We presented to you in the previous post how the idea for a new plugin competitor analysis tool was born. Active Installs is a marketing tool that allowed us to get to know our WordPress plugins better. The idea received many positive reviews in our company and we took up the challenge of preparing an easy-to-use tool to compare plugins in the WordPress repository. Our goal was to make the use of the tool as easy as possible so that its configuration would take seconds. We believe that we have achieved this goal perfectly.
We started our work by creating a landing page and placing a demo version of our competitor analysis tool. The feeling we had about our app started to be verified by other plugin contributors. It was just two charts - but it made hype anyway.
— wpDataTables (@wpdatatables) June 16, 2021
The process of development
We started our work by creating an application sketch in Miro. This is where the basic idea of how the plugin competitor analysis tool should look (to be most convenient to use) was born. But these initial conversations ended quickly and it was time to start programming our application.
One and a half months of our work has passed and now we can present you the first version of the working Active Installs app. We want to refine all the details of the application and focus primarily on the ease of use and UX. So we hope there will be many suggestions and questions from Active Installs users.
Reasons to use Active Installs as a powerful plugin competitor research tool
Every Product Owner or Developer/Contributor who works in an agile methodology (e.g. Scrum) knows that shortening the feedback loop time is the key to success. This means you need to know as quickly as possible whether the implemented changes are successful or not. So all kinds of statistical tools are used to measure everything! Google Analytics or Hot Jar and other tools allow you to check whether the application is developing as it should.
Active Installs was created for people who have plugins in the WordPress repository and are keenly interested in how it develops. We use data taken from the WordPress repository API and we can create all kinds of calculations. These calculations then show the history of the added plugin.
A quick look at Active Installs: how does this plugin competitor analysis tool work
The first view that will welcome you after adding a plugin using this plugin competitor analysis tool is the dashboard. It contains all the important information about the WP plugin, so you can quickly check how it is developing. With the help of colored indicators, you will know if you need to take care of any aspect of the plugin.
Here you can find the most popular statistics.
- History of active installs
- cumulative increase
- percentage increase
- and quantitative increase by weeks
- Weekly downloads
- Time needed to reach the milestones for active installs
- Average repository rating
- Number of specific ratings (stars)
Each of the graphs is described. You can contact us (using the form in the menu) if any of the graphs seem unclear.
Many factors affect the position of the plugin - but taking the first places for significant tags is a guarantee of the best position in the repository. Picking the right tags does not have to be difficult. We provide a very extensive table to see what tags are used by other plugins and how your plugin ranks on these tags. We list here all the tags where the plugin is in the first 100 positions.
This tab contains charts of all added competitor plugins. We have developed an algorithm that will allow the application to suggest plugins that have similar functionalities to your plugin. You can use the search engine if the plugin you are looking for is not on the list. The search engine works the same as the WordPress repository so it will show you a list of plugins.
Here you can check how the competition is doing now and what is the trend for plugins in this category. Charts have a lot of data - so each of them has the option to hide the data describing a specific plugin.
We also made it possible to make an individual comparison with each plugin. This allows you to trace a specific plugin of the competition without having to toggle multiple switches.
Tracked Tags and keywords
In this tab you can track the tags and keywords you added. The chart shows the position of the plugin when a given keyword or tag is entered in the search engine.
It is possible that the added keyword turns out to be a tag (the list of available tags can be found in the Tags Stats tab). Then the entire available plugin history of the position on that tag will be added to the chart.
But it may also happen that such data will not be available. Then the plugin history will start to be saved from today. Tags and keywords can be added in different locale, so we can also measure how the plugin positions itself on repository pages in other languages.
And this is not the end!
It will probably take no more than 10 minutes to read this post. This is only a brief introduction to the possibilities of our application. There was no mention of how the experiments were carried out. We have not shared our ways of using the app yet. We also did not reveal what we have planned.
Do you want to see what you can achieve with Active Installs? Register today and start tracking your plugin!