Who is Dolly?

Plugin DirectoryIn keeping with our Plugin-themed posts, we would like to solve a plugin mystery that seems to confuse and sometimes irritate WordPress users who have not heard the history of Hello Dolly. This plugin is the world’s first official WordPress plugin and was created by Matt Mullenweg, a founding developer of WordPress.

Hello Dolly PluginThere were two purposes for creating this plugin. The first is that, when activated, the administrator will see a lyric from Louis Armstrong’s Hello, Dolly in the upper right part of the admin screen. This is only really helpful if you would like to get the song stuck in your head.

Hello, DollyThe second purpose of this plugin was to show users building websites the power of the plugin. Since this was the first plugin, no one knew why they should care about, build, or install plugins. This one showed how you could add on to the core of WordPress to enhance your website’s appearance and functionality.

There are now almost 25,000 plugins that have been downloaded over 435,000,000 times. Hello Dolly set the precedent of what a plugin could do for your WordPress Website.

Interestingly, our favorite host (WPEngine) has banned this plugin from their servers as it has no practical value. I guess they aren’t very nostalgic.