I really like version 1. It's very clear and provide good discoverability for users coming on the page for the first time. There's room to breath. It focuses on what's important to new users: discovering the top rated plugins, those that are the most useful and the most likely to be useful for those new users.
In version 2, the carousel would make sense if its content were pictures, but in this case, I don't think there will be any. Also, the side bar on the left takes a lot of space, provide little value for new users, and won't be easy to transpose for the mobile version of the website.
In my day job working in games, I specialize in UX and onboarding new users, so don't hesitate to ask me directly if you need guidance on those topics!