The WordPress Philosophy

Have you ever mounted a plugin for your WordPress website and concept, “Ummm, that’s one of a kind”? Something about it just stood out as no longer pretty right. The settings felt peculiar, or there were way too many settings, or maybe it modified elements of your site in methods you didn’t expect. Most often, this revel in involves a plugin or a topic that doesn’t do things “The WordPress Way.” If you’ve ever heard that phrase, it possibly sounded a chunk mysterious. That’s because even as “The WordPress Way” does have a definition; it’s nevertheless a chunk fuzzy; it’s not so simple to boil it down to a sentence or two. It’s not simply about the settings interface or in which to place the menus — it’s an entire philosophy of knowledge consumers enjoy improvement, or even freedom itself.

This collection is about WordPress Philosophy. Yes, WordPress has an actual philosophy! This simple file will hold numerous sway over everything that you engage with for your WordPress admin. By the cease of this collection, you’ll have a stronger hold close to the WordPress Philosophy. You’ll be empowered to make more informed and discerning picks with your plugins and subject matters on your website. For you builders reading alongside, you’ll be known how you build out your next feature set, plugin, or subject.

Why Does Software Have a Philosophy at All?

Before we jump into the primary object of the philosophy, allow’s ask, “Why?” Why does the WordPress Philosophy exist, and why does it matter at all?

Philosophy absolutely manner “the love of know-how.” In this case, the WordPress Philosophy is technically now not a philosophy in any respect, however a set of recommendations and standards. The philosophy is a listing of ideas and beliefs that teach and inform builders and architects how they technique enforcing new features of WordPress.


Virtually each primary software developer has hard and fast guiding principles. While Microsoft’s is centered on structure or “architecture,” Apple’s is driven by layout, and Google’s is driven by way of consumer revel in. If you’re familiar with the goods of those businesses (and who isn’t!?), then this sounds apparent to you, whereas Microsoft excels with records systems, Apple entices you with splendor, and Google wants you to look with one click. Their concepts inform the goods that all of us use, and WordPress isn’t any distinctive.

How Does WordPress Benefit from Having a Philosophy?

WordPress is designed with its philosophy front and middle. Did you recognize that once WordPress launched, it did now not have the capability to install plugins? Instead, it had “hacks” — literally a file in which code was pasted so that you can make bigger WordPress. According to Ryan Boren inside the open supply WordPress History Book:

The plugin system enabled middle builders to enforce the eighty/20 [philosophy]: ‘Is this useful to 80% of our users? If now not, strive it in a plugin.’ For 12 months after launch, WordPress had no plugins at all. The want arose from the guiding principle that not each function belonged within the core product. This is the “Clean, Lean, and Mean” precept. It’s fair to mention that WordPress has its 29% market share of the internet in big part due to its plugin machine, which changed into born out of the WordPress Philosophy.

Why Does This Matter for Me As a WordPress User?

I’m the kind of man or woman who thinks that records and philosophy constantly remember, so this should honestly be exciting as is. But in this case, I agree that there are very sensible reasons you as an enterprise proprietor, internet site admin, blogger, or agency owner have to be interested in the WordPress Philosophy. Here are 3:

It enables you higher apprehend your internet site. The WordPress Philosophy is embedded into your WordPress admin location’s format, design, and general usability. It’s why you no longer have a “hyperlinks” menu. However, you do have a “Custom CSS” setting now. It’s the force behind the whole thing, approximately Gutenberg. It’s the cause why you don’t need your topic to be a web page builder and why your admin may be swapped with a click into dozens of various languages.

Understanding the WordPress Philosophy helps you apprehend your internet site. It informs how you construct your website on your site visitors. Outside of the admin monitors, the WordPress Philosophy gives treasured steerage for the rest of your internet site. Will eighty% of your traffic use that Google Map you embed in your touch web page? When you build out your content material calendar, do you create dates for you personally or make sure your “deadlines aren’t arbitrary”?

The WordPress Philosophy will assist you to be a better website builder. It courses your choice of issues and plugins. Of all of the WordPress philosophy approaches affecting your internet site, this is the primary purpose I am scripting this series. As a plugin writer and topic creator, I see some distance too many WordPress customers loading up their web page with plugins that break their admin and bloat their system. Choosing plugins is difficult, and tricky plugins are frequently tough to discover. Still, knowledge of “The WordPress Way” will help you become a more informed subject and plugin consumer, which will benefit your complete site.

What’s Next?

Starting next month, you’ll see a new article from me as soon as a month on this situation. We’ll pass an object through the WordPress Philosophy in terms of what it says, what it means, discover superb and horrible examples of it in plugins and issues, and ultimately identify why you must care and what you have to do about it. Next month we’ll begin with the final item in the philosophy: Our Bill of Rights. This segment is foundational because it’s far embedded in each single WordPress website, plugin, and topic in the world.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.