I am in the Drupal market for almost 3 years. At the end of each year, I have to conduct a business review to set strategies for the coming year. One of the most important criteria to be reviewed is the market trend. I am always looking for a growth of Drupal and how it compares to other open source CMSs. This year, I decide to make a 3 year review of Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress from 2008 to 2010. This review does not mean to be a professional market analysis report, it is only my personal observations


I am used to read the Open Source CMS Market share report from Water & Stone at the end of each year, starting from 2008. In 2010, when I had the report, I got an idea to compare 3 reports to exact valuable information about Drupal and other open sources.

The big 3 of the market is Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress. Almost of my customers demands from those three. My focus is Drupal, and I want to see after 3 years, where Drupal goes, where the other two have come up with. After comparing all figures, I saw only a small amount of information that were consistent over the years and I could extract some valuable information. I also searched for more information in Google about trends of those 3 CMSs.

Here are what I found.

Google Trend

See the graph of google search volume for the keywords: drupal, joomla and wordpress.

Google trends of Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal
Google trends of Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal

My observations are:

  • Joomla is falling
  • Wordpress is leading
  • Drupal does not increase. You see the trend is slightly decreased in 2010. Any idea? Is it because of new Drupal 7, so everybody stops and waits.

Freelancer Providers

Number of providers on Elance
Number of providers on Elance

2010 is the year of growth, all 3 CMSs witness a boom in service market according to the figures in Elance.com. The number of WordPress providers there increased 8 times, Joomla is quadrupled, Drupal is tripled. Wordpress is clearly number one solution in the web development freelancer market nowadays.

This awesome growth may indicate that, the open source field is attracting alot of players, both providers and customers. It also means: the marketing strength and the adoption of customers for open sources are significantly rising.

Job trend

While elance is for freelancers and mostly one off projects, let's have a look at the labour market. Job offers mean we are doing something regularly. That's when we hire developers. Companies use freelancer of one off projects, but when the job is getting heavy, they will need long term employees.

Job market trends
Job market trends, from Indeed

As you can see, Drupal job increase rate is 3 times faster than WordPress and Joomla. It indicates Drupal is getting more and more interest in the enterprise environment.

Bonus: Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla developer salary. According to this source, average Drupal salaries for job postings nationwide are 11% higher than average Wordpress salaries.


After collecting data and observe, I have some points here:

  1. Overall, open source technology has gained more power. It is reflected by more service providers and more customers.
  2. For public interest, Joomla is falling, Wordpress is rising, Drupal does not increase. I hope after Drupal 7 is released this January, it will create a booming trend and close the gap between the other two.
  3. Wordpress dominates the Freelancer market, but Drupal has an amazingly high increase rate in the labour market.

These trends is making my expectation that 2011 is a promising year for Drupal market.

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CMS_providertrend.JPG18.49 KB
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well this is why i love the

well this is why i love the wordpress it has got plenty of features, useful plugins, seo friendly and easy to use.now even google trends is showing the wordpress popularity over joomla and drupal :).
Wordpress plugin

Drupal is more complex, hence the need for expertise

Seems obvious that the reason Drupal jobs are on the rise faster and pay more is because Drupal has the most power for complex, high-traffic sites, but requires greater expertise to leverage through development. Joomla will be around for a good long while, most likely, but in general we'll see the development market - and the job market that grows from it - split into two trees: Drupal for big, enterprise sites creating full-time jobs; and Wordpress for smaller sites creating a stable freelance/small shop market.

I agree. In the long run,

I agree. In the long run, there will be only two horses. And I bet for Wordpress and Drupal. They are clearly number one of their own fields.

I'm not a programmer but have

I'm not a programmer but have some knowledge.
I have tried Drupal 6, Drupal 7, and Wordpress. I wanted to create a website for my own small business. My first attempt was Drupal 6. But Drupal 7 was coming out soon so the project was postponed to this year.
I was expecting that when Drupal 7 came out, most of important modules would be ported and ready.
In contrary, it was total disappointment, ie. Views, Panel, Chaos Tools were still in alpha or beta state.
And it seems so hard to upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.
Hence, I realized that Drupal is only for developers, enterprise, and website's owner who has money to hire developers.
Drupal is too difficult and not friendly for SME and general users.

So I decided to use Wordpress instead for my company website and Magento for my ecommerce shop.
Both systems have many usable themes and plugins available for free for start-up business. Both of them required only 1 week to develop.

Wordpress - Pro: Free SEO, Real time stats report, many usable themes& plugin, easy to upgrade
Drupal - Pro: More control of users.

So I recommend if you want to have a website which runs only by 1-2 people, choose Wordpress but if you want to create community website then go for Drupal.

In WordPress is easier to

In WordPress is easier to work for a novice freelancer. And therefore the number of freelancers working with him more.

I'll like to add that Drupal

I'll like to add that Drupal is not as mainstream as Wordpress. How many top sites or blogs mention Drupal in comparison to Wordpress? The more a site talks about Drupal is the more likely it will appeal to a wider audience. For the most part Drupal is still a developers canvas.

I agree. But it's due to the

I agree. But it's due to the nature of Wordpress, it is for spreading news. 

Drupal-less keywords

So many things show up in the search engines without the need for the word "drupal". I would say that 70% of what I search for "drupal wise" on google doesn't even have the word drupal in it... think "views gallery" or "cck referencing" or "landing page with panels".

The search chart does tell you something, that wordpress people search for "how to do this with wordpress" while the drupal people search the main modules (probably).

It's not exact, but it shows the trend

Yes I agree when people search for "drupal", they will enter more keywords. But so it does with "joomla" and "wordpress".
What I can extract here is the trend. You see Drupal has a steady growth years by years, but it slowed down on 2010. I guess it is due to Drupal 7. Any comments on it?

catch, your suggestion in re:

catch, your suggestion in re: Google searches makes sense. One of the things I like best about the Drupal community is how centralized it is (especially since we have a decent search engine on d.o. now).

Joomla, by contrast, is weak in this regard: I always find it frustrating when I have to go to their main site, and then the plugins, support, etc. are all on different subsites, some of which are running entirely different CMS or bug tracking systems.

I think it is a great demonstration of Drupal's power to see that all the functions for running the Drupal community can be centralized on one site, but that might lower Google rankings.

I don't think it could account for the entire difference though. I was surprised to see that the difference was so great - especially between Drupal & Joomla, since I think Dries' keynote at DCSF said there wasn't much market share difference when actual websites were considered, rather than search queries.

WordPress will probably always lead search queries since there are going to be more people on Wordpress.com or shared hosting that want to start a simple blog, whereas, as other research has shown, most people who want a Drupal site hire a dev shop to do it. That usability (and performance, on shared hosts at least) gap is unlikely to be bridged during the D7 release cycle (and possibly D8's as well, unless some really nice distros are made, and more of a focus is placed on improving performance for shared hosts).

All that said, I think Drupal has a bright future in 2011 and beyond, but especially among mid-to-large size deployments (NPOs, schools, businesses, etc.). I think it's too early to predict the future of Gardens and the like: they could really take off, or else the market could already be saturated with Squarespace, WordPress.com, etc.

The search traffic comparison

The search traffic comparison has been done before (although I think Drupal's was rising then). One theory, not sure how true it is, was that Drupal gets less keyword searches compared to joomla and wordpress, because everything is centralised on drupal.org - i.e. there will be proportionally less searches for 'drupal modules', 'drupal themes' etc.

For example this trends page is even more pronounced than 'drupal, wordpress, joomla'.


But it could also be a real drop, and generally Drupal traffic has double each major release, with Drupal 7 being the by far the longest release cycle of any release we've had. Very hard to tell.

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