Practical Ecommerce

WooCommerce Leads Ecommerce Platform Pack in April 2014

WooCommerce, the popular WordPress ecommerce plugin, had nearly 260,000 active sites indexed with BuiltWith, a web technology profiling tool, as of April 14, 2014, about 37,000 more sites than its next closest competitor, Magento.

According to BuiltWith, the number of ecommerce sites using WooCommerce has grown 452 percent since May of last year from a reported 46,897 sites to about 259,386 sites as of April 14, 2014. WooCommerce’s site count grew 105,583 sites indexed in just the first quarter. BuiltWith collects data for about 252 million domains each quarter. While this means that BuiltWith is not indexing the entire Internet, the numbers are statistically significant in the same sense that surveys of relatively small samples can be used to discover tends in the larger industry.

BuiltWith graph showing WooCommerce, Magento Community, and Magento Enterprise.

WooCommerce, Magento Community, and Magento Enterprise had, respectively, 259,368, 204,377, and 8,265 active sites indexed with BuiltWith on April 14, 2014.

The massive number of WooCommerce-enabled websites may be attributed, in part, to the popularity of the WordPress content management software on which WooCommerce runs.

WordPress is believed to power more than 12.3 million websites worldwide, which, by some accounts, makes it the single most-used web publishing platform currently available. WordPress is itself well documented and well understood in the development community, making the prospect of adding ecommerce capabilities with WooCommerce undaunting.

WooCommerce, which is an open-source project from WordPress theme firm WooThemes, also benefits from having many thoughtful features, a familiar and intuitive interface, and an easy-to-employ representational state transfer (REST) application programming interface (API) which makes connecting it to existing accounting, shipping, or order fulfillment systems relatively simple.

The close tie to WordPress and the thousands of available WordPress plugins and themes also means that WooCommerce-enabled sites may be generally better at supporting content marketing campaigns and easier to optimize for mobile devices.

The WooCommerce plugin, which may be used for live sites and development environments, has been downloaded more than 2.9 million times, according to the WordPress website. This number likely does not include downloads directly from the WooCommerce website.

It is worth noting that WooCommerce was significantly more popular with small businesses.

Magento Popular

Magento’s two licensed versions — the free Magento Community Edition and the paid Magento Enterprise Edition — powered 212,662 active ecommerce websites indexed by BuiltWith as of April 14, 2014, making it the second most popular ecommerce platform in the world.

For the past several years, Magento has fueled the growth both in the number of ecommerce platforms and also in their capabilities. Every competitor — if marketing materials and pay-per-click campaigns are an indication — wanted to be as good as Magento, if you will.

BuiltWith’s data indicates that Magento Community Edition sites have grown about 122.6 percent from some 91,814 sites in May 2013 to 204,377 sites as of April 14, 2014. Similarly, the number of active sites using Magento’s Enterprise Edition has grown from 1,169 in May 2013 to 8,285 as of April 14 of this year.

Magento has long been promising a dramatic update to its platform that would include performance improvements, the addition of the jQuery JavaScript Library, and other features. But Magento 2.0 is still not available on the Magento website; it is apparently only available on GitHub.

Open Source Ecommerce Platforms Dominate Site Count

Seven of the ten most popular ecommerce platforms in April 2014 were open source, according to BuiltWith.

Open source software allows any developer to open, read, and even modify its code.

Perhaps the single best analogy for open source software is an automobile. Any mechanic can open the hood, change the sparkplugs, or adjust the timing. In contrast, when software’s source code is closed, a developer is unable to learn how it operates or make modifications.

Open source software is often developed in a community, meaning that any savvy developer may contribute code or ideas, helping to advance the project quickly.

OpenCart is also a leader among popular open source ecommerce platforms with some 213,737 active sites indexed, up 38,209 for the quarter, according to BuiltWith.

The osCommerce platform added 18,182 sites for the quarter, bringing its total active site count to 108,257 indexed. Ubercart, which runs on the Drupal content management system, added 3,725 new sites in the quarter for a total of 37,587 active online stores indexed, again according to data from BuiltWith.

ZenCart, which had 146,672 active sites indexed on April 14, was among the top ten most popular ecommerce solutions based on site count, but had been constricting, losing some 17,308 sites for the quarter. WP e-Commerce, which is another WordPress plugin, saw its site count drop by 1,232 sites for the quarter, leaving it with some 80,474 active installations, BuiltWith reported.

BuiltWith ranking of ecommerce platform installs.

BuiltWith’s index of ecommerce platforms showed WooCommerce as the most popular, followed by OpenCart, Magento, Zen Cart, osCommerce, Wp e-Commerce, Shopify, Bigcommerce, ECSHOP, and Ubercart.

Shopify, Bigcommerce Among Site Count Leaders

Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Volusion, which are all hosted ecommerce platform solutions, were also among the most popular ecommerce suites based on site count. Shopify had 54,729 active sites indexed in BuiltWith. Bigcommerce had 46,519 active sites indexed on April 14.

Consensus Is Not the Final Test

BuiltWith’s data on ecommerce platform trends is very helpful at finding consensus and identifying outliers like WooCommerce’s amazing growth. But popularity measured by site count does not necessarily imply functional superiority.

Oracle’s Ecommerce Platform (formerly ATG) lead among the largest online retailers. Similarly, IBM’s Websphere Commerce added 564 sites on the quarter to bring its total to 1,173 sites indexed in BuiltWith, of which, 43 are employed by some of the largest ecommerce companies.

Tags:    

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
Bio  |  RSS Feed


Get the Practical Ecommerce RSS feed

Comments ( 14 )

  1. marcel April 18, 2014 Reply

    Prestashop ??? Are to much sites online in the world….is not in your statics?????

  2. Armando Roggio April 18, 2014 Reply

    Prestashop had 164,689 indexed.

  3. Gobias April 18, 2014 Reply

    Where is Yahoo Small Business

  4. Armando Roggio April 18, 2014 Reply

    Yahoo had 21,645. Checkout BuiltWith if you would like more details. They are at https://trends.builtwith.com.

  5. Jerrome C April 19, 2014 Reply

    I am very surprised not to see PrestaShop in your/Builtwith list. I would be interested to see an updated version, reflecting all market players.
    Thank you in advance

  6. David bergman April 20, 2014 Reply

     WooCommerce’s site count grew 105,583 sites indexed in just the first quarter. While this means that BuiltWith is not indexing the entire Internet, the numbers are statistically significant in the same sense that surveys of relatively small samples which are all hosted ecommerce platform solutions, were also among the most popular ecommerce suites based on site count.

  7. Joel (Remarkety) April 22, 2014 Reply

    Thank you Armando for this useful info. We use BuiltWith in Remarkety to the determine ecommerce platform trends. We definitely see increase in registrations from online merchants who are using WooCommerce. (www.remarkety.com)

  8. Prashant Telang April 22, 2014 Reply

    While selecting your e-commerce platform this list should not have too much bearing on your choice. It doesn’t matter if woocommerce is on top if it is not fulfilling your requirements
    Thumb rules are:
    If you will be having a full time developer in your office and you are looking for an enterprise level e-commerce solution go for Magento
    If you want to good feature mid size (100 products) easy to learn platform go for Prestashop or Opencart
    If you are well conversant with WordPress and have about 50-60 products to sell go for Woocommerce or wp-commrce

    Prashant Telang
    TransPacific Software

    • Kevin April 22, 2014 Reply

      Knowing this data IS important in choosing your platform. You want one that is big and growing, as that is where the developers and designers will be. Picking one that is dying will leave you with little support, resources or community.

      Armando, if Prestashop is in the top 5. This article needs to be revised. At very least, the chart needs to be corrected. Otherwise, the omission looks intentional and calls your objectivity into question, which I know isn’t your intent.

  9. Lolag April 22, 2014 Reply

    I’m just curious about Etsy?

  10. Angus April 22, 2014 Reply

    Hi Armando, I enjoy following your posts. When I look at http://builtwith.com/ecommerce/ it shows Woo only having around a 6% market share of tracked sites and commerce platforms. Much lower than Magentos. Am I looking at the right page for stats ?

  11. Brian Getting April 25, 2014 Reply

    Shopify has 100,000 stores at the time this article was written, which is almost 2x what was indexed by BuildWidth.

  12. James April 30, 2014 Reply

    Clearly a sponsored post, considering Opencart is #2 yet they compare against Magento! Woocommerce is nothing more than a plugin, it is NOT a solid platform to build a reputable ecommerce store with.

    @lolag FYI ETSY is a marketplace like eBay or Amazon – not a platform/solution.

    • Kerry Murdock April 30, 2014 Reply

      We don’t accept sponsored posts, James. (We’ve never published a sponsored post.)

      For this piece, we are reporting the numbers compiled by BuiltWith.

      Kerry M.
      Practical Ecommerce

Email Newsletter Signup

Sign up to receive EcommerceNotes,
our acclaimed email newsletter.

And receive a free copy of our ebook
50 Great Ecommerce Ideas