You may have noticed that your WordPress installation comes prepackaged with a rather unusual guest: a plugin called Hello Dolly. But what’s its purpose?
If you’re just getting started using WordPress, you may have noticed that your fresh installation includes a plugin known as Hello Dolly. If you’re like most people, you’re probably a little leery about simply deleting it from your library. What if it’s actually essential to WordPress’s functionality?
What if, by deleting it, you cause your entire site to come crashing down? After all, its initial description doesn’t really tell you a whole lot:
This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong.
The good news is that you have nothing to worry about. Hello Dolly is by no means critical to your blog’s functionality; it was one of the first WordPress plugins to ever be created, and was written by Matt Mullenweg, WordPress’s co-founder, with the release of WordPress 1.2 in 2004. It really only still exists for sentimental reasons.
As for what it does? It shows a random lyric from Louis Armstrong’s famous Hello, Dolly in the upper right corner of your WordPress control panel. The argument for keeping it in place, according to WordPress Beginner, is that it exists to help new developers get started with writing plugins of their own.
Trouble is, it’s so simple that it’s not really a great resource – and if you’re strictly a designer, you probably aren’t going to be making use of it, anyway. Unless you’re really keen on seeing jazz lyrics while you work on your site, you’re safe to disable and delete this one. Your site will be totally fine if you do.
I’d like to leave you with these fun facts about the plugin:
- In 2010, WordPress was accused of copyright infringement for its use of Hello, Dolly’s lyrics. Fortunately, nothing really came of the lawsuit, and the plugin persists unmodified to this day.
- Hello, Dolly has over 1 million active installs, and has been downloaded more than 500,000 times. This makes it one of the most active WordPress plugins, though not one of the top-downloaded ones.
- It’s currently rated at 2.5/5 stars on WordPress.org.
- Developers have made a ton of alternatives to Hello, Dolly, including The Dude (which quotes lines from The Big Lebowski) and Hello Simpsons Chalkboard Gag (random lines from the chalkboard in the Simpson’s intro), and Trekkie Fortunes (quotes from Star Trek).
- Hello Dolly is one of two plugins that is automatically installed with WordPress. The other is Akismet, which cracks down on spam (making it a touch more useful to your site).
Author Bio: AJ Morris is the Managed WordPress Product Manager for Liquid Web, a fully managed hosting company. He has extensive experience both developing WordPress sites and speaking at WordPress events. AJ leads product and go to market strategy for Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress product line. Liquid Web’s Platform as a Service solution for WordPress hosting allows you to seamlessly host multiple sites and access top-quality 24/7 Heroic Support®.