List of Popular Plugin for Theme Developer

Not all plugins works well out of the box. Some plugin require a theme support, from simple CSS tweak to template files modification.

As a theme developer, it’s hard to choose which plugins I should support in my theme. It takes time to do this, and theme developer also need to “watch” these plugins to make sure all is working well for latest version of each plugins.

Popular plugin such as WooCommerce also have large user base, and it can increase theme popularity. So, without further ado, here is the list.

#1. Yoast SEO

yoast-seo-iconUser base: 1+ million active install.

The only feature in Yoast SEO need theme support is breadcrumb. So it’s simple to support this plugin.

#2. WooCommerce

woocommerce-iconUser base: 1+ million active install.

This plugin is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. But it sucks if used without theme support.

#3. Jetpack

jetpack-iconUser base: 1+ million active install.

This plugin has 37 modules. that’s like 37 plugins in one. So it’s hard to tell if each features have large user base or not (or even useful for all user). To add support for all Jetpack feature is overkill. But here are several modules to test with your theme:

  • Contact Form: to make sure all properly styled. Specially textarea width in mobile/small screen device.
  • Custom Content Types: Portfolio Post Type, Testimonial Post Type, Food Menu (hidden), and Comic (hidden).
  • Infinite Scroll: optional.
  • Extra sidebar widgets: just to check if all widget look nice.
  • Subscription: Widget and comment checkbox.
  • Related Post: just to make sure all look neat.
  • Sharing: Share button
  • Tiled Galleries: check each gallery design.
  • Featured Content: hidden feature. require theme support.

#4. Contact Form 7

cf7-iconUser base: 1+ million active install.

Tons of user and it’s very easy to support. One note: make sure you also check recaptcha integration and add proper margin to it.

#5. Page Builder by Site Origin

page-builder-site-origin-iconUser base: 800k+ active install.

Why use other page builder when this one is free and have a large user base? It’s using user-friendly drag and drop interface to create content and easily extended using the familiar Widgets API.

Also check and test this plugin with “Site Origin Widgets Bundle” (400k+ active install).

#6. Meta Slider

meta-slider-iconUser base: 600k+ active install.

I’m not a fan of sliders and this plugin should work with any theme anyway. But just checking to make sure it works in your theme only takes several minutes.

#7. Breadcrumb NavXT

Breadcrumb-NavXT-iocnUser base: 400k+ active install.

It seems too much for a breadcrumb plugin. But this plugin have almost half a million user base. I’m sure the user will hate to move to other solution when they already invest tons of time to configure it.

#8. The Events Calendar

the-events-cal-iconUser base: 300k+ active install

This plugin requires custom template files and CSS tweak to look “okay” in most theme.

#9. bbPress

bbpress-iconUser base: 300k+ active install

Not a fan with this forum plugin. Bad documentation and famous for changing method that give headache to theme author for each version update. But currently this is the easiest way to create “forum” and one of WordPress sister project.

Also check BuddyPress (200k+ active install), but it’s also have the same development style with bbPress.

#10. Yet Another Related Post Plugin

User base: 300k+ active install.

Probably the most popular related post plugin.


a) eCommerce Plugins:

These plugins need theme support.

WP eCommerce
User base: 60k+ active install.

Easy Digital Downloads
User base: 50k+ active install.

b) Contact Form Plugins:

Other than Contact Form 7 and Jetpack Contact Form module:

Fast Secure Contact Form
User base: 400k+ active install.

Ninja Forms
User base: 400k+ active install.

Formidable Forms
User base: 300k+ active install.

Contact Form by BestWestSoft.
User base: 300k+ active install.

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