Which are the most popular WordPress plugins?

There are thousands of plugins available offering all sorts of functionality from Social Media sharing to improving the speed of your website and so much more. The best place to find free plugins is the WordPress.org plugin repository.

For various good reasons people often prefer to use plugins that are used on a large number of websites.

The difficulty is knowing how popular plugins really are; for example the WordPress Plugin repository lists how often a plugin has been downloaded but it doesn’t mention how many sites are currently using the plugin.

Another concern is that the downloaded measure may well include updates as well as initial downloads which means that plugin developers that may want to improve their ‘downloaded’ number just need to release updates more frequently.

As a WordPress front-end developer I’ve worked on hundreds of sites.

Here are the ten plugins I see most often installed on WordPress websites (in no particular order):

  • Contact Form 7: An excellent contact form plugin that has been around for ages.
  • Gravity Forms: A paid-for contact form plugin with an easy to use GUI.
  • WooCommerce: Makes selling from your website easy (ecommerce).
  • Jetpack: Lots of functionality included in a single plugin.
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast: Adds even more SEO optimization to WordPress such as auto sitemap.xml generation.
  • Akismet: Stops comment spam.
  • W3 Total Cache: Makes your website load much faster.
  • Google Analytics: A very easy way to add Google Analytics code.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress: Adds Google Analytics code and has many advanced options such as excluding collecting of stats from logged-in users.
  • Testimonials by Aihrus: A great way of adding SEO friendly testimonials to your website (shows testimonials in schema.org Review format).

Just for interest, here are the most downloaded plugins according to WordPress:

  1. Akismet
  2. All in One SEO Pack
  3. Contact Form 7
  4. Google XML Sitemaps
  5. NextGEN Gallery
  6. Jetpack by WordPress.com
  7. WordPress SEO by Yoast
  8. WordPress Importer
  9. WP Super Cache
  10. WPtouch Mobile Plugin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *