Easily Hide WordPress’ Blogging Features With the Disable Blogging Plugin

WordPress strikes a good balance by offering users the ability to publish dynamic content via posts and static content via pages. However, if you’d like to use WordPress primarily as a static content management system without the features related to blogging, check out a new plugin developed by Fact Maven Corp. and Ethan Jinks O’Sullivan called Disable Blogging.

Disable Blogging hides a number of features including:

  • Posts, Comments, and items related to blogging from the admin menus.
  • Comments from pages.
  • Blog related widgets.
  • Pingbacks, Trackbacks, and XML-RPC header links.
  • Biographical info and Admin Color schemes on the user profile page.
  • Press This Bookmarklet.
  • Posts via email.
  • Howdy, help tabs, and query strings from static resources.

To really get a sense for what it’s like to use WordPress without its blogging capabilities, I activated the plugin on a fresh install.

DisableBloggingOnFreshInstall
Disable Blogging Enabled on a Fresh Install

There are two things that immediately stand out during testing. The first is that logging in takes users to their profile page instead of the Dashboard. Second, the Dashboard and the link to it are gone.

I found the removal of the Dashboard creates a jarring experience that’s different from what users might expect. It’s usefulness to display widgets with site specific information, even for sites based on pages, is a huge benefit and therefore, its removal should be reconsidered.

The nice thing about Disable Blogging is that it doesn’t permanently remove features or data. Regaining access to WordPress’ blogging capabilities is as simple as deactivating the plugin.

Browsing, using, and navigating WordPress with the blogging features hidden is an interesting experience that I encourage you to try for yourself. I tested Disable Blogging on a fresh install of WordPress 4.5.3 and didn’t encounter any problems. The next time you or a client wants an easy way to disable WordPress’ blogging capabilities, give this plugin a shot.

32 Comments


  1. Sounds like 50% of the features removed have nothing to do with bloging, but there is already a plugin to remove comments, so guess there was a need to make this plugin “more” even if the “more” is not relevant.

    turning off XML-RPC is just stupid in this context, and removing query vars is totally idiotic which serves as an indication how little the author understand how the web works

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  2. it would be much better if it redirects to pages instead user profile.

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    1. If you develop a site for a client, hiding unnecessary features is helpful, makes the backend more user-friendly and prevents misunderstandings. Especially when the person who will manage the site isn’t very tech-savvy, those features might end up being confusing. I remember being asked “why is there a comments section in my admin? I told you I don’t want comments on my site”.

      BTW, here is a nice article on the subject: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/07/how-to-make-wordpress-hard-for-clients-to-mess-up/

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      1. Giorgos, i agree. And yes, i’ve seen post you mentioned and i use most of it, mostly remove_menu_page() function, works like a charm. So i don’t see big reason for using additional plugin for that. But it depends on situation and the client, agreed :)

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  3. Interesting… I understand this can be useful for non-blog websites, but this goes against everything WordPress is intended for.

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    1. Guido, we (i mean WP developers) use WordPress for completely different projects like e-commerce or corporate projects or let’s say portfolio websites where it doesn’t need to be a blog at all.

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    2. I thought that WP was a CMS… I’ve developed many sites for clients using it and its blog part is of no use for them.

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  4. Great plugin. I actually would have liked more control over all the features. Something like a list with tick boxes enabling me exactly what I want to hide and what I still want to use.

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    1. FYI, Another plugin that lets you, among other things, control what your editors can or cannot see is Slash Admin. I use it on more than 80 sites and it is one of the first plugins that I install – but then again, I am it’s author, so my opinion cannot be objective :P.

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    2. I agree, having control over which features to hide would be great.

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  5. I would argue that if you’re not going to be blogging – or at least structuring the content of a site in a way that is similar to blogging – then there are better platforms for your site than WordPress.

    Put another way: choose the right tool for the job.

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    1. I disagree. WordPress is a powerful CMS with uses beyond blogging. One of its strengths is customization. Ditching the “blog” features is just another way to customize it.

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      1. If WP was a powerful CMS you would not need to customize it for having decent search options, media handling and content delivery in multiple languages.

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  6. I built a similar plugin a year ago: Disable Blog, and I’m currently working on final tests on the next version (0.4.0).

    My method was to redirect in most cases, either redirect admin pages to the dashboard or front-end pages to the home page. Other blog-related things are either hidden, disabled, or redirected – no database changes. Filters and action hooks allow for more fine-tuning of the plugin as well.

    I don’t think unilaterally disabling everything remotely related to the blog features is necessarily correct, and I’ve endeavored to allow custom post type and custom taxonomy support so developers can build public-facing custom post types, but still have the built-in “blog” functionality disabled.

    For instance, XML-RPC can be used for things outside of the ‘post’ type, and comments should be available and active for pages (there’s a good plugin for disabling comments already out there). Same goes for pingbacks, trackbacks, feeds, and even categories/tags (if they are used in another post type).

    Not sure how the user profile fields being simplified is related either. I’d argue that those fields can be used in the context of pages and/or custom post types, depending on the theme’s author template.

    If anyone would like to see/test/contribute, see the github repo. Thanks!

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  7. Interesting plugin, so I installed it on a fresh new WordPress. It definitely takes things out, which is ideal for anyone “not” running a blog and just want a standard website with web pages only.

    Would be nice though to redirect on login, to go to the “Pages” instead of the profile. Or better yet, maintain a dashboard, just disable the meta boxes relating to blog elements.

    I also noticed if you go to the Settings >> Reading, you still have the “Front Page Displays” options which still includes the “posts” option.

    Still, I can see this plugin allowing non-blog sites to benefit.

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    1. Hi Andre,

      We just made an update (v1.2.6) based on all of the feedback that we’ve been getting. Such as the following:

      – Restoring the “Dashboard” menu
      – Disabling blogging related meta boxes on the dashboard
      – Setting “static page” as the default under “front page displays” in Settings > Reading and preventing the user from switching to “latest posts”

      Stay tuned for bigger changes in the future!

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  8. Hi everyone,

    Thank you Jeff and WP Tavern for the plugin review and everyone else that has commented. We are definitely in the works to adding more features such as an options page since we are seeing a demand to have more control over the plugin.

    If you are a developer we’d love to get your input and contribution. You can find out Git for Disable Blogging here:

    https://github.com/factmaven/disable-blogging

    Also, if you like our plugin, don’t forget to leave a review!

    https://wordpress.org/support/view/plugin-reviews/disable-blogging

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  9. Interesting enough idea.

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  10. I go 180 on this one – if there were a plugin to disable editor-created pages, that would be interesting. Especially in Genesis, where category archives have a field for folks to add intro text.

    Most of my sites look nothing like blogs – yet every single one relies on posts as the basic unit of communication and categories as the basic unit of organization.

    I also use products and product categories in WooCommerce.

    This approach may well just be a symptom of my ADD, since my main justification is that I can keep the site structure straight. And the downside is that my users can’t just pick a page template for a new look.

    Someone actually has to code a block of CSS with a body class to make a post – or set of posts – look different. But that someone is yours truly, and I’m happy to do it.

    That said, I do use pages very occasionally – to combine a collection of posts into some bizarre layout that an archive won’t conform to easily – and that an editor may want to invoke from the page-templates menu.

    For instance, a page comes with a featured image; an archive generally doesn’t. And archives outside Genesis don’t have intro text.

    Stay cool! It’s 102° here and climbing.

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    1. Members (or any role management plugin for that matter) will allow you to disable page creation/editing for Editors. And, it’ll do it by using WP’s built-in permissions system.

      As for the archive text, one reason you won’t see this extra box in most WordPress themes is because it would break the theme review guidelines. It’s what’s called “theme lock-in”. Basically, this means that you’re data is tied to a specific theme. So, you’re locked into using it forever if you want to access that data.

      It’s better to use the built-in WP method of handling this — the category description field — which many theme authors have been doing for years. There’s even a core WP function for archive descriptions now: the_archive_description().

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      1. Yep, It is so easy to create a subtly-near-same or wholly-different CPT with Pods, Types/Views or manually then why fiddle with the native one? That can then be hidden by a choice of plugins.

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  11. I believe that marketing-wise it is a considerable problem for WordPress that many people still think that it is just a blogging platform instead of a complete CMS. At the same time, the idea of “blogging” seems to me a bit obsolete, at least compared to what it used to be 5 or 10 years ago.

    That’s why some times I wonder whether it would be a good idea to completely remove comments and possibly some other features (even posts and taxonomies, I would dare say), offering them as core modules instead, more or less with the same way that Jetpack handles its own modules.

    Of course I don’t know if something like that would be realistic or even desirable, or what the possible implications might be, but it would seem to me like an interesting topic for discussion, at least on a theoretical level.

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    1. I believe that marketing-wise it is a considerable problem for WordPress that many people still think that it is just a blogging platform instead of a complete CMS. At the same time, the idea of “blogging” seems to me a bit obsolete, at least compared to what it used to be 5 or 10 years ago.

      Agreed

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    2. For me, that’s more a problem for the WordPress marketing crew than it is an issue with comments and blogging.

      Medium. Facebook Notes. LinkedIn Pulse. All forms of blogging. All with comments. All in high use.

      While blogging has evolved, and comments are fracturing across the web, they’re both still alive and well. And, for bloggers who put the effort into maintaining their usefulness, still incredibly valuable.

      I’d be loathe to see them reduced to a bit part, just because WordPress’s marketing team can’t differentiate a message.

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      1. Blogging started as a form of a personal “online diary”, but as it gained more popularity there has been a misuse of the term and the borders started to blur (anything that was built in WordPress would be called a “blog” by many people, no matter the content). Blogging in its initial form (a standalone, online personal diary) has indeed evolved and became less standalone.

        On some cases it got “merged” with social networks (you already mentioned Facebook Notes or even simple Facebook status updates, LinkedIn Pulse etc), which I find to be quite fitting: a social network seems to be a more appropriate place for a “personal diary” compared to a website. On other cases, especially on corporate websites, a blog is a part of a broader website and in that sense, a tool among others (unfortunately, very often on those cases a “blog” ends up being just a fancy name for a boring corporate announcements’ section).

        In my opinion there are two questions here: 1. Is WordPress still the best platform for a blogger – meaning, a person with no coding skills who wants a way to quickly start posting his/her thoughts online? 2. Does WordPress care?

        For the first question, wp.com might still be one of the best options, even though tools such as Medium or Facebook Notes might seem more appealing to some people – and for good reason. A self-hosted WordPress, though, in my opinion, definitely isn’t.

        Ghost’s hype back in 2013 was a prominent example revealing bloggers who were tired of WordPress’ “clunky UX” (at least for their needs), seeking a better / simpler alternative. They were claiming that WordPress was losing its identity as a blogging platform – and I guess they were right. The most important milestones in WordPress’ recent history involved features such as custom post types and the REST API, revealing entirely different priorities. And that seems to answer the second question.

        I am not claiming that comments, tags, pingbacks and other blogging-related features should be banished from WordPress, but that perhaps some of them could become optional. It’s not just a matter of marketing, but of UX too. If there is a big enough number of developers who, after installing WordPress, go and disable certain features, then perhaps those features should be disabled by default in order to improve user experience. Of course, such decisions should not be taken lightly and would require an in depth study of users’ behaviour through statistical data, questionaires etc.

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  12. Well…what about a disable WP plugin? ;-)
    Beyond joking: is there any improvement in site-performance (i.e. loadtime, etc.) if one uses this plugin, or it just removes some admin items for the client?

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    1. Hi Peter,

      In one way or another, yes. On the back-end, it removes menu items from the Dashboard’s sidebar & toolbar, removes blog-related meta boxes on the Dashboard page, and removes blog-related widgets. On the front-end, feeds, pingbacks, trackbacks, XML-RPC, Windows Live Writer, and query strings from static resources are removed from the header.

      You can see the complete list of features that are removed from the front and back end here.

      As a result, since there less functions running, the page size is reduced, less requests are made, and the load-time is decreased. Also, since all feed related links are removed, it prevent bots from crawling your unused links.

      While this indirectly helps your website’s performance, that is not the main purpose of this plugin. I’d recommend looking into the following plugins that help with website performance:

      > Autoptimize – aggregates and minimizes JS, CSS and HTML
      > TinyPNG – compress JPEG and PNG images
      > Imsanity – automatically resizes huge image uploads

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      1. Thanks for the answer & suggestions. I use TinyPNG on almost every site i develop.

        WP needs in general about 1.4 sec until the first byte is sent to the browser (especially when using child-themes) no matter where my sites are hosted. I will try if this could be decreased by using your plugin, that would be great in use cases without blogging!

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