WordPress 6.1 Retires Default Site Tagline in Favor of Empty String

WordPress’ default site tagline, “Just another WordPress site,” is now a thing of the past, though not yet fully retired to the realm of nostalgia. The recent 6.1 release resolved a ticket that lead developer Mark Jaquith opened 15 years ago to encourage people to change their taglines. The tagline has now been changed to an empty string for new installations. This was added as a note of interest in the 6.1 release post, which was the first place many learned about it:

“The site tagline is empty by default in new sites but can be modified in General Settings.”

For those who are sentimental about the tagline, rest assured that it has been preserved as placeholder text in the admin.

“I do think the easier solution is to replace the ‘Just another WordPress site’ value with a placeholder,” WordPress Core Committer Jb Audras said in the discussion on the ticket. “By doing this, we keep this sentence which is in my opinion part of the WordPress history —by doing so, it would at least appear on the Settings screen, so we keep this signature sentence somewhere on the admin— but the value is empty by default for new installs.”

This is the solution he committed, which landed in 6.1. The commit message identifies the reasoning behind the change:

Administration: Change default site tagline to an empty string.

This changeset replaces the default “Just another WordPress site” tagline with an empty string for new installations. The reasoning is:

  1. Not all themes display the tagline;
  2. Not everyone changes the default tagline;
  3. When people don’t see the tagline in their theme, they may not realize it is still visible in some places, like feeds.

The string “Just another WordPress site” and the related multisite string: “Just another {NETWORK} site” are now only used as a placeholder for the tagline admin option.

The advent of block themes was also another factor, since the Customizer was where users often managed their taglines in the past. Contributors concluded that the increasing use of block themes might result in more people who have the default tagline on their sites without even knowing about it. The conclusion was it is better to make it an empty string than to add a bunch of admin prompts to update it.

This is a welcome change to how taglines are presented, and it was past time to update it. Although most WordPress professionals had become accustomed to it, more casual users often searched for how to get rid of it, sometimes without knowing it could be customized. The message also wasn’t doing WordPress any favors, unless it was originally written to imply WordPress’ ubiquity on the web – a claim that was aspirational at the time it was first committed to core. In that case, it has long since served its purpose. An empty string ensures that the only taglines showing up for new installations are ones that admins intentionally wrote for their sites.

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6 responses to “WordPress 6.1 Retires Default Site Tagline in Favor of Empty String”

  1. This was definitely a long time coming. I cringe every time I see “Just another WordPress site” when I’m helping someone debug their site much like I cringe when I see “sent from Twitter for iPhone”. Not for the same reasons, but the reaction is the same. Disgust.

    Also, “just another” has always seemed so self-deprecating. Own that you built a site with WP and be proud of it! Leave out the sad “yet” like it’s a plague.

    This also reminds me that there are unfortunately too many clients that spend so much money on a site and it still says “Just another”. What else are these “experts” missing out on if they can’t even cover the basics?

    Yeah, I get that most are self-publishing, so no offense to those people.

    My point is that I’ve never liked the default tagline. 😉

    “Nostalgia” comes into play only for WP users, not clients.

  2. This is great! Now stop bundling Hello Dolly and WordPress will finally look like the professional tool it’s been for over a decade.

    • I’d add Akismet to the list as well. I don’t mean to dismiss the need for an anti-spam solution, but a plugin that pushes for a subscription shouldn’t be part of the default installation IMO (I know you can use it for free on commercial sites, but it’s against their TOS). The Akismet shipped with WP.org can be a barebones “community edition” that’s free to use. I have personally switched to the comment blacklist maintained by splorp on github and it catches almost all spam in comments and contact forms.

  3. I tend to be the type of person that think that WordPress should come with one theme.
    No plugins, no akismet, no hello dolly, etc…

    Let the owner of the websites decide.

    Some themes allow you to not show the title/tagline. The others one…just put a space instead of Just another WordPress site.

    I usually just change it to Just another Miroslav Glavić website

  4. I’d get rid of it from the placeholder as well.

    I’ve never understood why its included. It’s completely the wrong tone for a site. In British English that has always sounded really bad, like its another inconsequential WordPress site. It feels like I’m being insulted.

    I’m assuming the real intention is to sound nonchalant, like oh just another one, but it comes off badly in my opinion.

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