WordPress made a change that perfectionists hate

perfectionist comic

They added error messages to your WordPress site health that while true and nice to know, aren’t real issues.

  1. Have a default theme available. Yes if your theme screws up it will use a default theme to display your site, but in the 14 years I have had a website I have never had a theme screen give up and the default theme came to the rescue. Once I was hacked when I first started but I restored the site and changed what got hacked. Why not have a default theme available? It takes up space and resources. My site is faster according to GTMetrix with just one theme and not by a small margin either. It increased speed by .100ms. Also, past themes are often used by malware and it contributes to your total space used by hosting companies. It also is annoying to have to update. Better to just have one theme.
  2. You should use a persistent object cache. This isn’t a real issue because while it does improve the website speed, it is only one of a large number of factors that matter. It is great that WordPress is doing things to help users understand performance but this should be allowed to disable if not needed. For many WordPress users, their shared hosting plan doesn’t allow this and this probably caused millions of panicked calls to hosting companies to deal with this “problem”. It would have been better to state this once and then profile a link to help optimize a site and then allow them to be disabled.

Now why do perfectionists hate this change? We like that we don’t have any issues, and it dashboard says two issues that are not issues to me. While I appreciate the information, advanced WordPress users should be able to disable messages that don’t matter to them. More importantly, we should not feel obligated to do things that WordPress randomly thinks are important.

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Ok, I can hear some of you thinking “WordPress understands this better than you do. Why do you arrogantly claim this isn’t important?” I don’t claim it isn’t important. I claim that advanced users understand this and further notification of this doesn’t help anyone. If I add a theme my site speed will go down. If I get persistent object caching I double my costs for web hosting and I may not want that or can’t afford that. I love WordPress, but not all of its suggestions are applicable to everyone. I don’t like Gutenberg and I don’t have to value the same ideas as someone else. That’s what makes us an adult. We choose our values.

I used to have a plugin to disable admin notices, but this isn’t an admin notice at the top and wouldn’t help me disable these warnings. This is hardcoded in the dashboard of WordPress. I could of course move that dashboard so that I don’t see that warning, but it has other information I do like. What I am arguing for is that everyone has a choice and accepts the consequences of their decisions.

There are many skilled people who know WordPress better than I do on Linkedin. If you need WordPress help chances are someone in my network can help you. Just state the problem you are having with WordPress and I know that someone will be able to help you. Asking for help is always cheaper than trying to do everything yourself.