Declutter Plugin for WordPress

Web applications that add unnecessary HTTP headers or meta tags and links in the HTML HEAD section of my web pages usually make me nervous. Today, WordPress, once again, made me spend my free time trying to find which filters add such useless data in my web pages and try to remove it. Removing the meta tags and links from the HTML head was rather easy using the remove_action() function, but the HTTP headers gave me a hard time. Before giving up, I decided to search for a plugin that could possibly provide a solution. Fortunately, I discovered a great plugin, named WP-Declutter, which makes it possible to remove all that useless stuff in one go. Below, there is some information about which items I have removed.

First of all, I should say that the plugin’s feature set by far exceeded my expectations as it can remove links and metatags from the HTML HEAD area, HTTP headers added by WordPress, the generator element of the feeds, and also various classes WP adds to various HTML elements.

I removed the following items from the HTML HEAD:

  • Link to the Really Simple Discovery service endpoint. That’s the link to: /xmlrpc.php?rsd
  • Link to the first post on your blog.
  • Link to the Windows Live Writer manifest file. That’s the link to: /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml
  • The generator meta tag.
  • The shortlink.

From the “feeds” section I removed the the “generator” element.

Finally, from the HTTP headers section I removed everything. In my case, the ETag, Expires and Cache-Control headers are added by the webserver (FileETags and mod_expires). If this is not the case for you, then consider keeping these enabled.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that if you use any caching mechanism, like WP-Super-Cache, make sure you clear the cache after you make any changes in the WP-Clutter’s administration panel, otherwise the changes you made will be visible after the cached pages expire.

Declutter Plugin for WordPress by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Licensing Information.
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About George Notaras

George Notaras is the editor of G-Loaded Journal, a technical blog about Free and Open-Source Software. George, among other things, is an enthusiast self-taught GNU/Linux system administrator. He has created this web site to share the IT knowledge and experience he has gained over the years with other people. George primarily uses CentOS and Fedora. He has also developed some open-source software projects in his spare time.