Most Popular Plugins For WordPress
So we have decided to compile a list of the most popular free plugins in the WordPress database. Our only criteria was they have been downloaded at least 500,000 times haha. There will be a link as to where to find it along with a short blurb about each plugin so you have an idea of what it’s for before you click on all the links. There are currently 11 plugins on WordPress.org that have been downloaded at least a million times. They range from gallery plugins, eCommerce, Cache agents, etc. You still notice that a lot of them are written about in other articles as “essential plugins for every website.
Here are the most popular plugins for WordPress:
W3 Total Cache – This plugin no only happens to be the most downloaded plugin on WordPress but it makes your site respond faster. Some of the largest WordPress sites out there trust this plugin and it has 4.3/5 stars as of the end of 2015. It will help improve user experience help your content show up faster (especially to those readers who frequent your website).
TinyMCE Advanced – If you are not a hardcore developer then I think this plugin is a must have. I put it on all of my clients websites because it really helps out with styling content for posts/pages. It is a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) and if you have ever used programs like Microsoft Word, Libre Office, etc, then you will fall in love with this plugin.
Regenerate Thumbnails – Allows you to regenerate the thumbnails for all image attachments. Its very handle as a developer whenever you change the size of your thumbnails because you have altered your theme, or are changing a page template. Another plugin you might consider is Jetpack’s Photon Module. This plugin has 4.7/5 stars though.
Advanced Custom Fields – Another plugin that works swimmingly with WordPress. This plugin will save your life in a pinch if you need to create a custom field for your website. If you click on the link you will see all of the field options that you have such as: Text, Text Area, Email, Password, Images, File Uploads, etc, etc. This plugin creates fast processing fields using best practices.
Akismet – This plugin automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam (aka ones that have been posted on multiple sources, have bad links, affiliate links, etc). You can login and see the number of comments that have been approved for each user.
Hello Dolly – I have issues with this plugin, I feel like its one of the most useless plugins out on the market right now. It gives you a random quote in the top corner of your dashboard which, while nice, creates more problems than solves in my opinion. It may not use much space, ram, etc of your server, but it does help distinguish your site as a WordPress site (basically opens you up to spam in my opinion).
All In One SEO Pack – This is another must have plugin for almost any website if you expect to be seen by search engines, saturated into social media networks, etc. You might hear that SEO is no longer important or that you should focus mainly on social media. Obviously social media is very popular now but you would be mistaken not to want to get seen by search engines. Just think about how often you “Google” something. If you find it lacking in support then you can always upgrade to the professional version.
WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce – If you are looking to sell a product, service, or pretty much anything you should take a serious look at this plugin. A lot of people have been deciding against this and moving towards third-party systems but keeping integrated into your website will not only save costs but will also earn your users trust.
Really Simple Captcha – This Plugin was originally designed for Contact Form 7 (a free contact form plugin) but can be used with your own contact form plugin. It basically functions like it sounds. It adds a layer of security for your forms so that you don’t get a lot of spam and fake users signing up with your website. It does not use PHP “sessions” (something a lot of other plugins use) which can bog your server down at times along with causing conflicts.
WP-PageNavi – If you have ever wanted to replace the page navigation when you are looking at single page views then this is your plugin. You can replace the older style “Older Posts/Newer Posts” with page numbers, page names, etc. This plugin comes in handy when customizing a website to the fullest.
WP Super Cache – This plugin helps create static pages for each of your site’s pages. It will essentially create an HTML file for each page which will make your site load lightning fast after the first couple of page loads per user. This plugin is essential to any WordPress website unless you are sporting a nice dedicated server with limited traffic.
Here are some plugins that should definitely get some honorable mentions. They have been downloaded at least 500,000 times:
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
- NextGen Gallery
- Google XML Sitemaps
- WordPress Importer
- Yoast SEO
- Contact Form 7
- WordFence Security
- Google Analytics by Yoast
- Duplicate Post
- Disable Comments
- WP Multibyte Patch
- Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
- IThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)
- Page Builder by SiteOrigin
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
- Meta Slider
- UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration
- Clef Two-Factor Authentication
- Google Analytics
So the previous list of 32 plugins shows you the most popular plugins for WordPress. They are all the plugins that have been downloaded at least 500,000 times (which means potentially used on 500,000 different websites) and with numbers like that you can pretty much be guaranteed that it not only works with your website but also contains quite a bit of support for free.