WordPress 2.9 Revamps Hello World

November 5th, 2009

During the WordPress development chat today, one of the topics of discussion centered around the suggestion of changing the Hello World post that is seen with every new install of WordPress to something that contained useful WordPress specific information such as links to the release mailing list, the codex and other helpful material. I’d like to break down how this change came about to show how easy it is to contribute to the WordPress project without writing a line of code.

It first started out as a discussion on the WordPress Hackers mailing list concerning the addition of email notifications to the core of WordPress to keep administrators abreast of new versions of WordPress as they were released. The discussion became long winded but a response by Lynne Pope provided one of those why didn’t I think of that moments.

Change the sample data – instead of, “this is a post”, provide some meaningful information. With a link to subscribe to WP-Announce. Make an entry announcing that WP-Announce is being used, so this will show in the dashboard feeds. Bloggers will quickly pick up on this and news of it will spread.

Needless to say, her idea sparked a series of kudos with other suggestions for what to include in the sample data. Then, in a WordPress development chat regarding the topic that was discussed on the hackers mailing list, it was agreed that the best course of action would be to not only revive the WP-Announcements mailing list, but to also change the Hello World! post in WordPress to something more useful. A fellow by the name of Demetris took it upon himself to create a draft of what the sample data should be. The discussion surrounding the change including links to see drafts and revisions were included in ticket number 11008. The ticket has been open for two weeks and in today’s developer chat, Demetris published a link to his draft which you can view here. There was a unanimous decision to include the sample post data into the core of WordPress starting with version 2.9. If the sample data needs editing, it will be done throughout the beta process before the stable release.

There you have it. A time line of events that happened in quick succession which provided a small change with huge benefits without having one line of code written. Let me know your thoughts in the comments with regards to the new sample data that will be provided in any new installation of WordPress starting with 2.9.




  1. Dave Doolin (25 comments.) says:


    This is a huge development, not because of some technical achievement, but because the WordPress community took one step back, cocked it’s head a little one or or another, and asked the obvious question: “What’s wrong with this picture?”

    (This reminds me: I need to add a link to Demetris’ article on teasers to one I wrote a while back…)

    Something that would be really cool, but more work, would be to add a random selection of WordPress blogs to the blogroll. Say 10 or so. Not quite sure how to do that… I can think of a couple of different ways… and the links would probably have to be vetted… but it would be cool and it would help suck people right into the community.

  2. Andrea_R (29 comments.) says:

    I still love this idea!

    The only potential issue this will cause is with new blog creation in WPMU. New users there won’t need to know half that stuff, BUT the possibility exists there for a plugin to replace the default new post content.

    (which is being written as we speak)

  3. Jean-Paul Horn (2 comments.) says:

    Made some contributions to the document, mostly geared towards new users (providing some helpful pointers) Also changed some call to actions. Hopefully they are appreciated (if not, feel free to restore to an earlier version).

  4. Christopher (18 comments.) says:

    I hope the WordPress MU version will be different. I think that new default hello world will REALLY confuse new users who are NOT the site admin and don’t have control.

  5. denbagus (3 comments.) says:

    i always waiting for WP 2.9

  6. Phil Coffee says:

    Hey – I own the rights to “hello world.” Who do I sue?

    • Jeffro (20 comments.) says:

      Not sure but that would be a heck of a payment considering the number of infringements across the web :)

  7. Andrea_R (29 comments.) says:

    Or – how’s this suggestion? This could be the default first post on the Main blog, but any additional blogs in MU have the “old” version?

    • Andrea_R (29 comments.) says:

      TOTALLY forgot: this is a non-issue in WPMU. Site admins have the option already to set the default post for users. DOH.

      Deanna S reminded me. :D

  8. Ian Stewart (28 comments.) says:

    Brilliant idea. And kudos to Demetris for writing such a smart first draft.

  9. Rajesh Kanuri (3 comments.) says:

    so soon we are going to miss Hello World..

  10. Jesse Friedman (5 comments.) says:

    I’d like to see an array of html elements in the “Hello World” post. Stuff it with h1’s – h6’s, p, blockquote, an image, table, ul, ol, etc…

    This way we can design our blogs and we don’t have to create test posts to make sure we’ve styled all the possible html elements.

  11. Benoît (1 comments.) says:

    Good idea !


  1. […] Read more about the new Hello World Concept in the making. […]

  2. […] Check it out: hRecipe is in the feed at Planet WordPress, coming in from the mention at Weblog Tools Collection. […]

  3. […] der kommenden WordPress-Version 2.9 soll der "Hallo Welt"-Artikel lt. weblogtools collection durch etwas "nützlicheres" ersetzt werden. Der Artikel soll einen Link zur Mailingliste […]

  4. […] Weblog Tools Collection reports on the recently agreed upon move to modify the default blog post that comes with every new WordPress installation, the one entitled “Hello world!” People on the WordPress Hackers mailing list thought it would be better to add more meaningful information and links on the starting post, which serves as a welcome mat to every new WordPress user. […]

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