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What is the Hello Dolly WordPress Plugin? Should You Delete it?

Recently one of our users asked what does the Hello Dolly plugin do in WordPress? If you just got started with WordPress, then you probably noticed Hello Dolly comes pre-installed in WordPress with an extremely vague description. In this article, we will talk about what is Hello Dolly plugin and why you should delete it?

Hello Dolly plugin page on WordPress.org

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What is Hello Dolly WordPress Plugin?

Hello Dolly is a simple WordPress plugin that comes pre-installed in WordPress. If you activate the plugin, it will display a line from the lyrics of Hello Dolly song which is most famously performed by Louis Armstrong.

A line from the lyrics of Hello Dolly

If you read the plugin description, it is extremely vague and doesn’t explain the usefulness of this plugin.

This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong.

In case you were wondering, YES this plugin is completely useless for all practical purposes.

So why is it there?

History of The Hello Dolly WordPress Plugin

Hello Dolly was one of the very first WordPress plugins to be ever created. It came in May 2004 with the release of WordPress 1.2, which introduced the plugin architecture for WordPress.

Hello Dolly is written by Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress. Apart from Hello Dolly, there were four other plugins pre-installed in the earlier version. Those plugins were:

First WordPress plugins screen

Since then Hello Dolly has shipped with every version of WordPress.

What is The Purpose of Hello Dolly in WordPress?

Apart from the sentimental values, Hello Dolly has no practical purpose. There have been debates in the community calling for it to be unpackaged from core install however after 11 years it is still part of all default installs.

The current primary reason/excuse for it’s inclusion is that it helps new developers get started with writing plugins.

However in reality, it’s not a very good example to study WordPress plugin development. There are better resources like the plugins handbook and countless other tutorials / videos.

We believe the reason for it’s inclusion as a default plugin is mainly tradition. For many early adopters of WordPress, Hello Dolly is a reminder of the good old days and how far WordPress has come.

Should I Delete The Hello Dolly WordPress Plugin?

Yes, you can definitely delete Hello Dolly without any impact on your site.

Often folks leave it installed and deactivated. In our experience, we have found hackers hiding malicious codes in old default WordPress themes and plugins as it’s the last place most beginners look.

Understand while the default themes and plugins are not what caused your website to be hacked, it’s one of the many spots that hackers usually hide their malicious backdoor code.

We strongly recommend that you delete ALL plugins that you’re not using on your site (not just Hello Dolly).

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