8 Blog software of choice of the Irish Blog Awards ’09 short-listed

Feb 22nd, 2009   5:08 am

Update: Stats now shown for winners and short-listed (of their respective category), and the overall “Grand Prix” winner.

@donncha and @micheleneylon tweeted about the stats of the blogging technology behind this year’s Irish Blog Awards, organised by Damien Mulley. It got me thinking about the stats of the software used by all those short-listed in the blog awards. Here they are!

Blog Software

First up are the overall stats. A resounding win for WordPress (both hosted, and self-installed). WordPress is by far the more popular choice, with Google Blogger/BlogSpot a distant 2nd. Between the 2, they’ve pretty much wrapped up Irish blogging (that are award-winning, anyway).

Blog Hosting

Next, just over one third of bloggers use free blog hosting services offered by Google’s BlogSpot/Blogger and WordPress.com, with the majority preferring to install the software on their own servers, or hosting accounts:

Other stats

Other, bordering on silly, stats include:

  • 65% of short-listed WordPress installations are out of date, not including WordPress.com hosted blogs, obviously! 85% of Winners are out of date.
  • 15% of short-listed WordPress installations hide the version tag in the headers (that WordPress ask that you leave intact). 8% of winners hide it.
  • There are no 2 same versions of MovableType installed amongst the short-listed
  • The only category where all the blogs are of the same type is Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Teamworkpm.net, and all of those blogs are out of date (with 1 having hidden version info). So the newcomers are choosing WordPress, but not keeping it up to date.
  • Best Music Blog – Sponsored by DownloadMusic.ie have the best record for up-to-date WordPress versions (a WordPress.com hosted blog is automatically up-to-date), whilst Best Technology Blog/Blogger – Sponsored by Bitbuzz and Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Teamworkpm.net have the worst record.
  • Only 15% of the short-listed are on .ie domains. 20% of winners are on .ie.

Installed Blog Hosting

Finally, Blacknight are the big winners. They’re the most popular host, by far, of self-installed blogs, amongst the short-listed. They’re also joint-favourite hosts for all of the short-listed, including free blog hosting services and self-installed blogs.

Take out free blog hosting services (like WordPress.com and Blogger/BlogSpot), and Blacknight are clear leaders:


WordPress and Blacknight are the winners, in technology terms, of the Irish Blog Awards ’09.

Note: the sample size is 100. There were 19 categories plus 1 overall winner (source: IWA Finalists Blog Post).

The raw data is in a Google Spreadsheet here.

Any other metrics required?


Feb 22nd, 2009   8:54 am

Very interesting. I'm quite surprised there are any outside out the top 3 platforms at all. On hiding the WordPress version, I wasn't aware WordPress ask that it be left in, but I'm sure you're right. They don't display it themselves on wordpress.com funnily. Searching for installations of older versions with known security flaws is one of the ways hackers seek out targets. Displaying it in the meta data makes it far too easy from them.


Feb 22nd, 2009   12:50 pm

You're not doing anything wrong, or bad by hiding the version. WordPress just ask that you leave it in for stats purposes, is all! Many template designers remove it, so when you use a given template, one isn't even aware of the verson thing. Searching does make it easier alright, but to counter that, it does make users, maintainers, and hosts encourage, or even force, upgrading. That's even easier with 2.7.x as well. That, and script kiddies just fire off thousands of attempts anyway (they don't particularly care if 950 of them fail). The ideal solution would be a phone home scenario, where the WordPress installation phones home once a week or month. That way WordPress get their stats, and the version tag can be done away with.
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Feb 23rd, 2009   9:21 am

Oh wow, well done Cathal! I was going to write a post like this but you've covered so much more than I have time to write about. Well done. You're right about the version number of course. Hackers send out thousands of requests to sites hoping to get lucky. I routinely get requests targeting Win32 security holes on my servers. Hiding the version number does have a tiny benefit. Some people use Google to target out of date blogs but really, the only sure fire way of avoiding trouble is by updating as soon as a new version is released. We don't have a version number on WordPress.com because the code running there is constantly being worked on and it rarely matches the code running on standalone blogs. Most of the users there won't care if it's 2.7 or 2.7.1 anyway, which is how it should be when someone else takes care of things.


Feb 23rd, 2009   2:39 pm

Cheers! I've updated the stats. The first chart of each pair is the Short-Listed blogs, the second chart is the winners (only). I've also included the overall winner in the stats. Workings/raw data now linked above.
[...] if you like statistics and analysis, you will love IIA Member Cathal Garvey’s analysis of the software and hosting used by Ireland’s top bloggers. It might help you decide which platform is best suited to your [...]
Feb 23rd, 2009   8:07 pm

Thanks, Donnacha, - I learn something new every day. Fantastic stats, Cathal (I neglected to stress that initially). Well done.
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