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WordPress plugins: Active releases and updates 📊

WordPress plugins constantly release new versions with fixes and new features. Some plugins receive updates once a month, others once a quarter.

But how many users receive those features? How many users keep their plugins up to date?

Maybe plugin authors develop features for a very small group of active users while others don't care.

My name is Raitis Sevelis and I work as a product manager at Visual Composer. In my free time, I like to analyze WordPress plugins.

Today, I want to look into how well users adopt major releases of their favorite WordPress plugins.

For that, I have handpicked 40 plugins from my WordPress plugin pricing report. Analyzed their latest active version adoption and release dates.

This is what I found.

The data is out there

Before we jump into conclusions, I want to share with you the table.

The table contains WordPress plugins from various categories, percentage of the latest version adoption, and the time since this version release.

WordPress plugin Category Last major release Update %
Visual Composer Page Builder 1 week 17.50%
Beaver Builder Page Builder 9 month 36.70%
Elementor Page Builder 2 month 42.70%
SiteOrigin Page Builder 4 month 38.70%
Pagelayer Page Builder 4 month 43.90%
Brizy Page Builder 10 month 71.70%
Ninja Forms Form Builder 7 month 50.00%
weForms Form Builder 6 month 76.70%
Fluent Forms Form Builder 4 month 70.20%
Yoast SEO SEO 1 week 18.50%
SEOPress SEO 1 month 50.10%
Wordfence Security 2 month 85.30%
iThemes Security Security 2 month 37.20%
WPScan Security 9 month 90%
SecuPress Security 4 month 62.20%
Shield Security 2 month 74.90%
Ninja Firewall Security 3 month 62.30%
MalCare Security 2 month 43.70%
SiteAlert Security 5 month 79.20%
Defender Security 2 month 52.10%
Antispam Bee Security 3 month 54.30%
WPGlobus Multilanguage 10 month 44.10%
Loco Multilanguage 2 month 38.90%
TranslatePress Multilanguage 3 month 54.30%
WeGlot Multilanguage 2 month 48.10%
Polylang Multilanguage 1 month 23.70%
Updraft Backup 4 month 74.70%
BackWPup Backup 8 month 59.30%
Backup Guard Backup 15 month 63.90%
WPStaging Backup 6 month 56.50%
Duplicator Backup 2 month 65.00%
BlogVault Backup 2 month 78.00%
WP Time Capsule Backup 15 month 90.60%
WPBackItUp Backup 2 month 29.40%
HummingBird Cache 4 month 55.90%
WP Fastest Cache Cache 1 month 35.12%
WP Optimize Cache 5 month 62.30%
W3 Total Cache Cache 6 month 52.10%
WP Migrate DB Migration 1 month 23.10%
WP All Import Migration 10 month 61.10%

Disclaimer: Different WordPress plugins release hotfixes and minor releases that are not included. In my report, I focused on the most recent active version displayed in the Advanced View of the WordPress plugin repository and release date.

Average results of average adoption

I will start with some bold data.

Only 60% of your plugin users will ever see the features you release within a year. 🥴

I've averaged the data from releases older than 6 month and it seems that only 63.10% of users update to the most recent major version.

Does it mean you should stop working on new features? No.

Two out of three customers will use your newly released features over time. Not perfect, but not bad either.

What I would suggest, is take this number into account when calculation the ROI (Return of the investment) of a certain feature you want to deliver.

raccoon stealing GIF

But how about early adopters and possible returns?

On average, 28% of your customers will upgrade within a month after the release. And this number will double in a 2-month period (55.16%).

After that, the growth is slowing down significantly and results in 63.10% mentioned above. 📉

At this point, another major version will likely come out to overtake the late majority.

Why? Because 42% of all major plugins release as often as once per 2 month and 35% release once per 6 month.

Outro

Not all of your WordPress plugin customers receive new features. Maybe some of them even don't know they exist.

Things change over time, but only 60% of your customers receive your features. Many sites stay outdated.

Plugin authors are concerned about it. This is why we see forced automatic updates and cloud solutions integrated. And, I believe that this trend will continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.

What do you think? How often do you release updates for your plugins and themes?

Join our community on Facebook and share your thoughts.

WordPress plugins: Active releases and updates

WordPress plugins constantly release new versions with fixes and new features. Some plugins receive updates once a month, others once a quarter. But how many users receive those features?

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