After weeks of close calls and tight races, Torque Magazine has announced the winner of this year’s Plugin Madness competition. Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) has taken home the crown, earning the votes to secure a first place finish in the 2023 bracket.

ACF allows developers to create and manage custom fields across WordPress sites, helping them display information like scoring systems, prices, event times, product variations, and more. It is highly advantageous for developers who often deal with recurring types of metadata that they wish to display sitewide.

Image of the ACF plugin at work on a WordPress site
ACF lets developers create and manage custom fields across all site pages

Edging out WooCommerce (2nd place) and ManageWP Worker (3rd place) for the top spot, this is the second Plugin Madness win for ACF—it previously took first place in 2016 during the inaugural Plugin Madness competition. 

The win also elevates ACF to the illustrious list of plugins that have won the competition more than once, including Elementor (2019 and 2020 winner) and Smush Image Optimizer (2017 and 2018 winner).

Now in its eighth year, Plugin Madness is an annual bracket-style competition that pits 64 of the best loved WordPress plugins against one another until a sole victor emerges. Starting seeds are split into four categories, Marketing, Optimization, Maintenance, and eCommerce, and voters thin the competition over the course of six weeks by selecting their favorites.

To be nominated, every plugin in the tournament must be available for free in the plugin repository, be compatible with WordPress version 5.7 or higher, and have been updated within the last year. Every one of the starting 64 is responsible for helping developers and designers better customize, optimize, manage, and maintain their WordPress sites. 

“One of the greatest things about working with WordPress is the community of developers who actively participate in improving the ecosystem for all users, and Plugin Madness is a great way to gather feedback and see what tools the community is using,” said Torque Magazine Editor Emily Schiola.

“It’s just a fun, interactive way to elevate new plugins and support well-established fan favorites, as well as show some love to the designers and developers who create these prominent plugins.”

If your favorite plugin wasn’t present in the 2023 bracket, make your voice heard next year by nominating them for Plugin Madness! We’ll keep you in the loop, so pay attention to the WP Engine blog and follow Torque Magazine to be prepared when next year’s nominations come around.

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