Lean WP


The reason we developed the Lean WP plugin is that we think that WordPress in its current shape can be cleaned up and trimmed down.

The Lean WP plugin is mostly targeted at companies that use WordPress for their company websites. At the same time we think that the plugin can also be useful for people who simply want to use the interface they have gotten so used to, without the new « features » that seem to be added with each new release.

In the past new features were added to WordPress using the 80/20-rule, which meant the following:

Clean, Lean, and Mean

The core of WordPress will always provide a solid array of basic features. It’s designed to be lean and fast and will always stay that way. […] The rule of thumb is that the core should provide features that 80% or more of end users will actually appreciate and use. If the next version of WordPress comes with a feature that the majority of users immediately want to turn off, or think they’ll never use, then we’ve blown it. If we stick to the 80% principle then this should never happen.

WordPress.org Philosophy page

Well, WordPress no longer is Clean and certainly not Lean and in terms of those, the future is not looking very bright. Matt Mullenweg even has hinted that the 80/20-rule is no longer.

It might be time to retire 80/20 from the philosophy page, as it is seldom used as intended.

Matt Mullenweg · March 31, 2017 at 8:15 PM on WP Tavern in a discussion on the redesign of the Plugins Directory

Over the past few releases a long list of unwanted things have been added to Core and unfortunately the end is nowhere near (the Gutenberg project is in full swing at the time of writing this).

  • Emojis
  • Distraction free writer
  • Scroll-free editor
  • Customizer
  • REST API enabled by default
  • Embeds (of content) enabled by default

And there is stuff that people have called desperately for to remove for many years already, such as:

  • XLM-RPC anyone?

Last but not least there are the usual frustrations that seem impossible to deal with in an easy way:

  • removing the comments system completely including the RSS
  • the ridiculous Howdy-« greeting » in the admin panel
  • disabling author archives
  • plugins that add their settings all over the WP Dashboard sidebar
  • the useless welcome panel with a strong focus on blogging and making new content
  • changing the order of Pages and Posts in the sidebar menu of the WP Dashboard.

There are various plugins that take care of a few or more items on the list above, but to be honest we were getting tired of having to install 5-10 different plugins to bend WordPress into submission. The Lean WP plugin therefore is a collection of functions, hooks and filters to target all of our frustrations.

For more information, please have a look at the extensive documentation we have made available for the Lean WP plugin, including features, FAQs and screenshots.


Visit the Plugin’s Documentation for detailed instructions.


Visit the Plugin’s Documentation to see all the FAQs.


7 decembre 2018
Highly recommended for anyone who uses WordPress without blogging features. I've set this up on a vanilla install along with the 'Disable Blog' plugin, and never has my dashboard looked so tidy. I installed Lean WP as soon as I read this line in the documentation 'prevent plugins from injecting themselves as top level menus'...my OCD is satisfied 🙂 Great work Pieter, please maintain this going forwards.
21 decembre 2017
5* for all the reasons given already plus another * for the tentative plan to disable Gutenberg if/when possible.
10 octobre 2017
This plugin is simply amazing! It removes all the stuff nobody needs. I didn't even know I needed this plugin, but after reading through the documentation I had to install it on all my websites. It makes WordPress so much more enjoyable by getting rid of all the unnecessary bloat. I love it. It's very clever. /edit: Some options would still be very appreciated, I personally would like to not have the author archives disabled.
17 Agost 2017
This plugin does a great job of simplifying the WordPress admin by removing bloat, duplication and functions that are rarely used by most. As others have mentioned, the developer Piet, is very responsive and dedicated especially to the cause of making WordPress and major plugins friendly and easy to use. Some of his other plugins like SO Hide SEO Bloat and SO Customizer Hide Menu are aimed at simplifying. There are a few minor things I would like to see adjusted or adjustable. I will put those on GitHub as the dev has suggested. I was torn about how may stars to give. I was feeling like this is 4 or 4.5 today. But since I expect it to improve based on community feedback AND since it is also just the initial release, I went with 5.
18 Agost 2017
Excellent work. Cleans up a whole bunch of annoyances in one fell swoop -- blam! Well documented and thought out. Developer is responsive on GitHub. Many will benefit from this plugin. Could use a settings page or options to re-enable certain functions. Update: I changed my review from four stars to five after the plugin author pushed an update that makes some of the settings optional -- much appreciated!
Read all 7 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Lean WP” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Lean WP” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Lean WP” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • November 18, 2019
  • update WP Dependency Installer to 2.0.0
  • increase minimum PHP version to 5.6 (requirement of WP Dependency Installer)
  • WP 5.3 compatible fixes this issue


  • May 9, 2019
  • disable remove tools menu due to many complaints



  • November 17, 2017
  • Makes show_page_on_front() function pluggable so it can be overridden in (child-)theme or other plugin; addresses issue #10


  • August 19, 2017
  • Fix issue with Dismissible Notice of WP Dependency Installer, issue #5
  • Set dismissible period from one week to forever


  • August 18, 2017
  • remove Howdy greeting altogether, because other languages was (of course) still showing up. Fixes issue #2
  • make installation of additional plugins optional instead of required. Fixes issue #5


  • August 11, 2017
  • add condition that checks if Uncategorized category exists. If it doesn’t then the default category name change does not happen. Fix issue #4


  • August 9, 2017
  • Release version