What is Active Install Growth in WordPress Plugins?


Recently wordpress.org introduced a new chart called Active Install Growth for WordPress plugins. Can anyone explain how we can use the data in this chart to measure the growth. It shows the growth in percentage. I want to know whether its compared to previous month/week or compared to the total install count


Hmm, I’m not sure. Have you tried asking in the Make WordPress Slack?

I think either the meta or plugins channel would be a good place to ask.

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Hay guys,

I’d love to know more about this too.

@nimesh did you find out more on slack? I wish @otto could chime in and let us know.

My questions would be:

  1. Is that a weekly average?
  2. Based on the real number of active installs or the number that is shown? (+10000 or eg: 15543)
  3. How came numbers of previous weeks sometimes change?

I’ll try to explain what I mean about point 3: yesterday I checked the weekly active installed and we had a ugly -0.7% on the week of Jan 20th. I checked back today and the -0.7% for the week of Jan 20th is now -0.5%.

I’m crossing fingers Otto will read this and clarify. I’m sure many are wondering!


@paolo I didnt have time to follow up on this yet. but I will try to do it soon as its a very important factor in measuring the success of the plugin.

I experienced the same with my plugins and its difficult to understand how it works.

Let me know if you find anything


Discovered this new chart too.

I tried to figure it out. I’m not sure, but, it’s showing how much new install you have each week, based on the previous one.
So basically it explains if it grows, or decrease.
For exemple, my plugin has stable numbers. We oscillate between 2et 8% depending on weeks. As long as we are above 0%, it means we are growing.

Roughly, it means we are gaining more new install actives, than losing some. Am I clear ? :stuck_out_tongue:

Hello @nimesh

Did you find some answers by now ?

Actually, I have the exact same questions as @paolo.
I thought I understood it correctly, but I realized just like him that these figures were changing over time (they are settled for good only after 3 weeks or so)… It doesn’t make sense to me.

I was going to ask on the slack but I have found this first.

The values are freezed after one week max, not 3. I was mistaken because the values I copied each sundays were different from the actual values for the last three weeks. But each has actually fluctuated only during the first week.

Well, as the name suggests, Active Install Growth shows the growth in your plugin’s active installs. You can see the Active Installs on your WordPress plugin page on WordPress.org. The growth in that number is Active Install Growth

Hi @yoan

Sorry I didnt find any answers or info on how to understand it :frowning:


@Moeez Yes I understand the general meaning. What we want to know is how to measure it. One of my plugn says 0.5 growth in one day and 0.3 in another. So growth is 0.5 from what? also it it daily growth?

Ok, I will ask on the slack and get back here when I have more information :wink:
Thank you for your answer!

Every day, WordPress sites check for plugin updates. The API keeps a count of these update checks. From this, we determine “Active Installs”. This is basically a count of the sites that said "hey, I’m running Plugin X and want to check for an update for it. Then at the end of the day, we count those, and you have an Active Install count.

Simple so far.

Now, there is variation in that data from day to day. This is not the result of people installing or removing plugins alone; it also could be that a site just missed a day in checking for updates. Maybe a site was down for a day, or nobody looked at it that day so it never ran and never checked.

Thus the Active Install count is not an accurate count. It simply can’t be such. So we round it to the most significant digit and show that. This is because the data matters more for smaller plugins. You care when your plugin hits 80 installs, or 100 installs, or 200 installs, but by the time it has 10000 installs, then that 10020 just isn’t really a significant milestone for an author anymore.

Basically, instead of showing the exact data, we show something more useful, like trends. The growth chart is a chart of the change in the Active Install count over time.

For each week in the year (Sunday to Saturday) we say “get the average Active Install count for those 7 days”. Then for each of those values, we iterate through them to perform this calculation:

$growth = ( $this_week_average - $last_week_average ) / $last_week_average

This is rounded to the nearest 0.1 and shown as the percentage growth for each week.

Thank you for this complete answer!

Just want to add an extra information you gave me:
There is also a roughly 2-day delay in the gathering of the data, which makes the last value change a bit on the weekends.

So the last value fluctuate a bit because of that, and because the calculation takes the current week average, so since this week is still changing, it’ll shift as the week goes on. But in most cases, it’s a matter of 0,1%.

The averages are calculated with the “real” active installs values (not the values rounded to the most significant digit).