top-10-wp-plugins is a project by me Herb Miller: @bobbingwide on WordPress.

Please set featured image

I currently use it to summarise the Top N plugins that satisfy a particular search criteria.

The most basic query is to see which plugins have been downloaded most times. It just so happens that in October the Top 12 plugins all exceeded 30 million downloads. Just recently a thirteenth has made it into the list. Here’s the top 14.

Total plugins: 59457

Limit reached: 14 at 14

Position Plugin Total downloads Active Star Rating Tested up to
1 Yoast SEO 397936801 5000000 4.8 5.9
2 Jetpack 263932908 5000000 3.9 5.9
3 Akismet Anti-Spam 230451817 5000000 4.7 5.9
4 Wordfence Security 228291365 4000000 4.7 5.9
5 Contact Form 7 210319718 5000000 4.1 5.9
6 WooCommerce 170624682 5000000 4.5 5.9
7 Elementor 160805422 5000000 4.7 5.9
8 Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights 112338086 3000000 4.6 5.9
9 WPForms Lite 95509871 5000000 4.9 5.9
10 All in One SEO 92790366 3000000 4.6 5.9
11 Really Simple SSL 83684562 5000000 5 5.9
12 All-in-One WP Migration 70041262 4000000 4.6 5.9
13 UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore 67410218 3000000 4.8 5.9
14 OptinMonster 65904343 1000000 4.4 5.8.3
14 TOTALS 2250041421

The data source used for the figures shown on the top n tables is a post processed extract of all the plugins on wordpress.org at a point in time.

I use a plugin called wp-top12 to perform the extract, summarise the data and then do a bit of analysis. The plugin is developed and run locally.

The routine that performs the extract and then produces the summary reports is called downloads.php. It’s a batch process, run from the command line, using bobbingwide/oik-batch, which is similar to WP-CLI.

The source is available at bobbingwide/wp-top12.

The summary file ( wporg_plugins.csv ) is generated by the downloads.php process and used by the [wp-top12] shortcode.


I probably wrote the first version of the plugin in August 2012, for the WordPress Portsmouth Meetup. I was learning about the WordPress API.

Early in 2015, I developed a number of subroutines to help compare the performance of different hosting solutions.

In the Christmas/New Year period of 2015/2016 I added bits to the plugin to Measure the effect on server response of the Top 12 WordPress plugins.

I never published the results, but I did learn quite a bit about plugins that think they own WordPress and that the only reason for the website was to allow them to hog the resources.

It was during this period that I published the first version of Twelve plugins of WordPress in December 2015.

I repeated my performance experiments in 2016/2017, with new versions of WordPress, PHP and the top 12 plugins. bobbingwide/wp-top12.

This year, 2019, I decided to resurrect the plugin, with the intention of actually publishing the results of the analysis. I haven’t done that yet. I got a bit distracted;

… to be continued

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Herb

About Bobbing Wide

Herb Miller is the web designer, web developer at Bobbing Wide, based in Rowlands Castle.