[wp-hackers] What Is Considered Bloat?

Andrew Rickmann mail at arickmann.co.uk
Fri Feb 6 07:30:21 GMT 2009

There is no real definition of bloat. It all depends on what your
philosophy towards WordPress is.

If you look at items on an individual basis then bloat is simply
functionality that isn't of benefit to the majority. The problem with
that outlook is that there is a difference between current users and
future users. Features may be almost useless to bloggers but might be
essential to make WordPress fit with the expectations of someone
looking to use it as a CMS.

Take post revisions as an example. It has a limited benefit to
bloggers. A lot of people find it useful now it is here, but never
would have thought twice if it wasn't. It was necessary though because
the absence of it came up every time the 'is WordPress a CMS?' debate
started up.

The general philosophy suggested by the actions of the community is
that a feature is not bloat if it is essential for blogging, a feature
that bloggers would expect in any blog system, if it is generally
related to content production, organisation, or workflow, if it meets
the needs of most users, or meets the needs of a potential group of

The other problem of feature bloat is whether you want to define an
entirely unnecessary and unrelated feature as bloat, or as unsuitable.
I wouldn't describe a Twitter API as bloat, as it would never be
suitable to be in core in the first place.

If you take a more holistic view there are also various
interpretations. Do you look at how much each individual feature slows
down WordPress, for example, the importers reduce the speed of
WordPress by the time take to add themselves to the menu, or do you
add up all the things that are capable of being turned off in the
event that the user isn't interested? Perhaps then we get the speed of
10 menu items, perhaps the speed of loading some Javascript, extra
database calls, extra database writes, etc of all the items you don't

In the case of the former, as long as it doesn't add a significant
amount to the download or slow down WordPress almost no feature will
be bloat, in the case of the latter almost any feature could be bloat.

finally, of course, it is so individual that it is impossible to reach
agreement. I think the links / blogroll / whatever it is called now,
functionality is pointless bloat, but loads of people us it, like it,
and would fight me to the death to keep it. We would both be right,
and wrong.


2009/2/6 Stephen Rider <wp-hackers at striderweb.com>:
> Playing devil's advocate here... it's bloat because it clutters the Admin
> Menu with functionality that is generally (almost by definition) only ever
> used once, if ever.
> Stephen
> On Feb 5, 2009, at 1:42 AM, Viper007Bond wrote:
>> How in the world that bloat? It's not loaded on every page. It does not
>> slow
>> down WordPress at all.
>> On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 6:38 PM, Charles E. Frees-Melvin
>> <charles at cefm.ca>wrote:
>>> One bloat I find Is the many importers for everything. I think this
>>> should
>>> be a plugin
> _______________________________________________
> wp-hackers mailing list
> wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
> http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-hackers

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list