Cast Your Votes for the Best WordPress Themes and Plugins of the Year! - ManageWP

Cast Your Votes for the Best WordPress Themes and Plugins of the Year!

Vote 2012

Chances are if you are reading this you are familiar with our plugins and themes of the month post series. Combined they are the blog’s flagship — one of the things that sets us apart from all of the other WordPress blogs out there.

For those of you who don’t know the details, every month we collate a shortlist of plugins that are (a) recently updated/created, (b) have less than 100,000 downloads and (c) are highly rated. From that shortlist I pick what I deem to be the top themes/plugins and present them to you here on the blog.

The above unique combination of factors means that we bring you great new plugins and themes every month — many of which you’ve probably not heard of before. Furthermore, it also gives us the opportunity to showcase up and coming developers who might not otherwise be noticed by WordPress blogs.

Cast Your Votes Now!

Since we launched the series near the beginning of 2012 we have featured more than 100 plugins and 50 themes. And with the year now drawing to a close we thought it would be great to revisit them all and compile the top plugins and themes of the year. That’s where you come in!

We already have a big list of themes and plugins to choose from but we do not want to miss out any worthy contenders. If you feel that there is a particular theme or plugin that is worthy of the theme/plugin of the year title then please let us know about it! Although we will be largely drawing from the existing collection of themes and plugins that we have gathered over the past twelve months or so, we will also consider any suggestions you make carefully.

The criteria is similar to our regular monthly posts. Any theme/plugin must:

  1. Be available for free download from
  2. Have been created or updated in 2012 and be compatible with the latest version of WordPress (some leeway afforded here given the recent release of 3.5)
  3. Have less than 100,000 downloads (some leeway afforded here too)

That’s all you need to worry about. It doesn’t matter if you are an avid fan of a particular theme or plugin or a developer and want to put your own creation forward — all suggestions are welcome.

So, if you have any suggestions at all please let your voice be heard in the comments section now!

What to Expect

Both our themes and plugins of the year posts will be published before 2013 is upon us so you don’t have long to make your suggestions. We intend for both posts to be celebrations of up and coming (as well as established) WordPress developers and hope that we can do our bit to promote their hard work and give them a nice end of year surprise!

We would love for you to be involved and look forward to reading your comments and suggestions below.

Creative Commons image courtesy of Vectorportal

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of He has been a huge fan of WordPress since he first laid eyes on it, and has been writing educational and informative content for WordPress users since 2011. When he's not working, you're likely to find him outdoors somewhere – as far away from a screen as possible!


  1. miracon

    I nominate Theme of the Year: Catalyst!!!!! The theme itself and absolutely incredible support has been the absolute key to my growing web design business. I can’t imagine ever using anything else again!

  2. Noumaan

    I would also like to nominate User Submitted Posts

    Cube Points Plugin to reward users with points or actual rewards.

    Google Calendar Events Plugin

    Advance Custom Fields

  3. Troy Dean

    A few more than a 100K downloads but White Label CMS is gold.

    And yes, I am one of the team. :)

    Keep up the good work.

  4. Sudarshan

    Hi Tom,

    I’d like to nominate ClickDesk – ( You have written about us as the top 3 live chat plugins. We currently have over 50,000 downloads and had a major feature addition with Heldpdesk in 2012.


  5. Mike Zielonka

    PageLines is worth an exception

  6. Ján Bočínec

    Firstly I would like to feature one of my plugins which could be really useful, simple but powerful – Advanced Menu Widget (

    – Simple Ajax Chat (
    – Edit Flow (
    – Post Forking (
    – WP Document Revisions (
    – Infinite-Scroll (
    – Liveblog (
    – WP Help (
    – WP Changes Tracker (
    – Polylang (
    – SitePush (
    – Zone Manager (Zoninator) (
    – Shortcodes Pro (
    – Public Post Preview (
    – Better Plugin Compatibility Control (
    – Rewrite Rules Inspector (
    – WP RSS Multi Importer (
    – Co-Authors Plus (
    – nrelate Most Popular (
    – Easy Digital Downloads (

    Unfortunately all my favourite theme are mostly on Github and are pretty famous :).

    1. Ján Bočínec

      Anyway this theme PressWork ( is quiet interesting piece.

  7. Eric Mann

    I’m a bit biased (since I maintain the plugin) but I think WP Publication Archive should get a nod. It’s a fork of a plugin abandoned back in the WP 2.1 days, but currently supports WP 3.5, uses custom post types, and integrates a fully theme-ready template system.

  8. Art Butcher

    Theme of the year: Catalyst Theme

  9. ogenox

    Well, according to given criteria, I can recommend these plugins, which I use on my site(s):

    – Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin –
    – Lazy Load –
    – PS Auto Sitemap –
    – WordPress Ping Optimizer –

    It seems that they are not well known plugins, but for me are must-have plugins.

    1. Mike Zielonka

      +1 on Lazy Load

  10. John Le Fevre

    While probably not Theme of the year a very useful theme and one that shouldn’t be overlooked, IMO, is Weaver II.

    For plugins: ManageWP,

  11. Shea Bunge

    Some of my favorite plugins include TablePress, Code Snippets, Better Internal Link Search, Jetpack, Contact Form 7, Lazy Load, Display Posts Shortcode, Floating Admin Bar, WordPress SEO, W3 Total Cache, Google Analytics for WordPress, Akismet, and, of course, ManageWP.

  12. Michael Brandvold

    Tweet Old Post – hands down my favorite plugin. Consistently generates new traffic for me with old evergreen content. It just works.

    1. Noumaan

      +1 on Tweet Old Post a very helpful plugin.

  13. Michael Davis

    Theme of the year: Catalyst Theme (it’s a theme, it’s a framework, it’s loved by thousands!)

    1. DeepSouth

      +1 for the catalyst framework – superb ! Unfortunately not free though. Only free here?

      1. Michael Davis

        Yeah, unfortunately I forgot that part of the rules in my enthusiasm for Catalyst. Although there are many free plugins worthy of nomination, I can’t think of a single free theme.

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