Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. The purpose of this article is to share a few actionable insights you can learn from BuiltWith.com, a premium business intelligence platform. All numbers shared in this feature are correct at time of writing (Nov 3, 2021).

BuiltWith, an Australian startup, unveils the tech stack used by most websites. If a technology leaves some kind of public footprint in the source code of a website, it will be identified by BuiltWith.

What can you do with BuiltWith?

We see two main use cases for the platform:

  1. get a sense of the market presence of a specific player, e.g. WordPress vs Wix or Shopify vs Woo Commerce
  2. identify business leads based on their tech stack, in order to sell them a tech solution, e.g. market SendInBlue to Mailchimp users

Let’s play with some numbers.

How many active WordPress sites are there in the world?

According to BuiltWith there are 28,183,568 active websites using WordPress as their CMS.

When comparing this number with the overall amount of active websites in late 2021 (c. 200M), it gives WordPress a 14% market share at a global scale. When reduced to the CMS vertical, the proportion exceeds 50%. Within the WordPress ecosystem, Elementor (visual builder plugin) boasts an impressive growth, now powering more than 4.5M active sites (vs 2.2M for Divi)!

What about the other popular solutions: Wix, Squarespace and Weebly?

There are 4,565,423 active websites powered by Wix, 2.2% of the internet.

There are 2,763,181 active websites powered by Squarespace, 1.3% of the internet.

There are 1,023,062 active websites powered by Weebly, 0.5% of the internet.

What is the #1 e-commerce solution?

BuiltWith gives us a full overview of the shopping carts ecosystem.

Here’s a selection of the leading players.

  1. Shopify powers 3,688,266 active websites.
  2. Woo Commerce checkout (now a property of Automattic, the company behind WP), powers 3,361,584 websites.
  3. Wix Stores powers 1,603,324 active websites.
  4. SquareSpace Add To Cart powers 1,107,555 websites.
  5. OpenCart powers 429,587 active websites.
  6. Prestashop powers 318,842 activewebsites.
  7. Magento powers 193,387 active websites.
  8. Big Commerce powers 52,426 active websites.

If we focus on the Top 1 million sites, Woo Commerce comes first (28%), followed by Shopify (21%) and Magento (8%).

e-commerce technologies used by the top 1M websites. Source: BuiltWith.
e-commerce technologies used by the top 1M websites. Source: BuiltWith.

Mailchimp vs Sendinblue vs…

Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit for $12 billion in September 2021.

According to BuiltWith, this marketing tool, leading its category, is currently used by 1,746,660 websites, whereas SendinBlue, based in France (used by KPIcrunch), powers 198,154 websites. Other leading solutions include Active Campaign (164,352 websites), aWeber (69,246 websites), SendPulse (65,422 websites) and Convertkit (60,537 websites).

What is the #1 CRM in the world?

You would probably say Salesforce but according to Builtwith, it can be linked to 41,892 web properties whereas HubSpot (which is categorized in Marketing Automation but onboards new clients, as we all know, with a free CRM), can be found on 469,077 websites.

So we could argue that HubSpot has a broader online footprint, even if Salesforce is considered to be the CRM category leader in the Top 1M websites.

Explanation: for SaaS tools, the numbers displayed on BuiltWith don’t necessarily equal the amount of clients (and even less the volume of end-users). BuiltWith only surfaces the fingerprint left by a technology on its clients’ own websites (such as a form widget or a pixel tracker). If those clients don’t embed anything into their site but are nevertheless using an account directly on the SaaS platform, this won’t be recorded. Some types of tools (such as email providers which offer newsletter signup widgets or video & audio solutions with embedded players) tend to have a broader public online distribution.

How many sites are using adsense by Google?

There are currently 38,386,786 websites displaying adsense ads, which represents 19% of the active worldwide web. Let it sink: close to 20% of the whole WWW is monetized via adsense ads.

It’s categorized as a Mega Technology by BuiltWith, along with other solutions such as Yoast SEO (16M sites), Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (6.2M sites), jQuery UI (30.1M sites), etc.

Other leading advertising solutions include Criteo (457,761 sites), AdRoll (117,948 sites), Taboola (83,355 sites), Outbrain (60,140 sites) or BuySellAds (15,593 sites).

In terms of pixel tracking, the Facebook Pixel can be found on 5,004,384 websites whereas Google Analytics is present on 28,832,505 websites. The TikTok Conversion Tracking Pixel is active on 177,839 websites.

All this data can be leveraged by adtech providers in their targeted sales efforts (for instance: offer to adsense users the option to increase their revenues by deploying a more advanced advertising stack incl. video, header bidding, etc.). If you run a website in the Top 100,000, you’re probably receiving tons of emails from those players inviting you to switch to their solutions. Those can be worth considering to increase your eCPM. If you’re a blogger, there are some premium providers such as Mediavine (12,364 sites) or AdThrive (5,925 sites).

This is also a nice way to discover other content sites in your niche and see how they perform, as well as the technologies they’re using.

Which data do you get when you export a list of websites from BuiltWith?

Besides the URLs of the websites, you will get a few extra columns. One is called the “Tranco” rank. It’s an amalgamation of Alexa, Umbrella (Cisco) and Majestic. You will also get an email contact, when identified on the site (usually a generic email such as support@ or admin@ or info@), as well as the URLs of the main social media outlets where those sites have an advertised presence. BuiltWith also lists some key people in the company and gives you the city, state and country information, which is useful to filter the lists in Excel or Google Sheet.

For the larger datasets, BuiltWith advises you to narrow down to a smaller subset before running a CSV export. For instance, you won’t be able to export all WordPress live sites but you can run a query for WordPress websites with $1 to $10M in Sales Revenue (1792 websites at time of writing).

For each generated list, BuiltWith offers a few extra research tracks: Insights, a summary of the most popular tech used by the sites in the selection spending more than $500 per month on SaaS; Ideas, which opens new shortlisting angles; Locations, which displays a breakdown of the most popular geos; TLD, the same but for domain extensions; Revenue, which gives you an estimate of the business worth of all sites using a specific technology; Spend, which tells you how much money those sites are spending on tech solutions on a monthly basis; Social, which breaks down the size of those websites’ social following; Traffic, which gives you the distribution in traffic buckets (Top 1M, Top 100K,…); Verticals, an overview of the industries; etc.

BuiltWith ideas, new angles to fine tune your research
BuiltWith Ideas, new angles to fine tune your research
Screenshot 2021 11 03 at 11.16.35
Premium technologies used by websites running adsense. Source: BuiltWith.

Import BuiltWith data into third-party tools

We always import our BuiltWith lists in Google Sheets. We freeze the first row and activate filters for each column. It makes it easier to browse the lists and create shortlists for further processing (such as data enrichment).

In order to surface personal emails for outreach purposes (in the geos where you can use those emails), we advise you to import the list of domains in a tool like Find That Lead, which will do a great job in sourcing correct emails for a decent amount of targets (be patient though, it can take a few hours for a large import). This solution is more affordable than Lusha and delivers reliable results. You can manage your outreach campaigns directly in FTL or use a dedicated solution like Mailshake.

You can also import batches of 200 domains into ahrefs to unveil some key organic KPIs (KW in Google Top 100 results, Organic Traffic, Backlinks, etc.).