Does Hello Dolly Still Have SEO Value in 2023?
For practical uses, this plugin is 100% useless and won’t do anything to boost or hurt anything on your WordPress website. So if you’re wondering whether Hello Dolly can help with search engine optimization (SEO) or website performance in any way, the short answer is no.
Hello Dolly is one of the oldest WordPress plugins, being included in the default plugin repository since WordPress 1.2. Its purpose is simply to display a random lyric from the song “Hello Dolly” in the upper right of your admin screen. That’s it.
While this little Easter egg has persisted for tradition’s sake, it has no practical application for modern WordPress users. Let’s explore a bit more about what Hello Dolly is, its history, and whether it has any SEO or other value for your site today.
A Brief History of the Hello Dolly Plugin
Hello Dolly was created in 2004 by Matt Mullenweg, one of the co-founders of WordPress. At the time, Mullenweg was looking for a simple way to demonstrate how to create a basic WordPress plugin.
Displaying a random “Hello Dolly” lyric in the dashboard seemed like a fun and harmless idea. It also paid homage to the musical that inspired the name WordPress (from the song “WordPress” in Hello Dolly).
So Hello Dolly became one of the first plugins introduced in the WordPress repository. Back then, WordPress had far fewer core features, plugins were less common, and Hello Dolly was more of a novelty.
Since those early days, Hello Dolly has stuck around, surviving multiple WordPress releases and evolving along the way. Originally it just showed a lyric whenever you loaded a dashboard page. Later it was updated to only display on the main dashboard.
The lyrics it randomly selects have also been expanded over the years to pull from many different versions of the song. So in a sense, it’s become somewhat of an “Easter egg” within WordPress, giving a nod to the past.
Is There Any Purpose to Having the Hello Dolly Plugin?
When looking at what Hello Dolly actually does – occasionally display a short lyric – it’s clear the plugin serves no practical purpose today.
It doesn’t provide any SEO boost, improve site performance, enhance security, or add useful features. At best it adds some mild amusement to your dashboard. At worst it’s a needless distraction.
So why has this seemingly useless plugin stuck around so long? There are a few reasons:
Tradition – As one of the first WordPress plugins, it has some nostalgic value and historical significance. The core developers have kept it around partly out of tradition.
Developer Example – Because it’s relatively simple code, Hello Dolly is sometimes used to demonstrate plugin development. However, it’s debatable whether it’s a good example of modern best practices.
Potential Risk – Some argue Hello Dolly could pose a security risk if its code were maliciously exploited. However, this could apply to any plugin, and such an exploit has not occurred.
Harmless Fun – For some, seeing the random lyrics is a minor but harmless diversion. If it brings a bit of joy, why remove it?
So in essence, the main factors keeping Hello Dolly around are tradition, nostalgia, and inertia. Its original purpose has long passed.
Should You Delete or Keep Hello Dolly?
Whether you should keep Hello Dolly installed on your site is up to you. Here are a few things to consider:
No SEO or Site Benefit – As covered already, the plugin provides no SEO boost, performance enhancement, or other site optimizations.
Potential Minor Security Risk – Because any plugin code could theoretically be exploited, some view Hello Dolly as an unnecessary (though very minor) security risk.
Can Slow Admin Loading – A fraction of a second slower admin dashboard loading likely goes unnoticed. But if speed is critical, deleting unneeded plugins like Hello Dolly can help.
Remove Unused Plugins – In general, it’s smart security practice to delete old, inactive plugins rather than let them sit. One less plugin means one less potential vulnerability.
Use Available Resources – Server resources like memory and disk space are finite. While very minor, deleting unused plugins frees resources for other tasks.
Personal Preference – Some enjoy the random lyrics for their nostalgic charm, while others find them distracting or pointless. It’s personal preference.
Overall there is no right or wrong answer – it’s up to you whether the pros of removing Hello Dolly outweigh any cons like losing the lyrical tradition. Typically it makes practical sense to remove unused plugins, but the choice depends on your priorities.
If you do decide to remove Hello Dolly, deactivating it alone won’t delete it from your server. You’ll need to fully uninstall it. Simply look for “Hello Dolly” under Plugins > Installed Plugins, deactivate, then select Delete.
The Verdict: Hello Dolly Provides No SEO or Site Value
In summary, the nostalgic but functionally pointless Hello Dolly plugin provides no SEO, site speed, or other practical benefits for your WordPress site in 2023.
It can safely be deleted without impacting your site’s performance or rankings. And while the random lyrics bring back memories for some longtime WordPress users, they distract from the admin experience for many others.
With WordPress now powering over 40% of all websites globally, the average user’s needs and expectations have changed since Hello Dolly first debuted. What was once a novelty has become outdated.
So if you were wondering about keeping Hello Dolly solely for its potential SEO or site benefits, you can safely deactivate and delete it without any negative consequences. It’s arguably better to remove unnecessary plugins that add potential security risks and slow your site, even marginally.
While we may be losing a small slice of WordPress history, any minor nostalgic value of Hello Dolly’s lyrics is outweighed by the benefits of streamlining your plugins. For optimal WordPress performance and security in 2023, it’s best to remove this relic of the past.
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