What content management systems are charities using? 2023 edition

What is the charity content management system landscape in 2023?

After the popularity of our 2022 survey of charity website content management systems, we thought we would repeat the process for 2023.

As we did last year, we used CharityBase to grab a database of all the registered charities in the UK. This year, there were 165,297 charities in the database, a reduction of 749 charities year-on-year. Of these, we were able to detect the CMS of 48,526 of them.

Enterprise or Open Source?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been quite a change in income for charities, with the top ten reported charities looking very different to last year. Half the largest charities are using Drupal and WordPress, down from 7 out of ten from last year.

Not surprisingly perhaps as the most popular CMS in use today, WordPress is powering 59.6% of the sites we crawled, a slight increase from last year.

So, how does the data stack up?

Here’s an overall top 10 of the systems in use by UK charities today

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Using the Charity Commission’s definitions, we decided to group charities by the same criteria they use:

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And because who doesn’t love a data visualisation, we’ve created this chart which you can filter by income band.

Micro to medium-sized charity websites

This shows a similar spread of CMSs in use, not really surprising as these take up around 94% of the data. WordPress a clear favourite with a 50% share, and lots of free and cheap-to-own website builders on there from the likes of Wix, Squarespace and Weebly.

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Content mangement systems used by large charities

With the income filters set to £1m to £10m we start to see a change in the stats, with commercial CMSs starting to appear, but open source is still powering the vast majority of sites.

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Content mangement systems used by major charities

Now we’re getting to the big players in the charity sector with income between £10m and £100m. Open source platforms have the majority share and the site-builder platforms are pushed down the list.

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Content mangement systems used by super-major charities

Last but by no means least are the super-major charities – those with income over £100m. The dataset is obviously much smaller and we weren’t surprised to see Drupal topping the table, but WordPress still powers a large share of these sites.

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So, what have we learned?

WordPress is still the market leader for charities in the UK for all but the highest income band. There has been a decline in the share of site builders (Wix, Squarespace et al).

As advocates of open source, it’s reassuring to see that these platforms still power the vast majority of charity sites. There are undoubtedly pros and cons of every system, and we would encourage anyone undertaking a new charity website project to think carefully before committing to an expensive enterprise system when free to own systems really can compete in terms of functionality and performance.

Need some CMS advice? Talk to Chris!