The 15 Largest ExpressionEngine sites May 2009

If you want the most recent list of largest EE sites, it’s right here.

Update June 16: How popular is Korean celebrity news? is now the 10th largest EE site, and is growing like bamboo! I didn’t update the whole article, just the chart.

If you know of a large site, even if you think it’s not top-10 worthy, let me know in the comments or by contacting me.  Thanks!

Update May 20: After adding A List Apart, Kukla’s Korner and, I decided to expand the list to the top 15.  The order is slightly different now.

Update May 15: I’ve had a number of good suggestions for big sites, and one has definitely made it into the top ten: Top Gear, the BBC racing show. I’m also tipped to two more “can’t-tell-you” sites about which I’m trying to find out. Stay tuned.

Clients often ask us, “Can your preferred CMS, ExpressionEngine, handle my HUGE site requirements? I’m planning to get [one gazzillion hits or something like that].”

The answer is yes (if you pay for proper hosting!), but it’s been hard to back that up with concrete examples of enormous sites, because there’s hasn’t been any single list of large, successful ExpressionEngine-powered websites. Well, that’s all about to change:  Here, then, is the definitive list of the 10 largest ExpressionEngine Websites.

What exactly defines “largest”?  That’s a tough question, because a site that has a huge amount of traffic might be just one page.  Or a site that serves a niche audience and has a low Alexa ranking might have crazy active forums.  Consulting with other EE professionals, these factors seemed to be the most relevant ones that we should use to determine “largeness”:

  • number of unique visitors and pages / month
  • number of entries and comments
  • number of members and forum posts
  • awards and buzz

Combining all these data points gathered by investigating more than 50 potentially “large” sites, I came up with the ranking you see here, which was based on all the numbers I gathered plus a little bit of what I like to call “judgement” and you might call “shameful ignorance.”

Largest ExpressionEngine Websites, May 2009

  1. Transition site for Barack Obama
  2. iLounge: All about iPod and iPhone
  3. Peri?dicos Z?calo: newspaper in Mexico
  4. Gear Live: gadget news
  5. Top Gear: BBC car show
  6. news about online content
  7. BMI Music: music licensing and artist
  8. A List Apart: resource for CSS and design
  9. Campaign Monitor: email campaign tool
  10. allkpop: Korean celebrity news
  11. Truthdig: independent political news
  12. Grist: environmental news and commentary
  13. Kukla’s Korner: hockey fans
  14. Jewish Journal: large jewish newspaper in Los Angeles
  15. CA Government: central page for California’s Gov’t
  16. OpenGL: standards group

The largest confirmed traffic I was told of belongs to iLounge: 20,000,000 pages per month.  iLounge also has the most forum posts: a mind-blowing 1,300,000.  The largest number of entries I know of is 70,000.  But there’s another site,, that apparently has WAY more entries—I just wasn’t able to confirm it.

Here are the caveats: I do think that and Peri?dicos Z?calo might have higher traffic, but I wasn’t able to verify their numbers.  And you might consider it a bit of a “cheat”, but I’m including as of its peak traffic in January 2009, not as of its May 2009 traffic. I also left ExpressionEngine’s own site out of the rankings, but they do have a very large site with a very large number of members and posts, and would rank close to if not in the top 10.  Other large sites include: Sundance Film Festival,,, and the Vancouver Public Library (which has more than 60 editors using it), but I wasn’t able to confirm enough information or they didn’t quite make the top ten.

The raw data is available for you, too, to look at.  Take a look:



Click here to view the spreadsheet directly

If you think I’ve left any significant sites out, mention it in the comments and I’ll research it.  The spreadsheet is a living document, so it may over time show a different ranking than the list in this article does.  Special thanks to the folks on Twitter who chipped in with suggestions, and to the folks who couldn’t help me on the record. Oh, and does anyone know of a similar resource for MT or WP?


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