By Kevin O'Keefe

WordPress Continues Domination At Expense Of Other CMSs Used By Law Firms

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W3Techs is out with their November 2019 historical trends on the usage of content management systems (CMS).

Here’s the breakdown from the trends report for market share for website (includes blogs) CMS’s shared by Joost de Valk.

  • WordPress is the #1 CMS with a 35.0% market share, 2.8% higher than November 2018.
  • Joomla is the #2, at 2.7% market share and is down 0.3% year on the year, that’s a 10% decline.
  • Drupal is also losing, going from 1.9% to 1.7% over the course of the last 6 months.
  • The “winners” are Shopify (1.8%, up 0.5%), Squarespace (1.6%, up 0.2%) and Wix (1.3%, up 0.3%).

And a detailed look from de Volk at the top seven, today and as predicted for next year:

CMS Breakdown

And:

“If these trends continue in the same linear direction, this time next year, Shopify will be the #2 CMS in the world. Joomla will drop to the #3 position. Squarespace will be the new number #4 and Wix #5, at the expense of Drupal, which will drop from #3 to #6 over the course of the year. Combined this leads to the conclusion that outside of WordPress, all major open source CMSs are losing.”

Looking at this Google Sheet from de Valk breaking out the numbers and trends, things are even more striking.

Joomla, Drupal, Wix, Squarespace, Blogger and others are closing in irrelevance as compared to WordPress. Perhaps good businesses, but a very small market share – and declining.

The only one near WordPress, actually it leads WordPress in market share, is the category of no CMS used on the site at all. And WordPress will pass sites without a CMS by the end of next year – or close to it.

The takeaway for law firms is that for sites using a CMS (all legal blogs and virtually all law firm websites) WordPresss is running 62% of them. For new sites and blogs that number is probably 80% or above.

Think about that number. That’s higher than the percentage of lawyers who were using Word for word processing not that long ago.

Remember when we had lawyers holding onto WordPerfect, believing it was the superior software for word processing. And a good number of law firm tech consultants advising law firms to use WordPerfect. Heck, there were sessions at conference discussing word processing solutions.

There are still some law firms and government offices that use WordPerfect, but by 2000 Word had up to 95% of the market and was so dominant that WordPerfect admitted that their software needed to be compatible with Word just to survive.

We’re likely headed not far from that with lawyers and WordPress. It’s going to be ubiquitous and become the CMS of record for law firms and other businesses.

A few of the pluses in using WordPress include:

  • Reduced short term and long term costs. There are more developers available to help you with WordPress based sites than any with other CMS.
  • Superior software. WordPress is open source. Thousands of developers around the world are working on improvements and features every single day. Those efforts are constantly pulled together, vetted and tested.
  • Regular core upgrades, usually three or four times a year, something not often occurring on law firm websites.
  • Features readily available through plugins (so long as properly vetted).
  • Growing ancillary providers reducing costs. Think managed WordPress hosting or managed WordPress platforms offered in a SaaS model (LexBlog does this for blogs).

Amazing to think back on only a decade, give a year or so, when I was wondering whether WordPress could compete with the likes of other CMS’s, which have since disappeared.

Now it may be advisable to find out if those doing the web development are using WordPress.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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