WP-General Folder For WordPress Core Files


A while ago (3 months actually), I made a topic in the Requests and Feedback section of the WordPress Support Forums, requesting a feature for WordPress 2.7:

For future WordPress versions, I’d like to suggest that there’s a folder/directory called “wp-general” where the root files will be stored.

The reason for this is, when working in an FTP, it’s annoying to have all those files (that hardly anyone ever touches) just laying around taking up space. With a “wp-general” folder, it will create better organization and users will only see 4 main folders/directories: “wp-content”, “wp-admin”, “wp-includes”, and “wp-general”.

This is a pretty small, but very necessary request. I know with some modifying of some core files and reworking of some permalinks, you can do this manually, but that’s a pain. I’d like to be already done every time I download and install a fresh new copy of WordPress.

This feature would benefit many WordPress developers, and anyone who uses WordPress, for that matter. I’d like to hear what you think. Is this worth bringing up directly to Automattic? Do you have any suggestions or other ideas to improve on mine? Let me know in the comments.

19 thoughts on “WP-General Folder For WordPress Core Files

  1. Yeah I agree with you Mike. And since your at it I want the theme folder to be wp-themes instead of wp-content/themes 🙂

  2. Structurally, in nearly every single regard, WordPress is a fucking mess. They should really rewrite and restructure the entire application.

    Really the only things separating WordPress from any other blogging system in the world are

    1) the fact that PHP runs on nearly every shared webhost
    2) the data modeling, the concept of posts, tags, and how they all work together in wp-admin
    3) The interface inside wp-admin that everyone is so accustomed to.

    It would be entirely simple to recreate a faster and better organized blogging platform that matches those requirements. Sadly, I don’t have a single care in the world to do this 🙂

    Go check out Habari. WordPress sucks.

  3. I certainly agree that there are potential benefits to be had from taking a renewed look at the folder structure of WordPress, but I also think that changes should be considered on a wider basis; i.e. is the only issue with the WordPress system that there are some files that could be tidied up or is there scope from separating out other aspects such as moving the core themes into a separate system folder or bringing very commonly accessed folders to the fore.

    I certainly don’t disagree with what you suggest but the direction that WordPress is taking means that you might have a hard time convincing anyone to look at the folder structure when every effort is being made to make it unnecessary to do anything manually.

    I suspect, although I have nothing to back this up, that the general opinion is that anyone competent (or foolish) enough to want to get involved in the files can fend for themselves and deal with what is there, and that the improvements should be aimed at letting people who barely know how to use FTP get into WordPress.

  4. I totally agree, the same way i like the way wp-content is separated from all the other wordpress system folders, if you backup wp-content and the mysql you are set… now all those files on the root are just a drag, well i wouldn’t say it needed to make a new folder… why not use wp-includes ? also i think most of the comments are right on… wordpress should be a bit more streamlined, i would prefer wordpress team plugins instead of hardcoded features (bloat anyone), they should just concentrate on making wordpress as quick and as efficient as possible (hehehe not too sure if habari is ready for prime-time) ^_^

  5. I would like to see things tidied up in the way you suggest Michael. Even though they are trying to automate many of the tasks associated with WordPress, it would make things easier for other things on our websites.

  6. Most savvy WP folks I know run WordPress in a subdirectory so none of those files clutter up the root using the method that Viper linked to, which has been in WordPress for a few years now.

    Recently we added the ability to move the wp-content directory out of the WP directory, which is fantastic if you’re managing your files with a source control system like Subversion. I’ve switched my blog to use this and it works great. It’s minor, but it also allows me to get to my theme and plugin directories faster when navigating. 🙂

    Mr Whalen, you obviously have strong feelings (and language) here but as a single counterpoint I would offer up that there have been hundreds of PHP blogging systems with similar (or better) interface and data models as WordPress created in the past few years, suggesting that the points you identify aren’t the core reasons for WordPress’ success. (And continued growth despite “better” alternatives.) I think at its core WP is about the community surrounding it — blogs like this one, thousands of plugins, and thousands of themes. Those are not things easily replicated.

    Finally, as someone who hosts millions of WordPress blogs doing a billion pageviews a month, I can say from experience that structurally WordPress can hold its own.

  7. I can’t say I agree with the notion that WP is unorganized or difficult to work with. I’m not speaking directly to you, Michael, since I don’t think it’s a bad idea to tuck everything into folders to make it easier to move around. Not a bad idea at all.

    But Whalen, above, talks about WP as if it’s the worst out there. Ever played around in ExpressionEngine? WordPress is far more organized and easy to work with than many content management systems out there. I’m all for using the CMS for the project at hand, and WP isn’t right for everything, but at least be fair. Hell, the uptake of WP among designers and developers is enough to show how relatively simple it is to work with.

  8. I think the addition of the wp-general folder would be very helpful. It would certainly make it less likely for a client to accidently take down their site by disrupting one of the files in the site root while attempting to make a small change by ftp.

  9. While I agree that this would be useful, I don’t think it’s entirely necessary. I’ve found that the best solution is to take WordPress out of the root directory, which is much more organized and clears up the clutter there.

  10. I don’t think it would worth the time, there’s other stuff that might be added in that time.

    @whalen: in order to back up your words your blog should be on Habari, instead of WordPress isn’t?
    wp is not just wp, is its community, the huge load of plugins, the easy php implementation, the accesible themes system, how easy writing a plugin is, etc

  11. I think another small piece idea but have a big impact to me as wp developer is clean up and change all “blog” word to “site” on every source code so, we can quickly metamorphosing wp to cms.

    @ Michael Whalen
    That’s cool that your blog Powered by WordPress 2.7-hemorrhage.

  12. HECK yeah. WP is a major mess.

    IMHO, a total remake is required, with obvious legacy support for themes, etc, but for those who wish – a much cleaner standard file structure.

    At the very least, as you suggest, a wp-general folder wouldn’t go a miss!

  13. I’d like to point out a couple things at the risk of going off topic and/or sounding like a total b***h, but I remember when Whalen was a giant fanboy of WordPress. In fact, long before Gardner probably had even the faintest glimmer of creating a “premium” theme, Whalen released what I believe was called Moscow, for $50. If memory serves, this was around the time of v2.0. Since then, WP has made tremendous strides both in UI design, functionality, and community following. My point is, how can WordPress “suck” now with all the improvements (none of which were related to noticeable file structure I might add), when you [Whalen] apparently thought it was good enough 2+ years ago to spend your time building themes for? Secondly, why are you trolling a blog that is ENTIRELY centered around the very thing you think sucks? Whatever dude.

    Moving on – while I agree that the half dozen or so files contained in the root could actually have their own folder, it’s trivial. WP has garnered a huge following over the past few years, and no one has seemed to have any trouble with the structure so far. I think Ryan was on target when he pointed out EE. It’s way more complicated to work with.

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