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August 17th, 2008

State of the Word: WordCamp 2008

Each year at WordCamp San Francisco Matt Mullenweg gives his “State of the Word” speech. The talk always includes some great stats to show the health of the platform and here are some highlights…

User Suggestions

A number of features added to WordPress in its releases come from suggestions people submit through the WordPress.org site.

  • 2007 – 713 (with 36,676 votes)
  • 2008 – 931 (with 12,932 votes*)
  • Matt is not sure why this number is so low… said it could be a bug.

Development activity

Download Activity

  • 2007 – 2.8 million downloads of WordPress
  • 2008 – 11.1 million downloads

Spam Stats

Akismet caught five billion spam comments with 99.925% accuracy.


14 this year with 50-400+ attendees at each.

Features added to WordPress this year

Over the past year the following features were added to WordPress:

  • Tagging
  • Non-sucky wysiwyg
  • Dashboard widdgets
  • Update notifications
  • Pending review
  • Canonical urls
  • Admin redesign
  • Multi-file upload
  • Galleries
  • One-click plugin upgrades
  • Gears
  • Revision tracking
  • Captions
  • Word count
  • SSL support

iPhone App

To date it is estimated that there have been 70,000 installs and 154 reviews. Matt says the installs number is a bit fuzzy though because they don’t get the best numbers from Apple.

WordPress.org Usage

It is estimated that there are 2.6 million WordPress.org blogs (a number Matt says is much higher than they anticipated). Of those 2.6 million 1.77 million are running version 2.5.1+. Basically, that means that 1.77 million of those are up-to-date on security patches leaving 800,000+ installs out there vulnerable to known exploits.


When will WordPress move beyond supporting PHP 4? Currently PHP 5 adoption among WordPress.org blogs is about 65%. Matt says they will look to stop supporting PHP 4 when that adoption percentage hits mid to high 90th percentile.

Plugins – Current Top 10 Plugins

  1. Akismet
  2. All in One SEO Pack
  3. Google Sitemap Generator
  4. NextGEN Gallery
  5. Stats
  6. WP-DB-Backup
  7. WP-cache
  8. WP-Automatic Upgrade
  9. WP-Polls
  10. Cforms

Matt says there are an average of 4.9 active plugins per blog

WordPress Upgrades

Matt concedes that there is work to be done with the WordPress upgrade process. Things have improved with the addition of the update notifications, but Matt says they are currently working towards in-core upgrades. Basically, the latest version would be downloaded as soon as it becomes available. You would then be notified it is time to upgrade and with the click of a button you will be updated to the latest version. Until then, he says that as a community we need to advocate that people keep their versions up-to-date, offer to assist those who need help upgrading and encourage web hosts that provide WordPress hosting to keep their versions current.

WordPress Crazyhorse

Matt briefly mentioned Crazyhorse in his presentation, but Liz Danzico’s presentation went much more in-depth. More to come on that soon.

About the Author
Nick Gernert leads the Platform Services team that's part of Voce Connect and oversees all web development efforts as well as making sure all those efforts are strategically sound. He is on Twitter as @nickgernert.

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