What Gets Shared in WordPress: The Things We Learned by Analyzing 202 Popular Blog Posts

A while ago, we published this post. It’s a list of the top 101 blogs about WordPress and their most popular (2) posts. The goal was to give back to the community and point you to some interesting reading / websites you might not have been aware of.

But why not take it further?

Why not look into those 202 posts more closely and analyze the kinds of topics and sub-niches that are the most popular in the blogosphere in regards to WordPress?

So we’ve followed up on this idea and build a simple research strategy that would give us the answers we wanted. Here are the results.

In this post, you will learn what topics get the most social media attention in the WordPress niche. If you’re a WordPress blogger, you should probably pay attention.

What’s exactly here?

In the list post I mentioned in the introduction, we picked 101 most popular sites writing about anything related to WordPress and selected two of the most popular articles from each.We used Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn as the default social networks when doing the comparisons.

For the post you’re reading here, we’ve organized those articles and sorted them by category. We calculated each article’s total number of social shares (thanks to the tools like ShareTally and SharedCount), and based on that, we’ve created a list of the most popular topics.

But that’s not all, to avoid the results getting skewed by extremely high or extremely low share numbers for individual articles, we’ve used the 25% truncated mean method. This gave us the more actual average number.

What is the 25% truncated mean method?

A truncated mean – or trimmed mean – is much like a median. It calculates the average of a certain range of numbers. In this case, it discards an equal amount of data from the two opposite edges. When using the 25% truncated mean, the lowest 25% and the highest 25% are discarded. So in the end, only the middle 50% remain as the base for the further calculations.In short, we used this method to avoid certain blogs’ popularity and huge numbers to affect the final rankings.

How we grouped the articles

Before sharing the rankings, there’s one more thing we’d want to clarify. We arranged the articles in a few big topic categories, they are:
Plugins

Lists of plugins for various purposes, as well as any other plugin-related posts (including how-tos).

SEO

Articles that offer SEO solutions and resources for WordPress. Including tutorials and tips on how to optimize your website.

Speed

Articles and guides on how to improve your website speed.

Security

News and announcements about various vulnerabilities and methods of fighting them. Also, articles offering tips and resources on how to keep your website secure.

General WP

Future trends, new versions of WordPress, and all sorts of general articles related to WordPress.

Hosting

Info and tutorials related to hosting. Including posts on how hosting affects your website performance, and advice on how to choose an appropriate host.

WP dashboard

Articles and tutorials on how to work in the WordPress dashboard (including creating content, adding media, and etc.).

Development/site building/coding

Tips, shortcuts, code snippets, tutorials, and other technical advice related to WordPress development.

Business/marketing

Tips on how to start and grow your business by using various marketing strategies, and making WordPress a piece of the puzzle.

WooCommerce

News, tips, themes offering WooCommerce integration, tutorials on how to create your online store, and other info about the e-commerce space in WordPress.

Themes

Everything related to WordPress themes. Including lists of themes, tips on how to optimize and customize a particular theme, how to add new elements to any theme, how to choose an efficient theme, and more.

Other

Everything that didn’t fit in any other category.

Here’s the most shared topic in WordPress

Okay, so after going through all the number crunching, calculating things in Excel and so on, it appears that the most popular category is … SEO.It gets 816 shares on the average per article published. (Remember, this is calculated using the 25% truncated mean.)

Here’s a chart presenting the top 10 most shared WordPress topics (hover over the individual sections to see the average number of social media shares per article):

By the way, do you want to feature charts like this one in your own content? That’s actually quite easy. Everything’s being handled by the WordPress Visualizer plugin (free).

Here’s the most written-about topic in WordPress

Apart from the most shared topic, let’s also look into the overall number of articles in each category.The main question: Is SEO so share-worthy purely because it’s also the most written-about topic?

As it turns out, no.

The first place here goes to development/site building/coding.

This isn’t particularly surprising though. After all, WordPress is an open source software project, so it’s very natural that bloggers focus on the inner workings of the platform the most.

Here’s a chart presenting the top categories according to the number of articles in each of them (again, hover over the bars to see more):

What topic gets the highest total number of shares

Finally, setting the 25% truncated mean aside, let’s look into the total numbers of social media shares for each category.Keep in mind though that these results are heavily skewed by uber-popular sites and viral pieces of content. So in the end, I’d say there’s not much useful info here, but still an interesting piece of data to glance at.

The topic with the highest overall number of shares is … plugins.

Here’s a chart presenting the results (hover over the individual sections to see the total number of shares for each topic):

Okay, so that pretty much sums it up! Collecting this data has turned out to be very interesting, so we hope that it will come handy one day when you’re brainstorming ideas for your next blog post.

If you haven’t started a blog yet, see these two guides: StartBloggingOnline and MonetizePros. Both resources offer step-by-step tutorials on building a personal or professional blog.

 

By the way, are you surprised by any of these results?