8 things I’d drop from WordPress core to remove bloat

Let’s face it – there are some features in WordPress which are unloved and rarely used. Ever used Press This? I’d love to see WordPress cutting out some bloat to make core lighter, and as a consequence easier to use. Here are my thoughts on what should be killed.

The dashboard

The dashboard has looked pretty similar for several releases now, in fact, I think the first version I ever tried (1.5) had the same widgets on it, albeit fuglier.

Welcome, News, Quick draft, “At a glance”, Activity; do we really need this information each and every time we log in? I don’t. I feel its all unnecessary.

  1. Welcome could easily be a dismissible banner/notice.
  2. News should just be killed. If you care about the information there, its easy to find those blogs directly.
  3. Quick draft is utterly pointless. You’ll have to go to the main post editor anyway, so just post it there.
  4. “At a glance” should be integrated into the main manu, for example showing a post count next to the ‘posts’ menu item.
  5. Activity is the most useful out of all of them, but it still pretty useless in my opinion. Could put it in the admin menu if really wanted.

“Updates” menu item

I’d move this to the admin bar, just a simple counter that only shows when updates are available. No updates = don’t show anything!

Users and Plugins menus

I’d move these top level menu items to settings. Users is rarely used once you’ve done your initial setup, so a top level menu item is probably overkill, and plugins could easily ‘fit’ within the settings section.


Who honestly uses tools? Does it even make sense to end-users? Isn’t WordPress itself a tool?

Available tools, import, export – these should all be plugins. Do your import/export once and then its no longer needed. I’d do away with this functionality in core.

“Press This”

Press This is a bookmarklet: a little app that runs in your browser and lets you grab bits of the web.

Whoopie. We have a million tools we can use for this, why even bother with this in core. Make it a plugin for the 5 users who use this feature.

Post via e-mail

Another niche feature (do people still use this?). Why you’d have access to email but not wp admin is beyond me. Make this into a plugin.

The plugin/theme editor

I don’t think these should exist in a clean WordPress install – encouraging users to modify files is such a bad idea. One mistake and boom, site is dead. I’d like to see these moved out to a separate plugin(s). This would also allows developers to protect their clients from breaking things.

Niche settings

  • WordPress address/Site address I’d move this to wp-config.php (wp-config already supports these options) I think its dangerous (and pointless) to have it in settings.
  • Default Post Category/format – should be integrated into the post category screens somehow. Maybe just a radio button, or checkbox so that its actually set in context of the taxonomies the setting applies to.
  • “WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically” – Do it or don’t do it, don’t have an option. Have a filter to disable it.
  • Update services. I have never used this option. Move it to a filter, or a plugin.

What my un-bloated admin now looks like

2013-12-16 at 10.09

Thats a bit cleaner. I’d like to see WordPress seriously look into removing some niche features in the next few upcoming releases and I definitely feel it fits with the “decisions, not options” mantra¬†WordPress holds.