Drupal CMS: how many web sites use Drupal, and how popular is it compared with other CMS systems ?

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Webel IT Australia has made a major investment in Drupal for the better part of a decade, and runs dozens of Drupal6 and Drupal7 sites for a wide range of clients in industry, engineering, science and education as well as eCommerce sites and subscription sites for commercial clients, and some community web sites. It is pleasing to know that Drupal is growing in popularity, and in relative popularity compared with other CMS systems when measured amongst the world's most used web sites.

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It is difficult to get reliable hard numbers, but some people have made some brave attempts to measure or estimate Drupal's actual usage, and its popularity relative to other CMS systems.

One simple indication of the total number of Drupal sites is simply the number of report-back installs (usages reported from live sites with the Updates Status module on) - which is only a subset of all installs - available under Usage statistics for Drupal core, which on 19 Jan 2014 gave 788,547 for version 7.x alone, and 998,878, or nearly 1 million across all versions.

There is a live pie/line graph system on Built With: Web Technology Trends under Content Management System, which enables you to generate stats for various CMS systems including Drupal for the world's top 10K sites, top 100K sites, top 1M sites, and for all CMS sites. As of 30 Jan 2014 they show that Drupal runs about 14.23% of the world's top 10K sites (and about 6.5% of the top 1 Million sites):

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Although a bit out of date, there is an excellent analysis from Nov 2010 at How Many Websites Use Drupal? Let's Estimate A Number [Part One], who estimated 7.2 million "live" sites using Drupal as of July 2010.

In any case, it is clear that - given that the blog-born WordPress is in some respects a victim of its own success that has out-grown its initial intention, and has many significant limitations compared with Drupal for more demanding web sites (think for example of the incredible power of the Drupal Views query and reporting system, which WordPress can't even touch) - Drupal is currently the world's leading, truly powerful, fully-fledged and flexible Content Management System web site system !