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Water&stone has released their annual Open Source CMS Market Share Report. Who is dominating the open source web content management space? And who managed to move ahead of other contenders? Find out here.

The Report

2010 is the third year that water&stone has published the Open Source CMS Market Share Report. The report is non-commercial and released under an open license, unlike similar work from other industry firms. This year’s report began with thirty open source systems but ten were eliminated due to current market position. Water&stone assess the remaining twenty systems on metrics related to rate of adoption and brand strength. Using this data, the report defines market leaders.

The report uses multiple data sources to draw conclusions. In addition to a survey, which water&stone conducted with over 5000 responses, other metrics included:

  • Product downloads
  • W3Techs’ analysis of technologies used on the top one million websites in Alexa’s rankings
  • BuiltWith’s technology rankings
  • The number of developers offering services in the technology on Elance and Guru
  • The number of books in print for the platform
  • Google page rank

Using a multi-faceted approach minimizes the likelihood that the outcome is biased toward a single factor and hopefully quiets the inevitable cries of, “But what about…” that will come from supporters of platforms that did not rank as expected. The firm was also very careful to note cases where their methodology might have resulted in a skewed outcome.

The Good

WordPressJoomla! and Drupal, three of the most well-known open source CMS platforms, remain decisively in control of the market. In metrics such as number of installations and shares of Facebook
posts, these three clearly dominated the field.

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water&stone 2010 CMS survey - installations
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share of Facebook posts

In fact, in almost every measure, there is little indication that the leadership of the top three platforms is being challenged in the near future; but this is the internet -- we could all be surprised.

As for the leader of the pack, WordPress managed to take the lead in a number of key metrics. They included:

  • Search interest
  • Daily website traffic
  • Daily unique visitors
  • Daily page views
  • Downloads

In terms of technology specific results, Liferay leads the Java WCM market, followed closely by Alfresco. DotNetNuke is the leading platform for the .NET market, although newcomer Umbraco is quickly narrowing the lead. The report also lists Concrete5 and Umbraco as solutions that are gathering strength in the market.

The Bad

The report identifies the following platforms as struggling to maintain market share:

Using metrics like Google's search query interest, water&stone concluded that these projects are showing negative market trends.

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Google search interest

The Ugly

Jahia and phpWebSite, which were included in the 2009 version of the report, were removed from the top twenty list for 2010. Textpattern and Xoops may also want to take note -- the 2010 report notes the two as at risk systems.

In its second year making the at risk list, Textpattern's downward slope has continued into 2010. The report found low adoption rates, little growth in third party support, poor search engine visibility and low brand familiarity for Textpattern.

The results for Xoops did not look much better. Xoops finished last in many important metrics like downloads and installations while leading negative indicators like abandonment rate.

The Open Source CMS Market Share Report is likely a valuable source of information for any organization evaluating CMS tools. However, readers should be careful to consider their unique needs to determine if the conclusions are applicable. For example, small firms overwhelmingly dominated survey responses; larger firms may have radically different challenges.

Have you read the full report? How did your favorite CMS system fare?

Editor's Note: See how your favorite open source CMS fared this year compared to last year.