Most popular CMS in 2008


The year 2008 has seen a concentration of interest on just a few CMS or blog platforms, with an increasing distance between the most popular ones and the followers.

As in 2006 and 2007, I’m using the data from the Most visited CMS site report, based on the Alexa traffic rankings. We can see that there is a large gap between the first four and the fifth in rank.

The first places in the popularity chart for 2008 belong to the same trio who won them in 2006 and 2007, that is WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.

WordPress released its major versions 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 in 2008, Joomla! released its major version 1.5 in January and many minor ones during the year, while Drupal released the new 6.0 version in February and many updates afterwards.

Actually this wonderful trio holds the first, third and fourth position; the second position is unexpectedly conquered by PHP-Nuke, whose latest release is version 8.1 of August 2007.

The fifth place belongs to a brilliant new entry, TYPOlight, a very active PHP5 project led by Leo Feyer. TYPOlight released version 2.5.0 in December 2007 and version 2.6.0 in August 2008, with almost monthly updates.

Xoops rises to the sixth place, up from the seventh in 2007. Xoops released its major version 2.3.0 in September 2008, and apparently hasn’t suffered from the ImpressCMS fork that also happened in 2008.

The seventh place is for Movable Type, who held the fourth place in 2006 but dropped a bit under the radar in 2007. Movable Type released version 4.1 and 4.2 in 2008.

And, last but not least, the eight place is for Zikula, a reincarnation of PostNuke. Zikula debuted in June 2008 with version 1.0.0, the new name for the long awaited PostNuke 0.8.

Four platforms were present in the 2007 top eight, but dropped under the radar in 2008: Pligg, ExpressionEngine, Mambo and MODx.

They are possibly suffering for some reason. Pligg visible activity was lower than usual in 2008, version 1.0.0 RC1 has been released only in January 2009; ExpressionEngine kept its fans waiting for the major version 2.0 redesign, unexpectedly delayed; Mambo activity was also low in 2008, and the impact of the MiaCMS fork is being felt; and MODx also kept its fans waiting for version 2.0.0.

Another possible explanation is the new traffic ranking system that Alexa deployed in 2008; the new system averages many popularity factors, giving results sometimes very different from the former ones.

As usual, this article doesn’t make any claim of scientific accuracy, it’s just an attempt to discuss what happened last year in the wonderful world of Content Management Systems.