30 Most Popular WordPress Plugins Based on the Number of Downloads in 2016

Updated: 2017-09-05 / Article by: Christopher Jan Benitez

Usage statistics show that WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) today. Powering over 26% of the entire web, it’s clearly a favorite amongst bloggers, web designers, and online entrepreneurs.

While there are enough reasons to choose WordPress to write a book, we’ll focus on just one component that makes the CMS special – the myriad of plugins that make site-building easy and fun.

Below are thirty of the most downloaded and highly rated plugins you should consider when building and hosting your WordPress website:

1. JetPack

Visit online: JetPack

Whether you want a personal blog or eCommerce online store, JetPack is an essential plugin that can help you optimize your site, boost your traffic, improve your security, and more.


2. WP Page Navi

Visit online: WP-PageNavi

WP-PageNavi allows you to customize your WordPress site’s pagination links. It does, however, require you to replace a few bits of code via Appearance > Editor upon setting up.


3. WordFence Security

Visit online: Wordfence Security

Security is a very serious issue, especially for WordPress websites that utilize a lot of moving parts. Wordfence Security is an all-in-one plugin that will help you protect your site’s integrity.


4. Contact Form 7

Visit online: Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a simple and flexible plugin that allows you to create quick contact forms using HTML.  You can then insert these forms to any page via shortcode.


5. WooCommerce

Visit online: WooCommerce

If you’re planning to start an online store with WordPress, then WooCommerce is the plugin for you. It walks you through the entire process – from configuring your checkout pages to setting your shipping rates.


6. Google XML Sitemaps

Visit online: Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps is an essential plugin for SEO that helps web crawlers navigate your site and index its pages.


7. WP Super Cache

Visit online: WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is an essential caching plugin that works by generating static html files for your website. Through caching, you can boost the loading speed of your page for most of your visitors.


8. Yoast SEO

Visit online: Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a popular plugin that can help you with on-page optimization. It helps detect issues, generate sitemaps, and provide recommendations that can improve your site’s rankings.


9. Really Simple CAPTCHA

Visit online: Really Simple CAPTCHA

Really Simple CAPTCHA is another simple plugin that can help protect your site from spammers. It integrates automatically with contact form plugins like Contact Form 7.


10. Akismet

Visit online: Akismet

Akismet is another plugin that can help prevent spam. It automatically scans and filters all shady comments for manual review.


11. Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

Visit online: Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

With MonsterInsights, you can easily integrate Google Analytics with your WordPress site. However, you still need to verify your site through your Google account before you can start tracking analytics data.


12. SiteOrigin

Visit online: SiteOrigin Page Builder

The SiteOrigin Page Builder plugin words by adding a drag and drop interface in the page editor. You can build a new page from the ground up or use a pre-built layout to save time.


13. Duplicate Post

Visit online: Duplicate Post

Duplicate Post is a simple plugin that creates copies of posts or pages. It adds a “Copy to new draft” button on the editor.


14. Regenerate Thumbnails

Visit online: Regenerate Thumbnails

Regenerate Thumbnails is a handy tool that can recreate all thumbnails for your media uploads. This is useful if you’ve recently changed the thumbnail settings from Settings > Media.


15. Clef Two-Factor Authentication

Visit online: Clef Two-Factor Authentication

Clef Two-Factor Authentication allows you to login to your WordPress account using your phone. It utilizes an RSA public-key cryptosystem to protect your website from hackers.


16. UpdraftPlus

Visit online: UpdraftPlus

As a failsafe, make sure you have backups that will help you recover from unexpected problems. With UpdraftPlus, you can easily create or schedule automated backups for added security.


17. Disable Comments

Visit online: Disable Comments

If you want to disable comments for your entire site, you can simply use Disable Comments without worrying about individual post settings.


18. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

Visit online: Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

With Black Studio TinyMCE Widget, you can easily add rich text, media attachments, and other content elements in sidebars.


19. Meta Slider

Visit online: Meta Slider

Sliders aren’t as popular as they used to be, but they can still be used to spice up your web design. Just be sure to use a trusted plugin like Meta Slider for the best effect.


20. Ninja Forms

Visit online: Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms installs a drag and drop form editor into your WordPress installation. It’s a user-friendly plugin that can guide you every step of the way.


21. Shortcodes Ultimate

Visit online: Shortcodes Ultimate

Shortcodes Ultimate provides your site with an assortment of visual elements such as buttons, tabs, content boxes, and carousels. The plugin integrates with the built-in post editor so you can quickly choose which shortcode to use on the fly.


22. Breadcrumb NavXT

Visit online: Breadcrumb NavXT

With Breadcrumb NavXT, you can provide your visitors with navigational links to help them determine where they are. Once installed, you need to paste a simple ‘div’ code to where you want the “breadcrumb” trail to appear.


23. WP Smush

Visit online: WP Smush

Take note that using images can slow your site down, especially if you load them up into a single page or fail to scale them to an appropriate size. With WP Smush, you can easily compress your images to improve your site’s performance without compromising quality.


24. WP Mail SMTP

Visit online: WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP allows you to use SMTP and access advanced options for your site’s email function. To use the plugin, go to Settings > Email from your dashboard. You can also send a test email to check if your configuration works.


25. WP-Optimize

Visit online: WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is a useful plugin that cleans and optimizes your WordPress database. It creates a unified interface in your dashboard where you can perform cleanup actions.


26. Image Widget

Visit online: Image Widget

This simple plugin allows you to create and use image widgets on your site. These widgets automatically align and resize even on mobile devices. You can also add a title, description, and link to make them more interactive.

image-widget 27. TablePress

Visit online: TablePress
Traditionally, you can create tables in your WordPress posts using HTML. But with TablePress all you have to do is use the visual editor.


28. The Events Calendar

Visit online: The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar plugin allows you to create interactive pages for events like promotions, parties, and seminars. Simply use the visual interface to fill in the details and publish your event.


29. WP Maintenance Mode

Visit online: WP Maintenance Mode

Doing a website makeover? Using WP Maintenance Mode, you can easily create temporary, “under construction” pages to let your visitors know.


30. User Role Editor

Visit online: User Role Editor

By default, WordPress has five user roles – administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber. User Role Editor allows you to modify the permissions of each user type. You are also free to create new roles with unique permissions.



With WordPress plugins, there are endless possibilities on the kind of websites you can create. Be sure to plan ahead so the components of your site form a single, cohesive experience. You can refer to this post for more plugins that can help you optimize for conversions.

About Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional freelance writer who provides small businesses with content that engages their audience and increases conversion. If you are looking for high-quality articles about anything related to digital marketing, then he's your guy! Feel free to say "hi" to him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.