Top Fifty WP: New Website Ranks Plugins by Downloads per Day

The team behind Pootlepress has launched a new website that displays the top 50 WordPress plugins by downloads per day. It uses the WordPress.org Plugin API to pull the previous day’s download stats from plugins hosted in the directory. The site also shows the average rating as a percent in the right-hand column.

Top 50 Plugins by Downloads per Day

As one might expect, the most popular plugins with more than a million active installs dominate the top 50 spots. There are a few surprising plugins in the mix, with 500,000 installs or less, where these daily download stats might be an indication of their potential growth: Ocean Extra, WPS Hide Login, AMP, File Manager, and WP Statistics. It’s something to monitor over time, as there may be quite a bit of turnover in the top 50.

It’s also interesting to see a few plugins among the top 50 that provide utilities frequently used when working with WordPress but not necessary to have installed all the time. It looks like users are installing plugins like WordPress Importer, Maintenance, All-in-One WP Migration, and Coming Soon Page, and then leaving them active on their sites.

Top Fifty WP Is Now Available as a Plugin with Gutenberg Blocks for Top Plugins and Themes

Pootlepress has packaged up Top 50 WP as a plugin so that other publishers can use it to display the same data on their own websites. It includes two Gutenberg blocks – one for plugins and the other for themes. They are listed under Layout Elements.

Pootlepress founder Jamie Marsland said the plugin is coming soon to WordPress.org but for now it can be downloaded from his website. It requires the Caxton plugin to be installed, which provides Pootlepress’ base framework for new blocks. Marsland’s team is working on adding more blocks with plugin and theme data, as well as customization options for each block.

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18 Comments


  1. The numbers are not very accurate, I was shocked by the amazing number of 612,265 downloads a day OptinMonster has – after checking the stats the right number is between 5,000 – 10,000 a day. the high number is because they just released an update so each update count as a download.

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  2. The list has data bias. Number of downloads of a plugin per day as the measure of popularity is faulty.

    Check today’s list and you will see that the top plugins(atleast the first few) are the one which had a new update recently.

    I had done something similar for my research a few months ago and that revealed a lot about the repository.

    A better measure of popularity should be an average over a span of time and with some bias for the number of updates during that period.

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    1. Hi,

      Jamie here from Pootlepress,

      Yes that’s correct, when looking at the data it’s worth bearing in mind how wordpress.org records downloads for plugins that are rolling out updates, so recently updated plugins will look inflated (for a day or so)

      That said the list is updated daily and it uncovers some really interesting stats.

      This is version 1 and we’ll look at ways to improve as we go 🙂

      jamie

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      1. But would the list simply not normalize because if you’re always going to have to factor in downloads with the release of updates. While a single plugin might normalize the list would never normalize unless a bunch of very popular plugins simply didn’t release an update?

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      2. Thank you for the details jamie.

        I am looking forward to the future improvements :)

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    2. After proper check, i suspected that the stats of the downloads are not accurate if they are on daily basis.. And i want to know if it counts per fresh download or repeated download?

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    1. Nothing.

      And the WordPress.org repo is actively being gamed.

      Downloads, active installs, and reviews are able to be manipulated.

      The trick is doing it so it doesn’t raise suspicion.

      But you can be sure that it is actively occurring given the benefits that would come with inflating these numbers.

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  3. Cool idea – this is a page I’d look forward to coming back to since I know it will probably be different the next day (something WP.org can adopt?). I already found some cool Plugins I haven’t seen before and from a product development standpoint this tool looks like it will be a nice indicator of what people are doing with their websites.

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  4. I do like this concept wish wordpress.org had something similar more importantly I am glad to see the adoption of Gutenberg within the plugin.

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  5. To me this project doesn’t make much sense:
    It’s based on the download number which is quite useless as others pointed out here already – and which is known for years, due to the fact how wordpress-dot-org repo statistics are.

    And the overall principle is wrong, so wrong, that it will lead to this, that a small number of the same plugins will always stay in this Top 50 or “rotate” (appear very often).

    A plugin with millions of installs also has a high number of daily downloads – because such plugins are ranking better in search results etc. and appear more often to users.

    And when those plugins get updated they can generate incredible amounts of downloads during a day.

    So what is the thought behind such a list?
    Always the same bunch of already known and popular plugins featured everywhere? Who needs this? No one.

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  6. What was the reason that brought this site into existence? APIs are cool, but I don’t understand the problem that is being solved.

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  7. Maybe there’s a business in standing up a whole bunch of WP sites on really cheap VPS and selling downloads and time-installed to plugin authors. No, Steve, that would be wrong.

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  8. Cool tool :) I’m excited to see the future possibilities.

    WordPress.org’s plugins repo needs a complete rehaul. It looks and feels so….dated.

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  9. Hi,

    We’ve just updated topfiftywp.com with a number of improvements.

    1) We now show the date each plugin was updated
    2) We’ve included active installs for plugins
    3) We’ve included active installs for themes
    4) If a plugin or theme has the same number of installs we rank by rating

    jamie

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  10. Surprised to see Optinmonster topping the list! There is no free tier for Optinmonster, correct? So, I assume that this plugin does nothing if you are not a paid subscriber of the service. As pointed out, the number of updates must have pushed it to the top.

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