Clean Up WP Box

The Clean Up WP Box contains a few simple options that turn on/off WordPress “features” most sites never use. Unfortunately, these unused items add unnecessary HTML and URL calls to every page of your site, and some even have associated (minor) security vulnerabilities.

If you don’t need to use these functions, it’s in your best interest to turn them off. WordPress doesn’t provide you with a simple way to do that, but the Clean Up WP Box for Thesis makes it easy.

After Installation…

After installing and activating the Clean Up WP Box, the included options will be set as follows:

  • Emoji: Disabled
  • WP Block Library CSS: Enabled
  • oEmbed: Disabled
  • XML-RPC: Enabled
  • WP Rest API: Enabled

If you want to change any of these settings, simply look for the Clean Up WP link in the Boxes dropdown menu in your Thesis Admin. On the resulting settings page, you can turn on/off each of these options as necessary.

Recommended: Disable WP Block Library CSS! This fat hunk ‘a junk adds 33kB of CSS to every page of your site to support the Gutenberg Editor.

Emoji Character Support

Unfortunately, WordPress adds emoji character support in a pretty ham-fisted manner. Their solution involves placing inline JavaScript and CSS in the document <head> on every page of your site.

I understand why WordPress felt the need to implement the solution in this way, but the bottom line remains the same—it stinks.

Emoji support is now so widespread that this snippet of code no longer belongs in WordPress—and certainly not on every page of every WordPress site on Earth!

Disable this thing and Make Your Document <head> Great Again.

WP Block Library CSS

If you thought the 2.4kB of emoji support code was ludicrous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The WP Block Library CSS—which only exists to support the Gutenberg Editor—adds a whopping 33kB of mostly-useless CSS to every page of your website.

From the perspective of performance and optimization, this is brutal. By disabling the Block Library CSS, you can recover that lost performance while keeping your site lean and mean.

oEmbed

This may be the dumbest, least justified thing WordPress has ever forced upon the masses. Whether you know it (or like it) or not, WordPress adds oEmbed support to your site via code injected into the document <head> on every page of your site.

Notice a trend here? WordPress has moved past asking you and is now deciding what is good and necessary for your site—even when it affects every page!

I happen to disagree with this approach, and that’s why the Clean Up WP Box exists. You should be the one to choose what gets added to your site (and I think you should be apprised of the costs and benefits, too).

We recommend you disable this option due to the performance benefits of doing so.

XML-RPC

The XML-RPC protocol allows websites (and other endpoints) to communicate with one another, even if they run on different platforms. This technology makes Trackbacks possible in WordPress.

WP Rest API

The WP Rest API is a powerful tool that some Plugins (or other 3rd party software) use to leverage certain WordPress features and functionality.

You will likely want to enable this functionality, but if you’re hardcore about performance and keeping your site’s code as clean as possible, you may wish to disable it.