Give WordPress Smilies a Face Lift: New Plugin Adds Emoticons to Self-Hosted Sites

Are you in love with the new smilies? Their modern look is a bit more expressive and endearing than the old emoticons. If you view them side-by-side, there is simply no comparison, especially when you zoom in:


Although there is a ticket open for updating WordPress core emoticons for self-hosted sites, there’s no telling when that might move forward. In the meantime, if you cannot wait to get the new smilies, Janneke Van Dorpe has created a plugin that adds them to self-hosted WordPress sites, essentially filtering the old ones to convert them to the set used on

The New Smileys plugin is hosted on github. If you view the code for the plugin, you can see the whole list of smilies included. It works in just the same way as the emoticons on

I tested the plugin and found no issues. All of the standard and secret emoticons work as advertised. Many thanks to Janneke Van Dorpe for putting it out there for others to use. If you frequently use emoticons within WordPress, adding this plugin will instantly give all your old smilies a face lift. There’s no need to wait for modern smilies to arrive in the WordPress core. Download the New Smileys plugin from github to get them now.


25 responses to “Give WordPress Smilies a Face Lift: New Plugin Adds Emoticons to Self-Hosted Sites”

  1. Out of curiosity, why can’t we just replace the actual files ourselves?

    The background for WPTavern is

    Jeff can upload (a photo of Matt Mullenweg), before uploading it he changes the file name to wood13.jpg then uploads it. Anyone that sees the site 1 second after the upload will see matt mullengweg’s face istead of the woodie background.

  2. Yep, there is absolutely no comparison. The older ones are far superior.

    I don’t understand the constant need for people to try to change the smilies. I like the existing ones. I hate the new ones. They’re too shiny and silly and stupid looking. They have no character. They have no sense of history or decorum. They have no class.

    Leave my smilies alone. I will fight to keep them.

  3. Note that Sarah Gooding enlarges (scales-up) non-scaling GIF emoticons, alongside designed-to-scale SVG (vector graphics) versions … and then shows the comparison-image, in JPG format.

    Why did she need 3 different image-formats, in order to defame the innocent old GIF emoticons? Because, dear reader, each of the different image formats is better than the others, in certain application & use contexts.

    In certain situations the supposedly-antiquated GIF images will easily beat the socks off their supposedly superior SVG versions, hands-down.

    The truth is, you can get more mileage out of each pixel, with a (hand-optimized) GIF. SVG doesn’t savvy pixels (or hand-tweaking) … and yeah-huh, there are contexts where pixel-ignorance looks as dumb as Sarah’s blown-out GIF emoticons.

    GIFs are good. SVGs are good. JPGs are good. And several more … all have their place.


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