How Many People Are Using Elgg Based Sites?

Greetings all!

I am in the process of looking into an interesting way to help the entire elgg community to grow and get funding in too. However, I need to have some rough figure of how many users Elgg sites support in total. I suspect there is no way to calculate this since there is no tracking built in to elgg, but if anyone has any idea somehow I would greatly appreciate you letting me know.

The site 'builtwith' does maintain a list of sites that it has tracked that run elgg, but they want me to pay hundreds of pounds to access the full list. Does anyone here have a subscription to 'builtwith'? That might help.


  • I hope you get a response..I like Elgg and wish it to continue for a very long time.

  • That may not mean much but when I Googled "Powered by Elgg", I received 150,000 results.



  • Thanks! Yes, that was one of the searches I ran too, but it only tells us something of the number of installs that might exist. What I really need is to know something of the number of active users that are using Elgg sites. The basis of my thinking is that if I can explain the potential size of the community of Elgg users to the relevant vested interests, I can then gain support from them to develop something that benefits everyone. Without knowing the number of active users involved, I am a bit stuck.

  • Hi ura!!

    I don't know if it's possible to give any good number here. I think it's already very difficult to even guess how many Elgg sites are there (and maybe also still in use). Even more difficult is estimating the number of user on these sites and then even the "active" users...

    "builtwith" reports ~1000 Elgg sites (about 3000 including historical results). Now this could be true... or not. I doubt their identification algorithm. But that does not necessarily mean that the number as such is totally wrong. They might really have an algorithm that correctly identifies Elgg sites. Or their algorithm might have worked correctly with old Elgg version that still contained the Elgg version of the site explicitely in the page source code. If they haven't altered their algorithm they wouldn't find any Elgg site using a more recent version of Elgg (i.e. Elgg 1.9 or newer!). In the end that might mean they list sites that no longer exist (I've tried a few and there was no Elgg or anything else on these urls) but then they might also not list sites that do exist. In consequence the missing sites and the obsolete sites listed might be roughly the same so the total number might not be that wrong. But there are many unknowns here - not even taking into account Elgg installation on intranet environments they can't even see or walled-garden sites they won't be able to crawl. I think Elgg is not as popular as other frameworks (not referring to social network frameworks specifically but rather to frameworks in general - Wordpress, Drupal - see I think self-hosting is not what most people are looking for. They stick with some provider that offers some ready-to-use site package (if they not even stick with FB in the first place). So it might simply be not worth the effort anymore (in their opinion) trying to get a correct number of Elgg installs nowadays.

    Searching on Google simply with "Powered by Elgg" is quite sure not sufficient. It's very likely you get multiple hits for the same Elgg install as the footer of every page would contain the text. I've tried with

    "Powered by Elgg" "Log in"

    trying to get only the Login pages excluding and it resulted in about 44,000 results. Most likely there are still duplicate hits within these results included. And again some (or a lot???) Elgg installations might be missing in the results (Intranet installations, walled garden sites, sites running Elgg but are obfuscated). Most prominently my own Elgg site seems not listed by Google (well, that's intended... lol!!!).

    So, what's the real number of Elgg sites then? I really don't know. I guess there are less now than there have been in the past. Sadly, Elgg is not as popular anymore as it has been - I think this is the case taking into account that activity became less here on the community site with regards to users asking questions about installing Elgg or plugin specific question (or it might be that there are just less problems as Elgg and plugins got better... at least easier to handle the installation and basic usage...). I also have the impression that the number of downloads of plugins is lower nowadays as it has been in the past. Still, it's difficult to estimate Elgg installs based on number of questions asked or plugin downloads (people might stick with using Elgg core only). So, possibly the number of Elgg sites is something around a few hundreds to a few thousands - but most likely (much?) less than 10,000.

    But how many active users? Well, what would be the average number of site members on Elgg sites? I think that alone is difficult to say. I guess most sites have only a few users (less than 100 or maybe a few 100). Then there might be a few with several thousand users. And then there might be a few rare sites with many thousand users. What would be the average number then? And then average "active" users? Most likely much less than the average number as a lot of sites might have users that were only active for a certain time and then stopped (or maybe some sites as such are no longer active as such). Is an average number of active users of 100 per site too low? Would 1000 be better? I guess if someone would have insight to a number of Elgg sites he could make a better guess. Let's say some developer who set up / maintains several sites and maybe helped indirectly with other sites might be able to provide better numbers. I don't think I have seen enough Elgg sites from inside to be able to make more than a wild guess.

    1,000 sites with 100 active users on average = 10,000 users in total

    10,000 sites with 1,000 active user on average = 10,000,000 in total

    Quite a wide range.

  • @iionly - Ahoy! Thanks for the comments and maths. I have already thought along these lines, yes - I think we agree. I was hoping there would be some kind of technical way to monitor it, but I don't know of any reliable way either.

    I wish I had more to say in response to your detailed comment, but I think we hit a brick wall! :/

  • @RvR - Thanks for the link - I really need to know user numbers though.. I am not finding it easy to see those on the links I clicked on there.

  • @ura soul No problem - just say what information you need (registered users, active users per day/month) and how/where you want to use it.

  • Ok, great - a total number of registered users and active users per day would be useful. I will only use it to add to a total count from whatever sites I can source data from to produce an overall picture of elgg as a whole. I have no need to record data from individual named sites - so you can just give the numbers if you like.. Such as x number users in total from y sites.

  • 4490 registered users / 7 sites

    ~80-100 active users per day / 7 sites