How Many Websites Use Joomla: 30 million?

When I say grow, I really mean it! Since its birth JoomlaÂ’s adoption has been phenomenal. Tracking some simple metrics like search volume and Alexa Rank (Figures 1 and 2) you can see that it has enjoyed huge gain in popularity.


Figure 1
Google search volume of common open source CMS


Figure 2
Alexa Traffic rank for CMS project domains

Many have speculated what has contributed to this growth. Obviously being free and easy to use helps but perhaps there are two other key numbers worth looking at.

The Joomla Community

The Joomla community is big, and itÂ’s active. The official forum at forum.joomla.org has (as of writing) over 110,000 members making it perhaps one of the biggest forums on the web. Along with that, there are many forums on the international sites of Joomla. There are also other many 3rd party forums such as joomlashack.com (90,000 members). Although a crude measure, itÂ’s a useful way of seeing how large the community around Joomla might actually be.

A large and active community, measured here by the members of forums is an important factor in the success in an open source project.

3rd Party Extensions Development

Joomla is perhaps unique among open source CMSÂ’s in the size and nature of the non-official developers that create extensions for it. There are currently over 1,600 extensions listed on the official site (extensions.joomal.org). ItÂ’s hard to find a Joomla site that doesnÂ’t use one of these. The true power of Joomla is the astonishing range of extensions there are.

The nature of these developers is also interesting. There are an unusually high proportion of commercial developers and companies creating professional extensions for Joomla. Although the nature of open source and commercial development might seem unlikely bedfellows, many commentators have pointed to this characteristic of the Joomla project as a significant contributor to its growth.

But how many websites use Joomla?

Another measure of the popularity of Joomla is to try and measure how many sites are using it to power their website. This is very difficult to measure, but we can make some crude estimates.

The default installation of Joomla has a footer that contains a link to www.joomla.org. Using Google, we can search for sites linking to www.joomla.org with the “link” command. The results are shown in Figure 3


Figure 3
GoogleÂ’s measure of sites linking to Joomla.org

If we do the same thing in Yahoo, which supposedly is more accurate for this, we get a higher number, here in figure 4.


Figure 4
YahooÂ’s measure of sites linking to Joomla.org

The first caveat here is that many of these links will be just links from non-Joomla sites that are discussing Joomla. The second is that many Joomla users will have removed the aforementioned footer link.

We can then search for the occurrences of “powered by Joomla” and Joomla common phrases people use on their Joomla websites. Putting all these results in a table.

 

Google

Yahoo

Links to joomla.org

357,000

10,210,666

Contains “Joomla”

49,800,000

26,100,000

Contains “Powered by Joomla”

1,640.000

3,210,000

The search terms can provide low and high end estimates and the link analysis adds some benchmarking. This would imply that there are somewhere between 10 and 40ish million websites that are using Joomla today. A very rough analysis I know, if you have access to better metrics, please email me at compassdesigns[at]gmail.com.