad
11,748
28%

Android tablet
9,223
22%

Desktop app, like MarsEdit
6,018
14%

Other Option
1837
4%

Number of responses (this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017)

14,840

15,597

Web browser on a desktop or laptop

14,160
54%
15,052
55%
Web browser on a mobile device (tablet or phone)

7,952
30%
8,248
30%
An app on a mobile device (table or phone)

3,309
13%
3,311
12%
A desktop app like MarsEdit

517
2%
498
2%
Other Option

282
1%
240
1%
WordPress now updates minor & security releases automatically for you. Check all that apply: (question not asked in 2016, 2017)

2015
2016
2017
Group: All Respondents

Number of responses (combination of all three groups)
39,726

I love auto-updates.
17,367
44%

I’d like to see auto-updates for plugins.
12,796
32%

Initially, I was nervous about auto updates.
11,868
30%

Auto updates still make me nervous.
10,809
27%

Auto updates don’t make me nervous now.
10,708
27%

I’d like to see auto-updates for themes.
10,449
26%

I’d like to see auto updates for major versions of WordPress.
10,225
26%

This is the first I’ve heard of auto-updates.
8,660
22%

I hate auto-updates.
3,293
8%

What is your gender?*

2015
2016
2017
Group: All respondents (This question was not asked in the 2015 survey.)

Number of responses

13,953

14,680

Male

10,978
78.68%
11,570
78.81%
Female

2,340
16.77%
2,511
21.70%
Prefer not to answer

601
4.31%
562
3.83%
Transgender

11
0.08%
8
0.05%
Nonbinary

8
0.06%
17
0.12%
Genderqueer

4
0.03%
3
0.02%
Androgynous

6
0.04%
5
0.03%
Fluid

3
0.02%
4
0.03%
Demimale

2
0.01%
0
0
Where are you located?

2015
2016
2017
Group: All respondents (This question was not asked in the 2015 survey.)

Number of responses

14,562

15,343

United States

3,770
25.89%
4,067
26.51%
India

1,456
10.00%
1,424
9.28%
United Kingdom

810
5.56%
900
5.87%
Germany

555
3.81%
729
4.75%
Canada

511
3.51%
599
3.90%
Australia

389
2.67%
460
3.00%
Italy

298
2.05%
356
2.32%
Netherlands

343
2.36%
350
2.28%
France

232
1.59%
283
1.84%
Bangladesh

257
1.76%
263
1.71%
Spain

271
1.86%
252
1.64%
Brazil

239
1.64%
251
1.64%
Pakistan

254
1.74%
240
1.56%
Indonesia

230
1.58%
226
1.47%
Iran, Islamic Republic of

190
1.30%
173
1.13%
Sweden

144
0.99%
173
1.13%
Nigeria

196
1.35%
172
1.12%
South Africa

193
1.33%
172
1.12%
Russian Federation

181
1.24%
151
0.98%
Poland

129
0.89%
137
0.89%
Romania

144
0.99%
132
0.86%
Switzerland

122
0.84%
130
0.85%
Philippines

92
0.63%
125
0.81%
China

136
0.93%
123
0.80%
Austria

89
0.61%
122
0.80%
Ukraine

105
0.72%
118
0.77%
Denmark

107
0.73%
114
0.74%
Greece

120
0.82%
114
0.74%
Portugal

94
0.65%
109
0.71%
Vietnam

101
0.69%
108
0.70%
Mexico

94
0.65%
105
0.68%
Nepal

76
0.52%
97
0.63%
Ireland

72
0.49%
94
0.61%
Israel

78
0.54%
94
0.61%
New Zealand

77
0.53%
91
0.59%
Finland

63
0.43%
90
0.59%
Turkey

91
0.62%
86
0.56%
Malaysia

91
0.62%
81
0.53%
Belgium

84
0.58%
79
0.51%
Norway

66
0.45%
79
0.51%
Argentina

65
0.45%
76
0.50%
Bulgaria

74
0.51%
72
0.47%
Japan

61
0.42%
68
0.44%
Thailand

69
0.47%
67
0.44%
Czech Republic

76
0.52%
66
0.43%
Serbia

89
0.61%
63
0.41%
Kenya

58
0.40%
62
0.40%
Colombia

39
0.27%
59
0.38%
Egypt

40
0.27%
52
0.34%
What is your age?

2015
2016
2017
Group: All Respondents

Number of responses (This question was not asked in 2015.)

14,944

15,636

60 and over

1,139
8%
1,641
11%
50-59

1,537
10%
1,996
13%
40-49

2,205
15%
2,643
17%
30-39

3,914
26%
3,972
25%
20-29

5,013
34%
4,444
28%
Under 20

1142
8%
941
6%
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.”

Via:: WordPress User Survey Data for 2015-2017