Many, many years back when I was using WordPress I would notice the “test” plugin by Matt Mullenweg, Hello Dolly. This plugin only displays some lyrics from the song of the same title in the Admin screens.

I had always deleted it, figuring it was good practice to cleanly delete a plugin that I was not using. That was until I attended WordCamp in Toronto.

Mullenweg was speaking on stage and while citing some usage statistics he jokingly chided us for deleting it, taking it as a humorous affront to himself. Asking me personally why we were deleting his plugin in droves I explained that I never used it. He countered with a very simple “You could still leave it there.”

I found the man quite endearing at that event and decided from then on to keep the plugin installed as it was in there by default anyways. I told myself that I could also reference it as a plugin template of my own.

The recent release of WordPress 5.2 came with it a new tool called “Site Health”. I love these kinds of automated configuration-validators so I immediately ran it and it listed only 2 things for my sites that I could resolve for “security” reasons.

  1. Delete unused themes – I was surprised as it was asking me to delete all of the many official “Twenty*” themes that WordPress themselves push out each year. I gave it what it asked for and deleted all by the most recent TwentyNineteen and my active Divi theme.
  2. Delete unused plugins – There was only one. Hello Dolly. I decided to delete it, I figured this was Matt telling me it was perfectly fine to do it now. That he had matured and his feelings would not be hurt by my actions showing up in the usage statistic data.

I just couldn’t do it now. I had gone for so long with it that I decided to just ACTIVATE it finally. It has taken you years Mullenweg but you got me to use your plugin finally.