Plugins can greatly extend the functionality and usability of your WordPress website – and the best way to measure the best plugins against the rest is to see which are being rated the most highly – and receiving the most downloads – by other users.
You might be surprised that some of the most popular and well-reviewed plugins are among those you might not have even heard of before, particularly if you’re a user who is still relatively new to upping the ante on your WordPress functionality and user experience.
Here’s a selection of five of the most popular WordPress plugins currently available, which you may not have already stumbled across.
Suffering spam bloat on your blog? Akismet is designed to check your comments against the Akismet web service to determine their spam rating, allowing you to easily filter out spam comments and save admin time. Ideal for WP users dealing with spam issues in their comments.
WordPress’ own Matt Mullenweg is an author of this plugin, which has an average user rating of 4.1/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 15,500,000 times.
Contact Form 7 might describe itself as ‘just another contact form plugin’, but its popularity illustrates it is anything but. Designed to be simple but flexible, this plugin is capable of managing multiple contact forms simultaneously, and allows users to fully customise their forms with simple markup.
Ideal for users looking for an effective multilingual feedback or contact form solution, this plugin has an average user rating of 4.3/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 11,700,000 times.
Is SEO important to you? Want to improve your search engine rankings and increase your organic search traffic? Google XML Sitemaps is designed to help search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing better index your blog, and supports all kinds of WordPress posts and custom URLs.
An good choice for users who want search engines to be notified every time you create a new post, this plugin has an average user rating of 4.7/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 10,000,000 times.
One of the highest-rating plugins around designed specifically for web developers, Advanced Custom Fields allows users to fully customise edit screens for more flexible data like other popular CMS. Using this plugin, you’ll be able to take full control of your edit screens and custom field data, making it an ideal option for professional WordPress developers and web designers, and users with more advanced technical knowledge.
Advanced Custom Fields has an average user rating of 4.9/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times.
Looking for a caching plugin to improve your overall user experience and page speed? W3 Total Cache offers easy web performance optimisation using caching, reducing download times and providing transparent content delivery network integration.
A great option for all WordPress users wanting to offer the best possible web experience to their audience, this plugin has an average user rating of 4.6/5 stars, and has been downloaded more than 2,300,000 times.