The Top 100 WordPress Plugins For Your Site

The Top 100 WordPress Plugins For Your Site
It looks like a little face…

If you are a regular WPMU reader, you will have no doubt seen the WPMU 100 that we released last month. With the post proving to be so popular, we thought that you might be in the mood for more of the same. So what we have for you today is a resource that will be useful for any WordPress user – from beginner to advanced.

Few of us have the time (or the inclination) to trawl through the WordPress Plugins Directory to find the best plugins. More often than not we discover plugins when they are featured on a site (such as WPMU), or recommended by a friend or colleague.

That being the case, you are probably missing out on at least a few quality plugins that you didn’t even know existed. And let’s be honest – the WordPress Plugins Directory is not particularly user-friendly in the way in which it presents popular and highest rated plugins. So we figured that we would do all the hard work for you.

Which brings us to this – The Top 100 WordPress Plugins. We have extracted all available data from the WordPress Plugin Directory and sorted it to bring you a list of the top 100 plugins for your WordPress site. These plugins have all been updated within the last 12 months, and are listed as being compatible with WordPress v3.0 and up (most of them are compatible with v3.3.x). Enjoy!

# Plugin Name Author Last Updated
1 Google XML Sitemaps Arne Brachhold 19/09/2011
2 W3 Total Cache Frederick Townes 26/08/2011
3 NextGEN Gallery Alex Rabe 26/02/2012
4 Contact Form 7 Takayuki Miyoshi 22/02/2012
5 WordPress SEO by Yoast Joost de Valk 25/01/2012
6 WP Super Cache Donncha O Caoimh 30/01/2012
7 All in One SEO Pack Michael Torbert 10/12/2011
8 Fast Secure Contact Form Mike Challis 25/02/2012
9 Sociable Blogplay 16/02/2012
10 Google Analytics for WordPress Joost de Valk 12/10/2011
11 Share Buttons by Lockerz / AddToAny Lockerz 18/02/2012
12 WordPress.com Stats Automattic 15/09/2011
13 Akismet Automattic 11/01/2012
14 GRAND FlAGallery – Best Photo Gallery Rattus 23/02/2012
15 Add Link to Facebook Marcel Bokhorst 29/02/2012
16 WP e-Commerce Instinct Entertainment 25/01/2012
17 qTranslate Qian Qin 10/01/2012
18 WP-PageNavi Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan & scribu 11/02/2012
19 WPtouch BraveNewCode Inc 23/01/2012
20 TinyMCE Advanced Andrew Ozz 19/02/2012
21 Simple Tags Amaury BALMER 15/08/2011
22 Booking Calendar wpdevelop 17/07/2011
23 Redirection John Godley 04/10/2011
24 Widget Logic Alan Trewartha 28/12/2011
25 WP-Polls Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan 06/02/2012
26 Yet Another Related Posts Plugin mitcho (Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine) 19/12/2011
27 BuddyPress The BuddyPress Community 10/01/2012
28 SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam Mike Challis 13/12/2011
29 Broken Link Checker Janis Elsts 11/12/2011
30 WP-Table Reloaded Tobias Bäthge 05/01/2012
31 Jetpack by WordPress.com Automattic 05/12/2011
32 Share and Follow Andy Killen 21/02/2012
33 Google Analyticator Ronald Heft 09/07/2011
34 Smart YouTube PRO Vladimir Prelovac 30/01/2012
35 WP Security Scan WebsiteDefender 19/12/2011
36 MapPress Easy Google Maps Chris Richardson 23/08/2011
37 WordPress Download Monitor Mike Jolley 06/09/2011
38 Custom Contact Forms Taylor Lovett 16/01/2012
39 GD Star Rating Milan Petrovic 26/12/2011
40 Visitor Maps and Who’s Online Mike Challis 22/02/2012
41 Page Links To Mark Jaquith 05/01/2012
42 Theme My Login Jeff Farthing 28/06/2011
43 Custom Field Template Hiroaki Miyashita 17/11/2011
44 WP-PostRatings Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan 04/02/2012
45 Viper’s Video Quicktags Viper007Bond 10/12/2011
46 Exclude Pages Simon Wheatley 04/12/2011
47 WP Greet Box Thaya Kareeson 04/09/2011
48 Advanced Custom Fields Elliot Condon 12/02/2012
49 Subscribe To Comments Reloaded cam 31/08/2011
50 Events Manager Marcus Sykes 22/02/2012
51 WP-DBManager Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan 20/08/2011
52 Events Calendar Luke Howell 07/09/2011
53 WordPress Popular Posts Héctor Cabrera 05/12/2011
54 Search Everything Dan Cameron of Sprout Venture 17/02/2012
55 eShop Rich Pedley 25/02/2012
56 WP-Syntax Steven A. Zahm 24/07/2011
57 ShareThis ShareThis, Manu Mukerji 24/08/2011
58 The Events Calendar Modern Tribe, Inc. 23/02/2012
59 BackWPup Daniel Hüsken 26/02/2012
60 Regenerate Thumbnails Viper007Bond 17/11/2011
61 Video Playlist & Gallery Plugin Cincopa 27/02/2012
62 AddThis The AddThis Team 01/02/2012
63 Sidebar Login Mike Jolley 22/12/2011
64 Members Justin Tadlock 13/06/2011
65 FancyBox for WordPress José Pardilla 18/12/2011
66 FeedWordPress Charles Johnson 19/10/2011
67 WassUp Michele Marcucci, Helene Duncker 05/09/2011
68 All-in-One Event Calendar The Seed Studio 15/02/2012
69 Twitter Widget Pro Aaron D. Campbell 23/12/2011
70 Subscribe2 Matthew Robinson 01/02/2012
71 Portfolio Slideshow Dalton Rooney 30/11/2011
72 Efficient Related Posts Aaron D. Campbell 03/03/2011
73 Adminimize Frank Bültge 10/02/2012
74 WP Mail SMTP Callum Macdonald 10/07/2011
75 Simple Facebook Connect Otto 19/02/2012
76 WordPress Importer wordpressdotorg 13/02/2012
77 Ajax Event Calendar Eran Miller 11/10/2011
78 Front-end Editor scribu 25/01/2012
79 Codestyling Localization Heiko Rabe 13/11/2011
80 Lightbox Plus Dan Zappone 01/01/2012
81 More Fields Henrik Melin, Kal Ström 02/09/2011
82 WP to Twitter Joseph Dolson 20/02/2012
83 Breadcrumb NavXT John Havlik 17/02/2012
84 podPress Dan Kuykendall (Seek3r) 01/02/2012
85 User Access Manager Alexander Schneider 11/10/2011
86 WordPress MU Domain Mapping Donncha O Caoimh 19/07/2011
87 List category posts Fernando Briano 06/02/2012
88 MailPress Andre Renaut 13/01/2012
89 Secure WordPress WebsiteDefender 19/12/2011
90 oQey Gallery oqeysites.com 16/01/2012
91 WP SlimStat Camu 22/02/2012
92 SyntaxHighlighter Evolved Viper007Bond 17/11/2011
93 WP No Category Base iDope 24/06/2011
94 s2Member® Framework s2Member® / WebSharks, Inc. 19/02/2012
95 SEO Ultimate SEO Design Solutions 31/12/2011
96 Contact Form 7 to Database Extension Michael Simpson 21/12/2011
97 CMS Tree Page View Pär Thernström 14/10/2011
98 Quick Cache PriMoThemes.com / WebSharks, Inc. 04/12/2011
99 Relevanssi – A Better Search Mikko Saari 11/02/2012
100 WP-Stats-Dashboard Dave Ligthart 23/02/2012

There you have it folks — an enormous list of completely free plugins for you to experiment with. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention the offerings we have over at the WPMU Dev premium plugin directory. We may be biased, but the directory was built in order to serve up plugins that surpass the offerings on WordPress.org in terms of both quality and support. With that in mind, it’s well worth checking out. Enjoy!

Creative Commons photo courtesy of [F]oxymoron

Comments (69)

  1. Where is Magic Fields?

    WPMU should create a competing cms pluggin, I can’t for the life of me figure out why it hasn’t been done… (let me know if it has ;)

    Magic Fields changed my web design / development life…

    • Hey Scott,

      Magic Fields didn’t have enough ratings to make the list…thanks for mentioning it though. Who knows what the WPMU DEV team are cooking up at the moment – I know that they are working on some huge projects…

      Cheers,

      Tom

  2. Blech! These are just downloaded a lot, I don’t consider that “the top”. That means the features are in demand, whether the plugins work reliably or not (the fact that wp e-commerce is in the list is proof of that). Subscribe2 doesn’t include an opt-out link in the emails, basically making it’s use a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.

    • Hello Valerie,

      I hate to break to you, but generally speaking, the most downloaded plugins are the top ones. It’s a market economy – for the most part, the best rise to the top. You can point out exceptions, but I think that this list is highly useful to a lot of people.

      Since you don’t like the list, perhaps it might be constructive of you to suggest some plugins that you think should be on it? That would certainly help people :-)

      Cheers,

      Tom

  3. Thanks for the list! I see a lot of plugins I’m using right now and which are on my own “hit list” of WordPress Plugins.
    http://www.web-development-blog.com/wordpress-plugins/

    I do not agree with the rankings (is this based one the number of downloads?) For example “Relevanssi”, a much better search function for WordPress ranks on #99 while the “Addthis” plugin ranks on #62. From the functionality and complexity are these plugins from two different worlds.
    A second example is the number #1 a great sitemap plugin. While the sitemap included in WordPress SEO by Yoast is more advanced, is Yoast’s SEO plugin “only” on rank #5.

    Maybe the author of this list doesn’t tried all all of them? ;)

    • That’s a good list Olaf – I’ll let you off the blatant plug ;-)

      The list was filtered by age and compatibility, then sorted by downloads, with some manual removals based upon ratings.

      It is impossible to put together a list of 100 of anything without people picking fault; I like to look at the bigger picture :-)

      • Hi Tom, thanks for keeping my link ;)
        Yes you’re right there always a better list, but like your latest list of WordPress related site, there is always more.
        Do you have an idea why WooCommerce is missing? The plugin is listed on wp.org, has 79K of downloads and recent updates.
        Is this a kind of conflict between Woo and WPMU? (just guessing)

  4. What the other folks are saying about the headline being misleading is spot on. The most downloaded is not the same thing as the best. In many cases the ones with the most downloads are merely the ones that have been around the longest, and have thus collected more downloads that others.

    This is just a lazy collection link bait post. No helpful information at all.

      • “Lazy” posts don’t typically take a few hours to put together :-)

        Rather than just stating how terrible the list is, perhaps you could suggest an alternative (better, in your opinion) means of compiling 100 top WordPress plugins? But then again, I have a feeling you might not have been here to offer constructive criticism…

        And like John said, if you had any suggestions as to what plugins should have featured in the top 100 that didn’t, it would be most appreciated.

        • I don’t see why you keep asking people to suggest plugins for your “Top 100″ list, when your criteria effectively predetermines what the “top” plugins are. What’s the point of suggesting, since if they don’t have the requisite downloads and ratings, they won’t make the list, no matter how good they are?

          I agree with others who have said that “top” does not equal “most downloaded”. To me, “top” means “best”. What you have here is The 100 Most Popular WordPress Plugins Which Are Listed in the WP Plugins Repository and Have Enough Ratings to Qualify. The fact that there are many plugins not on the list which are better at doing the same thing as many of the plugins which are on the list proves that these are not the “Top Plugins” for a person’s site. WP E-Commerce at #16? That’s just grim. I hope no one makes the mistake of endowing that rank with meaning.

          I’m not saying this list isn’t helpful–it’s just not what you’re claiming it is.

          And before you ask–no, I don’t have any suggestions for the list. What would be the point? The formula is what the formula is.

          • Hi Lance,

            Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe I have asked anyone to suggest plugins for the Top 100 list. I have asked people to suggest what they think *should* have included, but that it something altogether different.

            I’m asking people to suggest plugins because I plan to publish a follow up to this post showcasing those suggestions (call it “the people’s choice”, if you will). Since a few people feel that the list has some key omissions, it would make sense to put them together into a post.

            With all due respect, “The 100 Most Popular WordPress Plugins Which Are Listed in the WP Plugins Repository and Have Enough Ratings to Qualify” is probably a bit too wordy to use as a headline. You put forward an argument based upon semantics and subjective opinion. So all I can do is respectfully disagree with you, as you can (I hope) with me.

            Like I said before, it is very easy to poke holes in a list of this scale. What perhaps is more constructive is to suggest a better way of doing it, which I would welcome with open arms.

            Cheers,

            Tom

  5. Awesome list Tom! S2member is one of my favorites!

    I’d also recommend a practical plugin that could help WP owners convert the site to a mobile website / iphone/droid responsive, they claim it as the most popular, easy to use, mobile plugin: WPtouch.

    I’ve installed WPtouch on my blog and on a dozen of different sites, it really did improved a lot compared to previous versions. Also, I agree with another user about Woocommerce plugin, it definitively should be on this list next time, they just hit 100k downloads. The changelog is probably updated every month.

    Good work and hope I can contribute to the list/post next time!

    Serg
    sdbwebsolutions

  6. Wow, this list is terrible. What did you do, just go to WordPress.org and copy and paste the most downloaded/highly rated list?

    Most WordPress Developers (like myself) won’t touch or even think of using half of the Plugins listed here. Quality is not determined by popularity and definitely by the lack of experience that most WordPress users have. What happens on WordPress.org is that popular plugins get downloaded a lot because new users don’t know what is good or bad, so they jump on the bandwagon and go with the flow.

    I would expect a better list from you guys here than this.

    • Do not grate the guy really appreciate his work he has done and offer helpful suggestions for a future posts.

      How do you rate and base your plugins? I take author into account and how many times it has been downloaded how many plugins he/she on repo.

      Maybe a list of top authors and there plugins a smaller list would work here I think.

      ” a lot because new users don’t know what is good or bad” I think you started at this point sometime everyone had to…….myself included.

      Thats why the new fav plugins list feature will help and clear up bad plugins from the repo within a couple of years.

      Just my 2cents great list man

      • Hi Sadiq,

        The list was a compilation of only recently updated and WordPress 3.0+ compatible plugins, sorted by a combination of the number of downloads and ratings. Plugins without a predetermined number of ratings were excluded from the list.

        Cheers,

        Tom

  7. No, Michael.

    The list was a compilation of only recently updated and WordPress 3.0+ compatible plugins, sorted by a combination of the number of downloads and ratings.

    I hate to break to you, but generally speaking, the most downloaded plugins are the top ones. It’s a market economy – for the most part, the best rise to the top. You can point out exceptions, but I think that this list is highly useful to a lot of people.

    Rather than just stating how terrible the list is, perhaps you could suggest an alternative (better, in your opinion) means of compiling 100 top WordPress plugins? But then again, I have a feeling you might not have been here to offer constructive criticism…

    Like I said before, it is very easy to poke holes in a list of this scale. What perhaps is more constructive is to suggest a better way of doing it, which I would welcome with open arms.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  8. Hi Tom, and WPMU – my first time to WPMU,

    First, great for making the list. Got some great stuff in it … :-) But:

    Confused about this list. It’s not clear what it’s doing. Yoast SEO duplicates All in One SEO and Platinum SEO does more than All in One… but can’t see it on the list… (its an updated version of All in One so far as I know) Far more useful to me, to pick ONE plug in per use, tell us why that one is best… and also to give a brief explanation of WHY each plug in in your list is there :-)

    WP Supercache made massive chunks of my record label site http://intelligentaudio.net just not load, AT ALL – you could click on the links in recent posts, or anywhere – even in my main nav bar – and it would just say page not found – soon as I disabled it, worked great – I will NEVER EVER touch that plug in again, yet its high on the list, confused why??!

    It’s important to note how much processing power each plug in uses – by that I mean :

    Both how long your site will take to load when a visitor comes to your site AND also how much bandwidth is it using from your server to serve your content to this visitor – too much bandwidth and its not good, too long to load and its not good – I’m sure lots of people reading this will have seen that some social sharing plug ins MASSIVELY slow down site loading times – well, this is why – you can check on http://gtmetrix.com and it tells you good tips to improve loading speed – you can try turning off all your plug ins and enabling them one by one to see which ones hog the load times…!

    also google is placing more importance on loading times to their rankings…

    … there is a plug in called P3 something (type P3 in the wordpress plug ins search bar it will come up) – it’s made by godaddy, I can’t vouch for its efficiency and/or processor load time itself –

    ..and it will tell you your site load speed and how much % of that is taken up by all of the plug ins you have currently installed on your blog.

    A LOT of these plug ins listed above will take a LOT of load time. You need to be a bit aware of this. I just recently had all my 15 ish sites switched off by Hostgator on my shared hosting with NO WARNING WHATSOEVER – I’ve switched hosts now!

    I was running nothing out of the ordinary, Platinum Seo, XML sitemaps, Akismet, etc – I think this is something to be VERY aware of… not something to spend ages working out either, especially if you only run one site or 2 on a shared hosting – but putting it out there…

    Suggesting a top 100 plug ins to me would suggest the more plug ins you use on your blog the better – and this is most definitely NOT the case. I think you could make it clearer that these are to be used sparingly as and when needed. There are some great staples like Akismet, and others you need to figure out if you REALLY need them or not…

    I hope this helps people, I discuss stuff like this and more on my own blog http://help-pay-bills.com :-)

    Have a great weekend everyone – and I will defo check out *some* of these listed, there’s always new stuff coming out and its always good to learn :-) Cheers! Clare x

    • Hey Clare,

      As stated in the post:

      “We have extracted all available data from the WordPress Plugin Directory and sorted it to bring you a list of the top 100 plugins for your WordPress site. These plugins have all been updated within the last 12 months, and are listed as being compatible with WordPress v3.0 and up (most of them are compatible with v3.3.x).”

      And as stated earlier in the comments:

      “The list was a compilation of only recently updated and WordPress 3.0+ compatible plugins, sorted by a combination of the number of downloads and ratings. Plugins without a predetermined number of ratings were excluded from the list.”

      So that is what the list is doing :-) arguments against some of the plugins are duly noted, but from earlier in the comments:

      “Generally speaking, the most downloaded plugins are the top ones. It’s a market economy – for the most part, the best rise to the top. You can point out exceptions, but I think that this list is highly useful to a lot of people.”

      If you don’t see a plugin in the list, it is because it hasn’t achieved enough ratings, and/or a high enough rating, and/or has not been updated recently and/or is not compatible with WordPress 3.0+. It’s not a manually picked list, nor is it masquerading as one. A list such as this will draw its detractors, as would a manually picked list of the same name. So you just have to roll with the punches ;-)

      The plugin you’re talking about is Plugin Performance Profiler – I’ve reviewed and mentioned it on multiple occasions, but perhaps the most pertinent mention I have made can be found here: http://managewp.com/plugin-performance-profiler/.

      I think stating that “a lot” (i.e. the majority) of the plugins in the list will take “a lot” of load time is a wild generalization, although I’d welcome evidence to the contrary. As for your issues with Hostgator, I doubt very much that had to do with plugin load time.

      As for the old using too many plugins argument, it’s a myth. See here: http://managewp.com/wordpress-plugins-how-many/. There is no such thing as “too many” plugins – there certainly *is* such a thing as “too many bloated/inefficient/insecure/malicious” plugins. You could have 60 highly efficient plugins and 10 poorly-coded plugins, and they might offer up the same total load time.

      Cheers,

      Tom

  9. Hi Tom,
    I am so new to this but am already amazed to all that WORDPRESS has to offer to us newbies. Just a simple suggestion/question. Will the DICTIONARY BOX widget be available to WORDPRESS.com blogs. That would come in very handy to us language teachers who have blogs for our students.
    Cheers

  10. I see that in this 100 wordpress plugins there are no plugins that refer to any video chat, and this is disappointing for me. These days a proper communication and entertainment are essential to a community. Why don’t you try to bring more people on your site with a video chat plugin for WordPress from AVChat Software. Of course , even if the chat is awesome , it can’t do miracles if it’s not used at it’s proper value. Try making shows every once a week, put some interesting videos in the chat, engage your users to use more and more the chat and after a while they will come to your website just for this interactivity and experience that only your site can offer. And they will bring other friends too. So why not try and enhance their experience with the new WordPress video chat from AVChat. You can check it at http://avchat.net/integrations/wordpress

  11. Good list. Three plugins that are default on about every WordPress install I do are: 1) Yoast SEO 2) W3 Total Cache 3) Widget Logic. Although I was a bit surprised not to see Gravity Forms on the list. I’ve tested several form plugins on my site http://alexdeckard.com and keep coming back to Gravity Forms as the best solution.

  12. Just wondering, have you heard of Max Foundry? If so, what are your thoughts? I don’t think it’s been around very long but I know it has plug-ins for WordPress. I would appreciate your input. Thanks a bunch!!

  13. Good article Tom, as for as chat plugins are concern my vote will be for “FCChat Widget”, it is not self hosted but have excellent features like text chat, video conferencing and instant messaging, i have use it and find it very comfortable for me, by the way nice recommendations i have read, Thanks for sharing

  14. Hi there,
    Great article! Have you ever considered a list of plugins that pimps up the dashboard?

    For example: I’m looking desperately for a plugin that enables my customers – from the dashboard – to track progress in regards to completing different tasks (that I define) e.g. ‘add some pages’ would give 10% on the progress bar, ‘connect to facebook’ 5% etc.

    I’m looking for something like this:

    http://oneclevercode.com/accordion/

    Is it a plugin and if so which or does this specific bar have a name that I’m not aware of?

    Cheers and thanks for your help,
    M

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