A Smaller Number

One thing you’ll notice as that the homepage of now shows a much smaller number than it used to:

Before Change

Before Change

After change

After Change

Can you spot the difference?

Before we used to highlight the total number of blogs on WordPress.com, and then later added the new posts and words numbers. But what was weird that total was blogs across all time, and the other numbers were daily. I felt like it didn’t really give an accurate representation of the true activity happening on WordPress.com.

The new number is a stat we track of active logged-in WordPressers interacting with the site. It’s an average over the last few days so is more of a daily number like the other ones.

Now 163,702 is much less impressive sounding than 5.2 million, but that’s okay.

What’s truly impressive is what you guys are creating every day, not some arbitrarily large or small number on our homepage.

(If you’re curious about any of the public stats for WordPress.com we have a page of them here.)


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Matt

228 Comments

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  1. Thoth

    Well, that is both a more interesting and a more informative number. As for those words though… Everyone stop! You’ll use them all up, and there won’t be any left for me!

  2. straw000

    Wow!! :O Thats a lot of blog and words!! I wonder what is the max words on a particular day?

  3. Catshade

    So… on average, how many blogs does a WP.com user have? :roll:

    *authored 9 blogs, individual and group*

  4. saiseihogo

    :D

  5. Arif Kabir

    I think it’s awesome to see that there are more than 160,000 bloggers online at the same time on this website. Shows the power and beauty of WordPress – Keep it up! :)

  6. chloé

    amazing stats; just shows how great wordpress really is :)

  7. Bryson Nitta

    Maybe it has to do with the average length of a newspaper article? Or the average amount of words per minute a person can type multiplied by the average length of time people spend writing a single post…?

  8. eideard

    The number of active bloggers v. registered wp start-ups isn’t especially out-of-line with my experience over the years. Though, I expect that over time the percentage of active will increase as folks hear through the grapevine about how pleasant and positive the experience is – within wordpress.com.

    When I was getting ready to move my personal blog, wp was only one of several candidates – mostly because we used wp at the “big” blog. A week or two of testing the software was sufficient to make that decision. But, then, I began to realize the value of this community of bloggers – clear to a hermit like me and a few other editors who accompanied me either as editors or regular commenters.

    Now, wordpress.com is something I actively recommend. For all the right reasons. I think.

  9. Américo Tavares

    Matt,

    And how do you count the number of words in the mathematical blogs full of math formulae? This is more a curiosity I have than anything relevant.

  10. katroboy

    Thanks for the stats update matt.. :D

  11. Américo Tavares

    Anyway it is also my opinion that this new counting of number of bloggers is more accurate and more comparable with the other data.

  12. jd2718

    250′s about a screenful, right?

    And yes, 150k active is more impressive than any total including former blogs could be.

  13. Dhimas L N ---- (^-^)v

    so 163,702 has 5billion blogs?

  14. Kunal

    this number makes much more sense now…

    Another thought, nothing on these lines for comments? it would be interesting to know how many words per comment :)

  15. ultimoAdios

    lol! I thought I was the only one who is observing things. You hit the right note matt! thanks…

  16. axewielderx

    Hmm, o.k. Not sure what to do with another stat.Perhaps I could draw a few circles around it and have a target?:)

  17. pageman

    Matt – met you here in WordCamp Manila – that number, 250 – might be a special number like Dunbar’s – when did you first observe it? We could probably call it the Mullenweg number :) have you blogged about this before?

  18. Pingback: Mullenweg’s Number « The Pageman in Kabul
  19. lojol

    250 is not odd, it’s even, haha.
    Thanks for all the great work, guys.

  20. びっくり

    I’ll try to write 180,000 posts of 300 words each tomorrow and see if it boosts the number to 275. :)

  21. Martin Doherty

    But… 250 is an even number…. even odder!
    Well done guys.. makes more sense.

  22. Pingback: WordPress.com add integrity to their blog stats | mkjones - Michael Kimb Jones
  23. David

    Perhaps 250 words is a strange attractor.

    I’ve been idly wondering how many of the five million blogs are active, so this is interesting. And kudos to you for valuing accuracy over chest-thumping.

    I’d still be curious to know the number of blogs that have been actively updated in, say, the last month, and those that are standing idle. I tend to go through bursts of enthusiasm, blogging intensively for a couple of weeks, and then letting things stand for a couple of months. I know this lack of consistency doesn’t help build traffic, but that’s not a huge priority.

    • Matt

      We post the number of active blogs per month in the monthly wrap-ups. It’s usually around 1.4 million.

  24. David

    Whoa, are you ever big in Indonesia and Singapore! A number of times bigger than in the US. Or am I misreading the Google trends?

  25. Thoth

    Well, that is interesting – but with that many posts per day, you’re likely to cleave very very close to the center of the bell curve. Evidently it sits at about 250 words. I know mine are usually a lot longer than that, but there have also been a scattering of short announcements which would bring the average down again.

  26. GuRpS

    Maybe in future we could also have stats on active bloggers… ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that a lot of blogger register an username [or a blog btw] and then leave it unused…

  27. Gary Murning

    Almost always exactly 250 words?… Off to paste one of my novels into a new post — see if we can’t get that number up a bit! (Just kidding.)

  28. linbug

    Thanks Matt. Its a better number I’m sure but the post size remark really is interesting. Either odd, or just plain amazing.

  29. Butterflymind

    Gosh, that’s a lot of wordage. Well done fellow blogmeisters!

  30. Lune

    Is 250 a perfect size for a post? I think it probably is, I try not to go over 600, but more of my 250-sized posts are read and commented upon. I saw on some ‘blogging tips’ site that 100 was the best length for maximum readability, but to put across what has been happening in your life each day in only 100 words?? I’d need ten posts a day (I guess that is another option).

    Matt, maybe you should set up a ’250 word post’ challenge someday, then your averages would look even more than perfect ;)
    x

  31. RedX125

    Cool! I wonder why? lol I guess everybody’s the same amount of lazy!

  32. abc

    boy…i never cared for those figures…post it & forgot it!

  33. Wulfgar

    Size doesn’t matter…..right? Ahem…..Wordpress is superb and very user friendly. Love it!

  34. goosemanrocks

    wow! I’m glad i can be a contributing part to WordPress. I’m also really glad i found it, you guys have such… awesome layouts and formats, and it’s SO easy!

  35. divinemind

    I’m glad WordPress has a GREAT Support Team!

  36. christopbrooks

    Thanks for providing more meaningful stats!

  37. charliereport

    Great stat, the average number of words per post. I’ve always wondered if I wrote too much or too little. Now I have something to comparing my wonderings to. Thanks.

  38. Rafa Vargas

    @Matt, maybe 250 words is the golden ratio of a post… :D

  39. Prabin

    Is there a feature where any one who has commented would be mailed if new comment appears?

  40. paddyK

    Cool, that means that my blog has suddenly become about 3000% more important. Or 3000% less useless, to look at it another way.

  41. Sknownotice

    I could notice the difference… though I seldom watch the stats. But that is one meaningful change from quantity (number of blogs) to quantity plus quality (number of active bloggers). As for the average number of words per post, it is quite a coincidence to find such an exact value all the time.

  42. panhistoria

    I really appreciate a more accurate number. I have always been disillusioned by the massive numbers because not only do they represent people that drifted away, but also usually the same people drifting back and creating new profiles, and then drifting back away again.

    I want to know how many real bloggers there are out there. Thanks for the real world stats.

  43. Arun

    great to see the important change of “Bloggers” there..

  44. Helena Palena

    I see! I often wondered how 5 million blogs could coop togehter. I felt like the site should crash. If all 5 million bloggers should be active at the same time – could you managate that? Or, could the whole world be active at WordPress if you see what I mean.

  45. Oma Els

    Wow, that’s a pretty awesome fact!

  46. AflacGa

    “What’s odd is that average number of words per post is almost always exactly 250.”

    I can easily see that being true. I think we’ve all been conditioned through education to keep things around that length and at work to keep it much shorter so…it all balances out.

  47. Whogopenguin

    I hope you had a good new year Matt, I’m glad we have a nice little update and I like the way you don’t mind that the number is smaller. ;)

  48. Nita

    I think this is a much better idea. I always thought that the number of blogs mentioned earlier was unrealistic.

  49. Danny

    A much smaller number, which makes much more sense. I appreciate your honesty. And now I don’t feel as insignificant – 1 of 164k better than 1 of 5.2 million.

  50. ummmmheyyyy

    I like the change.

  51. qualandar

    It is perhaps something like we use our right hand. It can be your discovery . Make such smaller and odd researches and startle the world.

  52. Jonathan

    Are there going to be any plans at some point to start clearing out the dormant blogs at wordpress.com ?

    • Matt

      We clean out quite a few already, but it’d be wrong to take someone’s username from them just because they haven’t logged in in a while.

  53. wattsupwiththat

    I’d always wondered how many blogs have been created and then given up on. This weeds out those blogs that became orphans. Not everyone who tries blogging sticks with it. It is a commitment.

  54. heatherlst

    Ha! No one’s visited my blog then! 250 seems like an impossibly small number!

  55. Thaddeus Dombrowski

    I noticed on your blog stats page that you didn’t list Chinese, or Mandarin. But, I know of people who do blog in that language. For instance, raku59.wordpress.com is partially in Chinese. Or, ahua.wordpress.com, which is almost entirely in Chinese.

  56. Kyle Maxwell

    That “words per post” stat is worth a post on its own with some additional research…

  57. lnxwalt

    That is cool. WP and WP.com is already the most awesome blogging platform.

    The smaller, but more accurate, number is gonna continue to grow. You watch!

  58. Moses

    Are these changes permanent?

  59. zyxo

    I do not really care about those numbers. Cute, but not very useful.

  60. Lilian Nattel

    I like the smaller number–it actually means something. It isn’t just bloat. Way to go!

  61. johnwlewis

    Has the average number of words per post (250) changed over time?

    Could it be related to some combination of: the typical or default font size; the (default) size of the box for entering post content; and, even, the size and distribution of size of screens? It need not be exactly a box full, but some fairly constant factor of it.

    If so, one would expect the number of change in the long term as one or more of those parameters changes.

  62. brightviolet

    Hah, that number (250) would be very interesting for some research on the writing-productivity of bloggers.

  63. Nicholas

    You know I’m actually glad to see that I am writing more than the average amount of words per post. Here I thought I was skimping :D

  64. mkanat

    Hmm. It might be good to say “Active Bloggers” or something like that. When I read it at first, I assumed it was the total number of accounts ever created with wordpress.com.

  65. Brian

    Any system that gets large enough Matt reverts to the mean over time. The 250 words per post is twice the size of a Twitter. You should find out what that mean is rather than the average you calculate.

  66. scrubone

    I guess that’s best explained by a combination of statistics and modern attention spans.

  67. shanv

    Do the inactive blogs ever drop off into space so that their names (URL’s) become available? I’ve always wondered about all the internet ‘trash’ out there…dead blogs…dead links…businesses that are no more. I wonder who gets to clean that up, lol.

  68. JD

    Ya, I think it’s better. The word count is so cool by the way…

  69. Noel Jackson

    Perhaps the SMS standard should have been 250, not 140? ;)

  70. Scottie

    I knew something looked different… couldn’t put my finger (or mouse) on it, though! Thanks!

  71. Brent

    What an ego you have!

  72. Matt

    I’m sure that eventually 160,000 will reach 5.2 million. :mrgreen:

  73. seneca

    Hi Matt,

    You folks are doing a GREAT job!

    From “2008 Year-End Wrap-Up”, 2,906,086 blogs were created last year.

    From this post “A Smaller Number”, the average over the last few days of active logged-in blogs is 163,702.

    That implies to me that 6% of blogs are routinely active.

    It would be interesting to know how many views per day these various 163,702 blogs are getting. For example, the top blog is getting xxx views, the blog with the ranking of No. 25,000 is getting xxx views, No. 50,000 is getting xxx views, etc.

    Thanks for your attention.

    Mike

    • Matt

      It’s actually bloggers, not blogs. Some bloggers have 10 blogs, some have 1. A better number to compare it to would be the number of users created last year.

      I can tell you exactly how many views they’re getting. :) Blogs get visits even if the author didn’t log in that day.

      Those latest numbers are about 600,000 blogs a day get an average of about 60 views each.

  74. Armando Netto

    I write on 4 blogs, but each one have 1, 2, 3, and 11 bloggers!

  75. Romi

    Gosh I had a feeling that I write more than the average words per post, and yup it’s confirmed…haha…maybe I should cut down! ;-)

  76. bitnp

    Well. It is comforting to know that I am one of 200,000 bloggers instead of one of 5 million. I feel infinitely more badass/clever. Kind of.

  77. ana pauper

    and I created 12 wp ID-s for over 25 blogs.
    most of them educational.
    should I worry? :D
    am I an addict?

  78. phojus

    it’s not size that counts anyway :)

  79. shortfinals

    It is rather strange, that the average number of words would around the same number. Since I tend to use a lot of photographs, I find that seems to be the right length for a ‘caption’. The one thing that I have found is that my number of tags per post is growing!

  80. stardollfanatic

    Cool =]

  81. davidbdale

    Suddenly I feel (slightly) wordy, where I always thought I was terse. Each of my posts since I began blogging in 2007 has been exactly 299 words.

  82. Ilan

    I didn’t feel it was accurate either. Good decision!

  83. muridyesus

    I love WordPress ! very helpful for a new be like me .

  84. DogMa

    The 250 word average really surprises me. I suppose it shouldn’t, considering how many “micro” bloggers there are these days, but there is definitely some mild astonishment there. I’d be interested in seeing if that number carries over when looking at certain subjects or tags… Would it still be an average of 250 words within the category of dogs, or cooking (for example)? Hmmm….

    LOL I’ve got a bit of a strange obsession with numbers. My OCD trait. LMAO And if we’re all honest with ourselves, I think we’ve all got one or two obsessive compulsive traits. ;)

  85. thespiritdog

    I used to just look at the ‘new posts’ and figured that was a pretty accurate representation of the active bloggers.

  86. optimind10

    Great stats…nice counts! Keep it up!!!

  87. Kevin

    Whatever happens, WordPress will always have my undying devotion.

  88. ligress

    good step. happy new year, wp team :)

  89. shoaibkhanz

    Great Statistics, WordPress is Good!

  90. chika

    Hi Matt,
    I’ve been wondering how do you accually count Japanese (which I use to write on my blog) words on a post?

  91. the rufus

    For consistency you could habe changed “New posts” to “Posts” and “Words today” to “Words” AND you would get hugh numbers ;)

  92. E. Michael D. ("Mike") Scott

    As one of the active bloggers writing every day on a relatively esoteric topic for an audience that is now running into the thousands, I think this is a really good decision. … And now that we all know you only have a couple of hundred thousand bloggers like me driveling on on a daily basis (as opposed to 5 million) you will be able to speed up the loading times for new content and editirial changes NO END!

    :O)

  93. susiyanto

    wow thatz amazing …

  94. ¤ѕнєιℓα gαℓℓу¤

    Nice job! WordPress 4 ever! =]

  95. Proof of Jane

    I like the idea that the number of bloggers and words are more important. Rather than the 5,000,000 blogs that could be lifeless and numb, like a sack of potatoes. This works way better :)

  96. Proof of Jane

    Oops, meaning .. less is more. :) Focusing on the active blogs is more supportive.

  97. ggw_bach

    nice to know we have such a regular community here.

    It’s all about the interaction.

  98. Naphtali Gold

    Hi all,
    I just want to say how much I like wordpress. I’m new here. Just started my blog about a month ago, and it’ll take me about two years to turn it into a proper blog/website.
    But, I’ve been amazed that I’ve already gotten an average of almost a hit a day. I don’t tell anyone about it yet because it’s so new. So, it makes me feel special just to be somewhere that can take a blog that barely exists yet and give it some attention.
    I just think it’s great how well designed this community is. Thank you.
    It took me a few weeks to get a feel for the dashboard, but I felt instantly at home at wordpress. It called to me when I landed on someone’s wordpress site one day, even though I couldn’t see the wordpress logo. It happens all the time, too. I’ll be surfing and suddenly, I know I’m on a wordpress site. That’s real power of a good kind.

  99. mostrim

    That wordcount reminds me of Arthur C. Clarke’s story ‘The Nine Billion Names of God’ – wonder if the same thing will happen when we reach Nine Billion words?? (I won’t spoil the story for those who haven’t read it).

  100. starslight

    More acuraccy is more impressive than more numbers :P

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