The 2009 Open Source CMS market share report was released a couple of weeks ago. The report concludes that WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal maintain a large lead on the rest of the pack, and that they are the dominant players in the market.

Despite the rather lengthy nature of the survey, more than 600 persons completed the question set. The demographic data gathered shows the survey group to be primarily composed of senior IT professionals working in smaller organizations of 1 to 5 people. More than 80% of the participants had heard about Joomla!, WordPress and Drupal, though most of them were more familiar with WordPress and Joomla!.

Osscms report brand familiarity
© 2009 Open Source CMS market share report by Water & Stone and CMSWire.

Last year’s report found little to differentiate the three systems, at least in terms of market share. This year it appears that Joomla! gained a lot of market share relative to WordPress and Drupal. For example, the report shows that Joomla! has more books in print than Drupal or WordPress, and that Joomla! is used more than WordPress and Drupal -- at least by the participants in the survey. The results also show that Drupal has the highest abandonment rate of the three, that is, the rate at which systems are tried, then abandoned in favor of another system. The survey concludes that while the race is far from won, it does seem like Joomla! is starting to take the leadership position. On the flip side, the survey participants seems to be more positive about WordPress and Drupal, than they are about Joomla!. All things combined, the data suggest we should be able to win over many users if we improve the Drupal experience.

Osscms report brand sentiment
© 2009 Open Source CMS market share report by Water & Stone and CMSWire.

All in all an interesting report that matches my perspective on the market. It is great to see Drupal come out strongly, but it also suggests that we have a lot of work to do. I'm very bullish about Drupal's future -- I think Drupal 7 can change the game for Drupal, especially combined with other successes like using Drupal, Drupal being promoted to Gartner's 'visionaries' quadrant, as well as important initiatives as the redesign, Drupal Gardens, Buzzr and more. Exciting times!


Taco (not verified):

"Drupal showed the most improvement during the measurement period." Nice!

What is this Acquia add on page 7? I like my reports independent.

Page 27, 'Pagerank' is Toolbar Pagerank and should this be a measure? Other metrics as Google queries are disputable as well. Maybe the title of the report should be Social Media Buzz Report instead of Market Share Report?

Burrito (not verified):

Regarding the Acquia ad, see page 76, they helped fund the project. If you like your reports "independent" than go commission your own. Honestly, if you think they had any influence, would Drupal end up number 3? Did you see pages 14 and 24 also?
Regarding Pagerank, did you even read the definition that CMSWire provided at the bottom of the page?

Did Dries create the report? No. So why are you dissing it on his blog? You seem to have too much time on your hands, but not enough, obviously, to read the whole thing.

Len (not verified):

Just my 2 cents

The results also show that Drupal has the highest abandonment rate of the three, that is, the rate at which systems are tried, then abandoned in favor of another system.

Even in het NL, mijn moedertaal. I couldn't express this in English.

Drupal heeft een stijle leercurve. Ik probeer een site altijd zo KISS mogelijk te maken voor gebruikers, omdat gebruikers meestal a-technisch zijn. Je hebt voor Drupal aan de maakkant altijd specialisten nodig, al is het maar voor een simpele site. Joomla! en WP zijn wat dat betreft veel eenvoudiger op te zetten.

Juist de standaardisatie in Drupal is zijn bottleneck. Wie bv een menu aanmaakt, moet het menu als block activeren. De standaardisatie is dat menu ergens anders wordt beheerd dan de blokken. De gedachte erachter is goed. Maar zoiets simpels moet je als gebruiker net weten. Volgens mij gaan 50% van de vragen over Drupal over dit soort onderwerpen.

Ric Shreves (not verified):


Thanks for your coverage of the report. I think, all in all it was a very good year for Drupal. Of The Big Three Drupal shows great strength in many areas, including social media. The abandonment rate is the highest of the three but still much much better than many of the systems in the results set.

Will be most interesting to see the impact of Drupal Gardens, I think...


Anonymous (not verified):

The abandonment rate should be worrying for Drupal. As a relative newcomer to Drupal it worries me!

Any insight to its cause?

The areas of Drupal I have most concern over are the upgrade path (and the frequency of updates), and the very poor quality of themes

Magnity (not verified):

The parts that Dries has commented on are good news, but having read the entire report, I'm not sure this blog post really reflects the overall tone of the report.

That is, although Drupal is very much one of the big three - Joomla! has opened up the gap in usage between the Joomla! and Drupal, whereas WordPress is close on Drupal's tail. There was even a comment that implied that Joomla! is coming out as a dominant standard.

So, yes, we should celebrate the good parts of it. But as others have hinted at, this also really tells a few things that need to be worked upon and improved.

I wonder whether the time since the last major core release has been a factor, given that the report mainly looks at the last year's data. It will be interesting to read next year's report.

Ximo (not verified):

Speaking from own experience (and what seems to be a common one), the first impression of Drupal can be very rough due to its complexity and (up untill D7) bad user experience. In my case I returned a few months later to discover the strengths of the community and the system, but not all who try Drupal are as patient. Hopefully this will change with the redesign and the D7 release. A lot of great work has been put into making the Drupal experience a more pleasant one.

The future looks very exciting indeed!

Anonymous (not verified):

Drupal 7 can make or break Drupal market. In my company which had 60+ developers, lot of them have transitioned to other technologies.

Abandonment rate is not just a concern for clients dropping Drupal but also developers and contributors turning away from Drupal.

There is clearly momentum on Drupal side as Drupal is still a preferred choice in terms of Open Source CMS but there is no denying the fact that there is also an underlying wave where developers find it very painful to continue working in Drupal for a longer period.

Luis A. Morales (not verified):


At least it looks like Drupal's team definitely has a more clear goal than the Joomla team. Acquia's support definitely adds a good incentive. My suggestion would be that you consider adding more OOP patterns and a more conventional MVC to the system.

I read the Drupal documentation's section about OOP in Drupal. All the points there are valid. However, development teams are looking towards standardizing their practices; and OOP and conventional MVC are becoming the industry standard.

So that you know, as a pet project I've taken onto myself to MVCOOP Drupal (aka Droopal). My theory is that Drupal is so well architetured that making it OOP (PHP 5+ required) will not be hard at all. I like the way Drupal handles included files (only around 36 for a rather normal installation [according to my count], in comparisson to around 86 in Joomla, and around 96 for a modular Zend Application). So if I can make Drupal OOP / MVC and still get that low number of included files, then I think we are really up to something.

To close, thank you a lot for keeping this blog fresh and congratulations on the very well deserved MVP Packt Award! (I voted for you.)


Jean-Paul Ladage (not verified):

I think the title is wrong on this post.

What is being measured here is popularity amongst open source developers. In my opinion the marketshare is about how many paying customers are you serving and how much money is going round.

Also it doesn't tell anything about the quality of the software. Systems like Alfresco and Plone are targeting at the larger customers and have a lot more power under the hood than the PHP based systems. Things like test driven-development, migration support are the standard for Plone.

Marsh (not verified):

It's not just about paying customers... its about sustainability. Will a paricular OpenSource CMS being around in 3-5 years? This is a very important factor in selecting a CMS. One of the reasons Drupal has a high rating is that they are purely OpenSource community driven. Their community of developers are evangalistic about their support and continuation and evolution of the solution. Whereas, a solution like DotNetNuke begin to lose sustainability and momentum from their own opensource support community simply because who wants to make someone else rich with their hard work (DotNetNuke Corp.). At some point on a system level, the sustainability of the opensource project will meet a point of diminishing return and will die. If you are evaluating an OpenSource CMS as your organization's platform, you will want to make sure it is one with great deal of momentum and sustainability. As for the abandomment rates of Drupal and other opensoure CMS, you need to take that with a grain of salt. I know that GoDaddy and other hosting companies contribute to that large number as much as anyone simply by not providing enough info to their non-technical customers before installing an instance of a given CMS. Drupal, WordPress, Xoops and DotNetNuke are all offered by Godaddy without a great deal of documentation and support.