I’m really interested in content management systems, and which sites use them. Out of curiosity, I’ve done a bit of research to find out which CMS is used the most. I was surprised by the results.
If my research is correct, it shows that most major news websites don’t use WordPress.
CMS usage across news websites
Note: if international versions of a site exist, the UK edition is linked below.
|City A.M.||Bespoke *|
|New York Times||Bespoke|
|TNW (The Next Web)||WordPress|
|The Verge||Chorus *|
|Washington Post||WordPress + Bespoke
|More info (27 Aug 2015)
More info (11 Mar 2016)
|WSJ (Wall Street Journal)||Bespoke|
- City A.M. is mostly bespoke, but some parts are Drupal.
- The Sun appears to be bespoke, but BuiltWith.com suggests it is using WordPress.
- The Verge and Vox.com use Chorus, created by Vox Media. Technically speaking this is a bespoke product, and is currently used by Vox Media only.
Methods of checking
Viewing the page source of a website can give a few telltale signs as to the CMS that’s being used:
- WordPress is fairly easy to spot from the page source – “wp-content” in asset URLs is fairly common. WordPress VIP, or at least WordPress.com with a custom URL, will show a black navbar at the top of the site if you’re logged in.
- Drupal usually inserts a “meta generator” tag. If that’s missing, you can often tell a Drupal site from the /node/ URLs (if unchanged from the default settings) or the /taxonomy/term/xxx URLs for tagging.
- Some platforms, such as Chorus, make their presence known at the top of the source code as an HTML comment.
- Bespoke is harder to spot – generally if it’s not clear which CMS a site is using, it may be bespoke. Of course, that’s not a hard and fast rule.
- I’ve verified my findings with BuiltWith.com, although it doesn’t give 100% confirmation that a site is using a bespoke CMS.
I cannot guarantee the table is 100% accurate. It’s quite possible that some of the sites I’ve listed as “bespoke” use an off-the-shelf CMS for the back-end publishing, with front-end output being rendered via a bespoke engine. Leave a comment or drop me an email if you know of anything that should be corrected.