John Jago

Day 34: Conversion rates for a typical WordPress plugin?

For these next four entries in my work journal, I’m going to ask myself a question and do a little research to answer it.

The first question is: How are Dashify’s conversion rates?

I want to know if the percent of people who end up using Dashify from the total number of people who viewed the website and downloaded the plugin is in line with the industry average.

The funnel for Dashify could start in a few places. A person might find Dashify in a Google search, through an ad in Google’s network, through one of the posts I made on a number of forum-like sites where people were asking for something like Dashify, or through the plugin directory.

Then, they browse the website or plugin listing on and might download the plugin. After that, only some might keep using it after trying it out.

Industry averages for WordPress plugins

I looked, but it’s hard to find the numbers. I recall from my previous company that some advisor with knowledge of the WordPress industry mentioned 1% to 2% for what I think was free to paid conversion. Dashify doesn’t have a paid tier yet, so this number doesn’t matter much for today’s discussion.

I decided to run some of my own calculations, so I picked a couple random plugins from the directory and calculated the percent of people that keep the plugin after downloading. This is flawed because the download count also represents updates to existing installs. With that in mind, there might be fewer first time downloads than I’m counting here, so the results are underestimates. But, the active install count is a lower bound up to the next highest digit in the leading position, so 1,000 installs could mean as many as 1,999. With that taken into consideration too, I’ve included a range of possible conversion rates.

Though not scientific, I can draw one conclusion from this, which is that not everyone who downloads a plugin will keep it, and for most plugins, this number will be fairly low, not more than 50%, and likely closer to 10%.

Industry averages for SaaS

Again, exact and reliable statistics are hard to find, especially in trying to find a number for a “kicking the tires” to “actively using it” ratio. The numbers that do exist are muddied by many factors that can affect a specific industry within SaaS.

Some numbers I saw in a few articles measuring website visitors to free sign ups were between 2% and 5%, with the best going over 10%.

Of course, this isn’t a comparison to downloading a WordPress plugin and keeping it. For Dashify, I’d need to take a look at the website visitors and compare that to active installs (and assume that the free sign ups mentioned are active users—they’re probably not).

Dashify’s numbers

As of today, the Dashify website has had 494 visitors, and the active install count is somewhere between 20 and 30. Assuming that the website is overwhelmingly the way people discover Dashify, these numbers represent a 4% to 6% conversion rate of website visitor to active user.

Comparing Dashify to those other plugins (active installs over total downloads), Dashify has between a 2.3% and 3.3% conversion rate. It’s not too far off from other plugins, including additional ones I checked not listed above.

What can I conclude?

👋 This is my work journal, a series where I write daily about trying to make a living building a bootstrapped software product.