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WordPress 6.1 Retires Default Site Tagline in Favor of Empty String

WordPress’ default site tagline, “Just another WordPress site,” is now a thing of the past, though not yet fully retired to the realm of nostalgia. The recent 6.1 release resolved a ticket that lead developer Mark Jaquith opened 15 years ago to encourage people to change their taglines. The tagline has now been changed to an empty string for new installations. This was added as a note of interest in the 6.1 release post, which was the first place many learned about it:

“The site tagline is empty by default in new sites but can be modified in General Settings.”

For those who are sentimental about the tagline, rest assured that it has been preserved as placeholder text in the admin.

“I do think the easier solution is to replace the ‘Just another WordPress site’ value with a placeholder,” WordPress Core Committer Jb Audras said in the discussion on the ticket. “By doing this, we keep this sentence which is in my opinion part of the WordPress history —by doing so, it would at least appear on the Settings screen, so we keep this signature sentence somewhere on the admin— but the value is empty by default for new installs.”

This is the solution he committed, which landed in 6.1. The commit message identifies the reasoning behind the change:

Administration: Change default site tagline to an empty string.

This changeset replaces the default “Just another WordPress site” tagline with an empty string for new installations. The reasoning is:

  1. Not all themes display the tagline;
  2. Not everyone changes the default tagline;
  3. When people don’t see the tagline in their theme, they may not realize it is still visible in some places, like feeds.

The string “Just another WordPress site” and the related multisite string: “Just another {NETWORK} site” are now only used as a placeholder for the tagline admin option.

The advent of block themes was also another factor, since the Customizer was where users often managed their taglines in the past. Contributors concluded that the increasing use of block themes might result in more people who have the default tagline on their sites without even knowing about it. The conclusion was it is better to make it an empty string than to add a bunch of admin prompts to update it.

This is a welcome change to how taglines are presented, and it was past time to update it. Although most WordPress professionals had become accustomed to it, more casual users often searched for how to get rid of it, sometimes without knowing it could be customized. The message also wasn’t doing WordPress any favors, unless it was originally written to imply WordPress’ ubiquity on the web – a claim that was aspirational at the time it was first committed to core. In that case, it has long since served its purpose. An empty string ensures that the only taglines showing up for new installations are ones that admins intentionally wrote for their sites.