Earlier this year it was projected that in the coming months, if not already, WordPress would break the 50% market share threshold. It’s a monumental achievement for what first launched as a blogging tool, but has since evolved into a powerful content management system that powers sites like TechCrunch and Google Ventures.
To support the community and evolving ecosystem of WordPress plugins and capabilities, a class of WordPress power users has emerged. These power users depend on the platform for their livelihood, and drive much of the innovation in the industry as developers, designers, bloggers, and marketers. We surveyed these power users to capture and illustrate their roles and responsibilities, and to highlight trends and challenges.
Off the bat, we noticed three things that are immensely interesting whether you’re a power user, a distributor trying to sell to power users, or simply a regular WordPress user looking to stay on the cutting edge.
WordPress power users are in constant motion
Despite an overwhelming selection from fully-featured template libraries, only 13% of respondents used websites with out-of-the-box templates. 1 in 2 respondents were using modified templates while 37% decided to build their sites from scratch.These findings were further supplemented by 57% of respondents reporting that they expected to redesign their websites in the coming year. Of those using out-of-the-box templates, a full 100% plan to redesign their websites. WordPress power users aren’t content with off-the-shelf products, and are constantly looking to up their game.
WordPress power users rely on a little to do a lot
Although a whopping 94% of respondents consider high quality images to be important or very important to their website, they’re relying primarily on photos they take themselves.
This is a trend we found throughout the report – WordPress power users will look to the ends of the Earth for tools and services, but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty if that’s what it takes. You might be surprised to know, for example, that despite the endless marketplace for plugins, nearly 75% of WordPress power users get away with 10 or fewer on their sites. There’s an outlying group that relies on 16 or more, but the vast majority of respondents prove that they can do a lot with a little.
WordPress power users wear numerous hats
Continuing on a similar thread, respondents overwhelmingly reported wearing numerous hats. 77% said they write content, while 71% and 70% said they do search engine optimization and install plugins, respectively. Nearly 6 and 10 write code on a regular basis as well.
There’s no other way to look at it – WordPress power users are a multi-talented bunch. And they’re pretty damn good at multi-tasking as well.
I think there’s a meaningful takeaway no matter who you are as a reader.
As a WordPress power user, it’s worthwhile knowing that you’re not the only one constantly looking to upgrade your site. You’re not wasting time and resources by doing so either – you’re driving the community forward by setting ever more ambitious goals.
As a WordPress plugin or template maker, on the one hand you’ve got grueling expectations to meet. WordPress power users and trendsetters aren’t likely to rely on 35 under-powered plugins clogging up their site. On the other hand, you’ve got the luxury of often having a single, talented buyer persona. Looking to sell an SEO tool and a form builder? Great, both buyers are probably the same person.
And finally, for WordPress users whose livelihoods don’t quite depend on the CMS but for whom staying up on the latest trends is a must, there’s a number of insights to glean. You almost always have options whether you want to outsource a capability or do-it-yourself. Our full report has a more complete list of the tools and services that power users rely on, but from high quality pictures to site security, there’s always an affordable option.