Top 10 WordPress Plugin Developers

Christmas! New Year! Cthulhu!As the year is coming to an end, perhaps it’s time for a different kind of “Top X” post. Instead of a list of new WP plugins to try out, here are the top plugin authors – the brilliant people who create outstanding tools and share them with the WordPress community.

The list is ranked by the number of downloads from the plugin directory. Also check out the big Top 1000 table.

  1. Michael Torbert
    961 306 downloads. Co-author of All In One SEO Pack (originally created by Uberdose).
  2. Matt Mullenweg
    921 827 downloads. Everybody knows Matt, the main WP dev and author of Akismet.
  3. Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan
    775 220 downloads. Author of WP-Polls and other cool plugins.
  4. Arne Brachhold
    628 350 downloads. Author of Google XML Sitemaps, etc.
  5. Andy Skelton
    449 345 downloads. Author of Stats. Another dedicated hacker.
  6. Alex Rabe
    429 705 downloads. Author of NextGEN Gallery, etc.
  7. Oliver Seidel
    361 918 downloads. Author of cforms II.
  8. Joost de Valk
    328 036 downloads. Author of Sociable, Google Analytics for WP and numerous other tools.
  9. Donncha O Caoimh
    246 752 downloads. Author of WP Super Cache and other assorted plugins.
  10. Vladimir Prelovac
    244 963 downloads. Author of Smart YouTube, various SEO plugins, and more.

Special Mentions

  • Most plugins by a single author : Viper007Bond has 25 plugins hosted on
  • Highest version number : cforms II version 9.4 by Oliver Seidel. This plugin also has the highest number of user ratings – 419 votes.
  • Longest plugin name : Sliding Post – Slides latest posts with Carousel effect (55 characters) by dasinfomedia
  • Shortest plugin name : mu by Mark Bockenstedt. That’s not WordPress MU – “mu” is an obscure microblog updater plugin.


I got the source data by using the mostly undocumented plugin API. First I downloaded all the plugin metadata I could get, which turned out to be 3688 plugin records. Then, with some simple SQL magic, I found all distinct authors (2190 unique names) and how many plugin downloads each author has. You can see a selection of the results above.

Granted, the aggregate stats may not be entirely accurate. For example, if a plugin had the “Author” field set to “John Smith and Jane Doe”, it would be treated as a new, distinct author and wouldn’t count towards the download total of either John or Jane. Perhaps that’s not such a big problem anyway 😛

I’m #37, yay?

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76 Responses to “Top 10 WordPress Plugin Developers”

  1. White Shadow says:

    The problem with that is that to update the list I have to do one HTTP request per each plugin, which takes a while on my crappy connection. I could update it weekly if enough people care.

    Partial API doc is here. I might write something myself next week.

  2. White Shadow says:

    Or maybe not. According to this thread, somebody might already be working on the documentation.

  3. Matt says:

    Awesome. Thanks for the help.

  4. Matt says:

    Ok, so the API call has 2 POST calls: action & body. The documentation (if you can call it that) claims that action is a string, whereas body is a serialized object. The code below is passed into cURL. Any ideas why it’s not recognizing the body properties (‘popular’, 100)?

    $body->browse = ‘popular’;
    $body->per_page = 100;
    $data = ‘action=query_plugins&body=’ . serialize($body);

  5. […] upon cumulative downloads, White Shadow offers the Top 10 WordPress Plugin Developers within the WordPress Plugin […]

  6. […] created the most sought-after WordPress plugins for 2008. Fortunately, has compiled a list of the top WordPress plugin developers using rankings from the number of downloads from the plugin […]

  7. matt says:

    Hey — found a way to get all the necessary stats data in one API call:

    {include path to wp-config.php}

    $args = (object) array(‘browse’ => ‘popular’, ‘page’ => 1, ‘per_page’ => 2000, ‘fields’ => array(‘downloaded’ => true, ‘description’ => false, ‘sections’ => false, ‘tested’ => false, ‘homepage’ => false, ‘rating’ => false));
    $data = array(‘body’ => array(‘action’ => ‘query_plugins’, ‘request’ => serialize($args)));
    $request = wp_remote_post($api_url, $data);
    $object = unserialize($request[‘body’]);
    $plugins = $object->plugins;

    Here’s an example of it working (“per_page” is set to 200):

    It’ll require a little tweaking, but 1 API call sure beats 4000 🙂

  8. White Shadow says:

    Nice. I’ve updated the Top 1000 list 🙂

  9. Mus_ says:

    great people…

  10. […] is a nice list I found the other day. W-Shadow has put up a top 10 list of the best WordPress plugin developers of 2008, based on plugin […]

  11. aLee says:

    great.. wordpress rocks!!
    even corporate companies are switching to wordpress.. simply amazing!

  12. I am honored to have Vladimir Prelovac as friend !!

    Just to let you know that he is great decent, but genius guy !

    I was also using his plug-in wp-wall for online chat on wordpress, on one site with huge community, and I must tell you, it works great, and on the other side, in this several months he made additional improvements from my suggestions, without problems.

    Stay the way you are man !!!

    “BRAVO CIMERU !!!! :)”

    Sincerelly, Alex, Ceo of, online t-shirt shop

  13. saravanakumar says:

    nice articles.thanks

  14. Top 3 WordPress Plugins Developer…

    I am ranked among the Top 10 WordPress Plugins Developers. I am ranked 3rd to be precise based on the number of downloads for all my 17 plugins hosted on the official WordPress Plugins repository.
    Source:’s Blog: Top 10 WordPress Plu…

  15. Fu4ny says:

    I think you should use a better spam catcher :).
    Try to ban the spammer IP

  16. White Shadow says:

    Indeed. I had a better one but it slowed down the site too much :/

  17. rap dinle says:

    Thanks for help!

  18. Sandy says:

    Top Stuff
    Im enjoying this site. Please keep up the great stuff.
    Sandy Woong

  19. […] new odyssey in WordPress Plugin production as he moves his way to the top of the list as one of the most prolific WordPress Plugin authors in the WordPress Plugin Directory, giving the likes of Michael Torbert, Matt Mullenweg, Lester […]

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