Creating a WordPress plugin is a compound process. Not only do you need to write the WordPress plugin from scratch, but you also have an excellent idea for it.

Ideally, it should be unique – after all, you want to fill a niche in the market, and it requires oodles of your time and dedication. But, unquestionably, you will need to analyze the market for that.

So what else should you do to compete successfully in the WordPress Plugin repository once your plugin is ready?

This article will discuss the best, unfailing five ways to do it right without spending too much time or a dime. 

Competing in the WordPress Plugin Repository

Competing in the WordPress Plugin Repository

There is something unique about the WordPress Plugins Repository. It is where you can find the most extensive WordPress plugin list exposed in one place.

Besides that, it is easy to manage and requires little marketing effort. By placing your plugin in the WordPress Plugin repository, you will get to be known by a significant amount of potential future users.

It is the repository with the largest (and incredibly engaged!) community.

The WordPress ecosystem provides its users with thousands of plugins that offer remarkable levels of functionality.

Whereas when it comes to WordPress developers, they can use it to quickly and efficiently market their plugins. All this makes worthy of being called the king of all repositories.

And who doesn’t want to be recognizable and well ranked in the kingdom? 

Albeit, you will need to carry out a number of actions for this to happen. They are not only related to improvements you can perform within your plugin itself but also to your competitor’s behavior.

Competitor Analysis Tools

Choosing the right plugin competitor analysis tool will save your time and gain an edge over your competitors in the WordPress Plugin repository. But what’s just as important, it will guide you.

If you want to beat your competitors, you will have to become familiar with their data, statistics, and trends they follow while implementing their strategy. 

A good analysis tool will be an invaluable help for that. Put yourself in the hands of professionals in this field and let them help you. 

Contrary to what you might think, there are few tools available on the market that will help you analyze the market and improve your plugin rank. All that, without spending a fortune on it.

I’m very pleased to tell you that Active Installs has it all. And yes, it’s free, so just give it a try.

Active Installs

Active Installs is a free WordPress plugin competitor analysis tool.

Active Installs – a powerful plugin analysis tool – Having said all that, this is what you get using this tool:

Charts, charts, and more charts:

  • Active Installs progress (percentage and numeric).
  • The number of downloads per week.
  • Time to reach the milestone.
  • Average rating in the WordPress Plugin repository.
  • The number of ratings per month.
  • Plugin rank based on tags.

Tags and keywords stats:

  • Tags that led to your plugin.
  • Tag position for plugins.
  • Plugin rank based on tags.

Competitor analysis:

  • Competitors comparison.
  • Suggested competitors.
  • Competitors browser.
Active Installs Plugin Dashboard

Active Installs is an amazingly complete and, at the same time, free WordPress plugin competitor analysis tool.

It aims to help you increase the popularity of your plugin in the WordPress Plugin repository by providing you with relevant charts and information you will struggle to find elsewhere on your own.

However, even the best tool won’t do all the work if you don’t know where to start and what to take into account while trying to beat your competition.

Ways To Compete in the WordPress Plugin Repository

Let’s cut to the chase. Sure, there are loads of ways to compete in the repository successfully. It all depends on your needs and goals. Make sure you define them first! 

Nevertheless, if you want to increase the popularity of your plugin in the WordPress repository, strive to get as many active installations as possible and recognition among other plugins.

This is what you will have to do:

Keep an Eye on Your Competitor’s Plugin Stats

First and foremost, scope out the field. You need to know where you stand and always be mindful of your competitor. 

Are you sure you know their strategy? Do you know what they are up to in the upcoming weeks or months? Do you know their trigger points?

The reason to know these matters is simple. Stay one step ahead and solve your competitor’s pain points. Make sure you are the first to implement innovations in your field and do it better than your competitors. 

Keep an Eye on Your Competitor’s Plugin Stats.

I guess you might already know what will come in handy at this point, right? First and foremost – analyze your competitor’s stats.

You won’t get far without data study. After all, your actions must be based primarily on rigid facts. It is the first step while assessing your competitor analysis.

Firstly, go to the Competitors tab. Here you can either add your competitor’s name or slug (from the WordPress Plugin repository) or choose one from the list of suggested plugins. Just like this:

Use Active Installs for your competitor analysis.

Once you’ve done that, you can easily compare your and your competitor’s plugin. You can select any time period and add multiple plugins to the graphs at once. 

This is an example of competitor analysis using the Active Installs competitor analysis app:

Active Installs Plugin Comparison

Update Constantly

No one wants to use an outdated product, especially if the health of one’s website, and therefore one’s own business, depends on it. So what do you think is more likely to happen: 

Will the user choose a plugin updated a year ago or a month ago? There is no other way to adapt to the market’s tremendous volatility. Introduce new features and keep your users informed about them.

Don’t forget to include information about the newly made updates in the description of your plugin. And of course, I think I don’t need to mention this again – follow your competitor’s most recent updates. 

  • Use Active Installs to check your competitor’s plugin updates.

Yes, this is another case where this app will work. Go to the Plugin Stats tab and scroll down until you see the Number of downloads per week chart.

The graph below shows the number of downloads on a weekly basis. Can you see the peaks? It is where we can assume an update has been released:

Number of downloads per week chart.

This graph beats words to explain the importance of having your plugin constantly updated.

Make sure your product is always up to date by innovating and constantly implementing breakthrough improvements. When doing so, be guided by your users’ opinions. Please don’t ignore them!

After all, they’re the ones who put their trust in you when choosing the right plugin to enrich their WordPress website. So who better than them will know what new key features your plugin is missing?

Listen to your plugin’s users and try to make them happy.

Improve Your Social Proof

Nothing convinces a future user to download a plugin like excellent reviews. The impeccable feedback of other users and verified user experience can largely contribute to the increase of your plugin downloads. 

When other people approve of a product or service, future consumers are more likely to buy it. In addition, the result of excellent reviews and an excellent online reputation inspires confidence, which results in future sales.  

Improve Your Social Proof.

We can apply the same logic when choosing the right plugin. Our mind tends to think that if many people want something, we should automatically consider buying it too.

Your plugin’s first impression of your potential customers is essential. They will decide just then, and your plugin’s fate will be in their hands.

Nothing will impress them as much as your plugin’s excellent reviews. They want to know what other users think about your plugin. Thus, you should make sure to get plenty of positive feedback!

  • Use Active Installs to check a plugin’s average rating.

Yep, you can also do that in the app. Go to the Plugin Stats tab and then scroll down to the Number of ratings per month chart:

Use Active Installs to check a plugin’s average rating.

This chart will show you the evolution in the average plugin rating over any period of time chosen by you. The number of reviews received is displayed on a color scale, with red being the worst possible 1-star rating and green being the best possible 5-star rating.

In this way, the graph is consistent, and you can easily verify the successfulness of the plugin among its users at a glance.

This chart is user-friendly and intuitive. It was created intentionally to assist the developer in making it as easy as possible to evaluate their own plugin or one that belongs to their competitor.

Refine Your SEO

Refine Your SEO

As you can most likely suppose, the vast majority of queries that hit the WordPress Plugin repository search engine are based on keywords and tags.

Only a small percentage of WordPress users know exactly what plugin they are looking for by typing the name into the search bar.

The other type is the main keyword, also known as a tag, which is supposed to lead the user to find the right plugin. Tags assist in finding your plugin in the WordPress repository.

Your plugin’s search is based on the first five tags you’ve selected to describe it. If you do it right, users can find and download it easily.

Consequently, it is a must that the name of your plugin is as well-optimized as possible. So take your time choosing it. If done correctly, you can rest assured that you will reach a large number of potential customers. 

However, this is not all you should do in this regard. Don’t forget to write a gripping description. And, of course, it should be SEO-friendly. Those few sentences lead the user directly to hit the “Show more” button.

Ensure you have done excellent keyword research and used the most relevant tags beforehand. Then, your plugin can be more in demand and visible in the WordPress Plugin repository if you add them.

  • Use Active Installs for a better tag selection.

If you need to work on this issue, go to the Tags Stats tab and familiarize yourself with both Plugin rank based on tags and Tags, leading to your plugin charts. It is a real treasure trove of knowledge for those who need to improve their ranking based on tags. 

It is beneficial and easy.

Use Active Installs for a better tag selection.
Active Installs - Tags which led to your plugin.

Create a Memorable Logo

Last but not least: create a strong brand identity by creating a one-of-a-kind logo. It will perfectly complement the description you have made and the product itself.

As one of the first interactions potential customers have with your business, your logo is a great way to make a strong first impression, demonstrate your quality service, and visually communicate your purpose. 

Design your logo to be memorable.

First and foremost, design your logo to be memorable. If you don’t put any effort into it, and your logo doesn’t stand out from the other logos out there, you can be sure that you will lose a large part of the traffic that could potentially be yours. 

After all, you did your best beforehand by creating a unique product that fills a niche in the market, right? Don’t forget that to do this; you had to perform prior meticulous market research. Add the time you spent on competitor analysis, gripping description, and so forth. Don’t let it all slip away.

A consciously created, outstanding logo will be the perfect icing on the cake to complete the production cycle of your plugin. You may seem like a minor element, but you can trust me – the devil is in the details. 


I hope you enjoyed this article and managed to get something out of it. I intended to show you how easy it is to successfully compete in the free WordPress Plugin repository if you develop a strategy first. 

As a general rule, I assume that if there are competitor analyzing tools available out there, why shouldn’t they be used as a bit of an aid? 

Active Installs definitely comes in handy in situations like this and can easily be your guide in increasing your plugin rank.

It has proven itself in the scenarios I have described above, and I’m sure you can use it in many others too. It just all depends on your needs and imagination! 

Take this app for a test spin, and let me know what you think of it and how it was useful for your plugin development.

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About the Author

Dorota Ingielewicz


Dorota Ingielewicz is an marketing Ranger at WP Desk. she is interested in content writing, online marketing, and advertisements of all kinds.

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