After a while, I started using WordPress again and recognized that there are so many new plugins and a lot of plugins I used are not there anymore. It caught my interest, so I scraped all current and former WordPress plugins. The full dataset can be found on github for free and without any signup. In the following article, I want to show you some of my findings.
Lost Code and Hours of Work
The official plugin repository from WordPress counts a bit more than a hundred thousand plugins. Sadly, 40% of them are not available for download anymore due to security or copyright issues. It is crazy to me that on those 40,730 plugins, people spent hours coding them, each of them was once manually checked by the WordPress team to be part of the repository, and now all of them are lost, never usable again. Sadly, also most of the information like reviews is not displayed anymore as soon as they are deactivated. Here is the list of all of them though, a graveyard of plugins.
Once I read that YouTube switched from stars to like/dislike because most of the reviews were either one-star or five-star reviews. How about WordPress?
The data shows similar results, on average 80% of the ratings are 5 Star ratings while 11% of the ratings are one star ratings which is still more than all the other options combined.
What are the best rated Plugins?
It is hard to find 100% free plugins when you search for them on Google, because of SEO and affiliate marketing. Here are some of the best free plugins that have more than 100 reviews AND more than 1000 active installations. These are some examples of top rated plugins that have no paid option. All of them have close to 100% 5 Stars ratings
|Generate and setup a favicon for desktop browsers, iPhone/iPad, Android devices, Windows 8 tablets and more. In a matter of seconds, design an icon that looks great on all major platforms.
|The Google Fonts library currently contains 1455 unique fonts. This plugin allows you to easily use any of them on your WordPress website.
|Shortcodes Ultimate is a comprehensive collection of various visual and functional elements, which you can use in the post editor, text widgets or even in template files.
|To avoid line breaks in the incorrect position, the plugin fixes orphans’ positions and replaces space after orphan with a hard space
|Boost your website with feature-rich tables that your visitors will love!
|Create secure, self-expiring ⏱️, automatic login links 🔗 for WordPress. Give them to developers when they ask for admin access to your site. Login works just by opening the link, no password needed.
There are a lot of them, so maybe when AI become cheaper someone can scan all the descriptions for sales pitches and make a plugin library with free and comprehensive plugins.
So what is the worst big Plugin then?
The lowest rated big Plugins are the two WooCommerce extensions woocommerce-paypal-payments and facebook-for-woocommerce and the Google Plugin google-listings-and-ads.
What kinds of Plugins are existing?
There are different types of plugins, and each plugin has a tag. But you can’t use the tags to filter or sort them, because the WordPress repository doesn’t have a filter option. There are more than 60.000 tags. The most popular tag is WooCommerce, which might be because people are more willing to spend money on this kind of plugin.
The security tag is the most populare one, based on how many downloads and active installations it has. There are also many SEO related items in terms of downloads.
Contact forms in WordPress are more important than expected, which caught me off guard because I assumed everyone is just using some custom HTML from Google forms or similar services. Also, a backup in WordPress rather than from the server seems illogical.
The following Plugins have the highest average review score (sorted by average, minimum Plugin count = 100). It indicates that people appreciate their contact forms. And are impressed by the caching and anti-spam features.
|Number of Plugins
The final thing I wanted to verify in my initial analysis is which Version of WordPress Plugins are tested.
|Plugins test up to WordPress version..
|Number of Plugins
The table indicates that most plugins are fairly current, but there are still many active plugins that may not be maintained anymore. They are not part of the 40,000 plugins that have been removed from download. This could also be a good chance for you!
This is just a first analysis if you are interested in more than just put your email in the form below or check the full dataset on github.