Last month, WordPress.org removed the active install growth chart from plugins, upsetting plugin authors and leaving them with very little meaningful data. The Meta team is working to make more accurate and useful data available to plugin developers, but this will require some work. Meanwhile, the team behind AyeCode, creator of the GeoDirectory plugin, has created a tool to help plugin developers get an idea of how their plugins rank.
“The list of popular plugins is still there (and hopefully it won't be removed or altered),” AyeCode co-founder Paolo Tajani said il ticket which requires restoring the growth charts of the active installation. “As far as I know, the active install count is the only ranking factor on the popular plugin list. I know it's not ideal, but it is what it is, and that's all we have.
Since wp.org only shows 99 pages (the first plug-ins from 1980), we quickly created a site to provide those basic stats to all plug-in authors.
The WP Rankings website AyeCode launched a week after the retirement of the active install growth chart data. Shows whether a plug-in is in a higher or lower position than the day before and how many positions it has to climb to reach the next milestone. The homepage shows the "top 50 ranking climbers”Of the day, which can be filtered based on the number of active installations. All data is updated daily.
AyeCode built the site using the GeoDirectory plugin, the Blockstrap theme, and custom code to retrieve the data from the WordPress.org API.
“We also wanted to show how easily GeoDirectory can handle over 50.000 lists with many custom fields on a pretty basic hosting plan”, “Most Directory plugins wouldn't be able to do that.” Tajani said.
Plugins can be searched by tags so that visitors can see how their plugins are growing compared to others using the same tag.
For example, Tajani claimed to keep an eye on the "business directory" tag every day to see how the GeoDirectory plugin is doing. Tajani said the API offers enough information to know if a plugin is growing, shrinking, or stabilized.
Some of the data in the rankings is taken from the API and some of it is calculated, including trends, the number of days until the next milestone, the number of five stars to the next rating, and the number of positions at the next milestone.
By clicking on the individual pages of the plug-ins, more charts / graphs about their movement are available in the list of popular plug-ins. API data is remixed in various ways to extract insights. For example, the number of days until the next milestone is based on the plugin's current growth trend.
Individual pages of the plugin show a 15-day ranking change chart, along with 24-hour and 7-day trends.
An overhaul statistics chart estimates how many 5-star ratings are required to reach the next level. Another chart tracks 15 days of resolved support threads versus the total number of registered threads.
The last section shows a list of the plugin's competitors and a summary of their rankings and growth trends.
La statistics page shows how many plugins there are for each active install interval up to 5 million. Interestingly, there are 8.071 plug-ins with zero active installs and 13.643 with only 10. Another large concentration of plug-ins is in the range of 100-400 active installs and another between 1.000 and 2.000 active installs.
Clicking on the stats page will show specific plugins in that range.
Tajani said the next thing on their roadmap is allow plug-in owners to customize the competitor list and add specific plug-ins they want to see compared to their own. AyeCode plans to keep what it has built with WP Rankings free indefinitely.
What we really wanted to do was show another statistical point of view. We know it's not the same and we'll get some criticism too, but right now it's the only way to know if a plugin is growing or not.
What we do with it in the future depends on how much the plugin developers like the idea and the type of feedback we get. If enough people start asking for features that could be considered premium, we'll consider it.