Understanding the Default Settings of a WordPress Installation

Posted on May 29 2014 by in Blog 

When you first install WordPress you will notice that there are a couple of plugins that are already installed. These default plugins have been included by the makers of WordPress for a reason; though, this does not mean that you need to keep them installed. The same goes for the default theme, entitled Twenty Fourteen. Before you decide to keep or remove these plugins or the default theme, it may help to have an understanding of each item. Keep reading to discover the benefits and drawbacks of using these default WordPress settings.

The Default Plugins

The two plugins that are installed as part of a new installation of WordPress are Akismet and Hello Dolly. Let us start with Hello Dolly. I believe that perhaps this plugin is simply included to provide users with their first introduction to a plugin. This plugin serves no real purpose, other than to display a random lyric from the song ‘Hello, Dolly’ by Louis Armstrong in the upper right corner of your Administration dashboard. That is literally all this plugin does. While it does not provide a useful feature, it is also so small that it will not affect the performance of your WordPress website, especially for visitors as they will not see these random lyrics.

The other default plugin is Akismet. A lightweight plugin that does not affect the user experience of visitors to your website, Akismet is a spam guard for your comments. Working with the existing WordPress comment system, Akismet does a more thorough job of checking for spam from comments left on your blog. Akismet will flag spam and allow you to decide whether to delete it or approve the comment.

Neither of these plugins will have any effect on the performance of your WordPress website. The intention of both plugins is to provide a feature only noticeable by the Administrators of the website. While Hello Dolly has no purpose, Akismet at least provides a more thorough protection against spam in your comments.


Twenty Fourteen

WordPress has always been released with a default theme. Currently, the default theme is Twenty Fourteen. Like many other WordPress themes that are out there, this one uses a responsive design. This means that your website will look perfect on all devices even smart phones. With Twenty Fourteen, you can display your recent posts on your homepage either in a grid or in a slider. There are plenty of options for altering the appearance of your website and three widget areas for adding additional features or features from plugins. This is definitely one of the better free WordPress themes available. Unless you are looking for a specific look that you cannot achieve with this theme, there is no reason to switch to something else. A solid theme with responsive design, it is easy to see why this is the default theme.

Whether you choose to remove any of these default options or use them is up to you; though, there are mostly included because WordPress feels that users will find them useful. Hello Dolly is entertaining and does not eat up any resources. Akismet is a powerful spam protector. Finally, Twenty Fourteen is a suitable theme for most WordPress websites. As always, remember to take time considering your options before switching to a new theme or installing new plugins.