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Should WordPress Release a Lite Version?

As we get closer to a WordPress 2.1 release, I sometimes go on an older blog I have still running WordPress 1.5 and while its publishing speed does not seem to be as fast as the newer version, it just seems so much nicer to use. Yes, I know uploading a picture is in a weird place, but on this one site, I don’t upload many, if any images.

It makes me wonder if WordPress needs a Lite version. A version that strips WordPress down to just what you needs, and makes everything else an extension you can add if you need it or use it. Currently, WordPress creators are trying to appeal to the widest audience while also adding in new features to sway people from using other publishing plaforms, but what I find is that WordPress is adding things I don’t want.

The visual rich editor does nothing but annoy me. The first thing I do is turn it off once I have WordPress installed. I have never once used the import feature that I hear works so well. I can think of lots of reasons to have it for most common users, but I have never needed it, and if I did, it would be a one time thing, and then I would not need it anymore. The dashboard annoys me. Knowing when a new version of WordPress is out is all I really need or want, and that would work well in the footer of the Write Post page.

I have always been curious to know how many people actually use the page feature in WordPress, beyond making an about page. On most of my blogs that I work on, there are no pages, only blog posts. I don’t know anyone that uses the post by e-mail ability that WordPress has, so that could probably go. Remove all the standard plugins that come with the current download, and that could save a fair bit of bandwidth and downloading time for some people.

How much code could be removed from WordPress in order to make a Matt Mullenweg approved, WordPress Lite? Would anyone else even be interested in such an initiative? What other features do you think could be removed from WordPress to create a Lite version?

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  1. James Asher says: 7/26/2006

    I’d like to see a Lite version as well.

    I am in the same boat as you with regard to all the extraneous features I don’t use, though on some of my sites I do use the Page functionality quite often. To a lesser degree I use the image upload functionality, though I don’t like the way WP currently does it, it’s not nearly as useful as it could be.

    The rich visual editor I don’t use as much because it all too often borks out crappy HTML. That being said, my other authors use it who have no web background. They couldn’t work without it.


  2. ZMAng says: 7/26/2006

    Hmm, wouldn’t Lightpress somewhat count as a lite version of WordPress? Admittedly, a lot of stuff has been changed, but if you’re talking speed and simplicity, I think Lightpress does walk the walk.


  3. Matt says: 7/26/2006

    Everyone has different “killer” features. Most projects approach this problem by modularizing core functionality, but that usually creates more framework bloat which cancels out any benefits the modularization gave. (Think PostNuke.) WordPress is measurably faster than it used to be, and will continue to evolve that way until it’s not possible to do so.


  4. Dave M. says: 7/26/2006

    I thought WordPress was “lite”. At least compared to CMS’s like Drupal or Movable Type. It’s the plugins that make WP so robust.

    How much “lite”er can WP get?


  5. David ) says: 7/26/2006

    Litepress looks interesting enough, and I know about it…but I was thinking more along the lines of a Matt Mullenweg approved “version”


  6. David ) says: 7/26/2006

    I agree Matt, that the killer features are different for most people, but that is part of the reason why plugins are so cool. What about making a more core version allowing each person to add on what they need/want to the core version?

    And Dave M. it can get so lite that others have tried to cut down on what is in WordPress…like LitePress.


  7. melz says: 7/26/2006

    I don’t think WP really needs a lite version, but it definitely needs to “get rid of” certain annoying “features”, ie. the dashboard feeds. I rarely even glance at the dashboard and while the stats are nice to see once in awhile, they are of no necessity. The only bookmark I have for WP is the “Post New Entry” link.

    Like you, I do not use the rich editor nor want to. But since we can “turn it off”, I don’t think I still remember it’s around.

    However, the page feature is (or was?) a unique WP feature and I definitely don’t think it’s disappearing anytime soon. It was one of the main selling points of WP for me once I discovered what I could do with it. In fact, I don’t even have an about page on my blog but I definitely use it for other purposes :)


  8. James Asher says: 7/26/2006

    I think there is some common consensus amongst the commenters here, I think we mostly all agree that more of the features that are set in the core of wordpress need to be moved to plugins, e.g. post by email, dashboard feeds, and importers.

    Doing this would thereby create a Lite version.


  9. Oona says: 7/26/2006

    I just want to say that I agree with that consensus…


  10. Mr Papa says: 7/26/2006

    hmmm… I was thinking the opposite and that it was already lite… There are already a bunch of things I wish it did…

    Mr PApa


  11. war59312 says: 7/26/2006

    I would love to see a “lite” version of WordPress too. Make all the “Extra” stuff plug-ins perhaps.


  12. Greg Kiernan says: 7/27/2006

    I would like to see a lite version myself – just the basics and plugins if you require a feature.


  13. Max Howell says: 7/27/2006

    If you remove the features, most users will never find them.

    I already find wordpress lite, you guys are crazy IMO, and unrealistic in your expectations of the developers.


  14. Jeremiah says: 7/27/2006

    I disagree with your assessment of the Pages feature. This is the key feature that I use on nearly every client project I take on now. The pages feature allows WordPress to be a great content management system for regular, non-blogging sites — or to separate static content from the date-based content.

    WordPress is very “lite” as is and development time should not be wasted on stripping out features, but rather improving existing ones. If any existing feature is turned into a plugin, a concept that makes sense, it should be included with the primary distribution, but this is different than making a separate “lite” version.


  15. Hannah says: 7/28/2006

    I’d agree with Jeremiah and melz that the page feature should not be one of the first to go– it’s been crucial on all the websites I’ve designed. But there are a great many things WordPress would be better without….


  16. Clair says: 8/30/2006

    I have not been using the Pages feature in my personal blog except for a couple of pages like a contact info page, a general bio, a page where feeds appear. However, there are some cases wherein people do use the Pages feature heavily like the one I am helping maintain.

    I sort of want a Lite version of WordPress wherein I could just have basic stuff then lots of plugins. Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to go switch to Drupal? Some folks would be recommending that to me as soon as I probably decide to go change my CMS.


  17. Zed says: 9/14/2006

    A lite version of WP would be welcomed! I would love to see more plugins for WP so that it can be used as a simple CMS as well as a blogging too. What I would really love to see is a plugin that can alter the Dashboard so that it just has the features you want.

    Here’s hoping


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  21. Charles Masterson says: 3/13/2009

    I’d like to see the latest version striped of most of it’s features. Mainly because somebody did some testing and found he made more money from his own handwritten blog platform. Likely due to speed.


  22. Tracy Ingram says: 6/26/2009

    yea a lite version could be valuable, I am trying to install it on my student directory and there is a limit of 3 megs. so just installing wordpress fills up the directory.


  23. ferewd says: 10/28/2011

    wordpress 2.1 is out of date :)


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