5 Things You Can (And Should) Remove From WordPress

How’s your WordPress site looking these days? A little overweight? Huffing and puffing more than usual?

It could be time for some housekeeping. Trimming a bit of fat from your WordPress installation will make the whole experience faster and more satisfying, both for yourself and your readers.

How to clean up your WordPress installation
Is this your WordPress site?

These are 5 unnecessary things that you can safely remove from WordPress right now, for a cleaner and healthier website.

Clutter is the enemy – show no mercy.

1. The visual text editor

How to disable the WordPress visual editor

There are two reasons that you should consider axing the visual text editor from your Posts page.

  • It can wreck your formatting. Sometimes, when switching back and forth between the HTML and visual text editors, the layout of your post gets messed up, and you have to go back and fix things manually. It’s much easier to keep track of your work if you just stick with one editor.
  • It makes you lazy. Any serious web publisher should know how to write their own markup. Get rid of the visual editor and force yourself to learn some basic HTML.

All you need to do is go to your ‘Profile’ settings, which can be accessed in the left sidebar of your dashboard, and check the box at the top of the screen which says ‘disable visual editor when writing’.

2. Unnecessary plugins

Remove any WordPress plugins that you aren't usingUsing too many plugins can make your WordPress site load slowly and feel sluggish. Old, broken and out-of-date plugins can compromise the security of your site and leave you open to malicious hacks.

How many deactivated plugins do you have sitting in your WordPress installation right now, gathering dust? And how many of your active plugins do you really need?

For starters, you can get rid of the stupid ‘Hello Dolly’ plugin that ships with WordPress. Then it’s time to make a thorough and honest appraisal of your plugin collection – give the chop to anything that isn’t 100% essential to the purpose of your website.

This is a topic that we’ve covered in depth here at WPMU. Check out this article to help you decide which plugins you really need, and this one here for more tips on improving the speed of your WordPress site.

3. Old themes

Delete old and unused themes from WordPressIf you’re like most WordPress users, you’ve probably tried out a tonne of different themes on your blog in search of the perfect design. And you absolutely should – this is one of the beautiful things about WordPress.

It’s important to keep on top of your themes, however, and only hold on to the ones that you’re actually going to use on a regular basis. Don’t let unused themes accumulate in your WordPress installation.

If you have some old relics lying around waiting to die, right now is the time to delete them.

Too many themes will give you the same problems as too many plugins, so cut those suckers down to the bare minimum necessary (which for most bloggers will be only one).

4. Unused images

Delete unused images from your WordPressMost WordPress bloggers will occasionally (or frequently) upload images that they never end up using on their site. If your Media Library is full of photos and graphics that have never seen the light of day, either use them or lose them.

There’s no point leaving useless image files to take up space on your server. Have a quick look through your collection and see if there’s any dead weight you can get rid of.

5. All that crap in the dashboard that you don’t care about

Customize your admin dashboard in WordPressI’m sure very few WordPress users actually read the blog and news feeds that show up in the dashboard. Or the plugin suggestions. And I don’t know about you, but I never use the QuickPress tool either.

Most of that stuff is useless white noise, so you might as well get rid of it and clean up your workspace a bit.

If you click ‘Screen Options’ in the top right corner of your dashboard, you can select which panels you want to be displayed.

What have YOU removed from WordPress?

Have I left anything out? Let us know what steps you’ve taken to reduce clutter and make your WordPress experience more efficient.

Thanks to Tambako, Jake Mates, Horia Varlan and Mr Fink for the images.