Posted in September, 2014

Feature creep, creeping featurism or featuritis is the ongoing expansion or addition of new features in a product, such as in computer software. Extra features go beyond the basic function of the product and so can result in over-complication rather than simple design.

Feature creep on Wikipedia

Automattic recently acquired the BruteProtect plugin, and announced that they would make the premium service free but plan to roll it into the Jetpack “meta-plugin.” For me, this highlights a trend I dislike, starting with the Stats1 plugin back in the day.

I get the appeal of doing this: it bundles these plugins in a “meta-plugin” that dumps the extra features users have access to onto your self-hosted blog, in one shot. However, I dislike this approach for two reasons:

  1. It introduces bloat. I can count on one hand the number of Jetpack modules I’m using. Not to say the rest aren’t useful; I just don’t have a need for them.

    It’s unnecessary to have to install a huge meta-package when all I really wanted in the beginning was to keep using the stats plugin. Maybe Jetpack modules could be downloaded only as needed?

  2. WordPress comes with a great plugin finder built into the admin (Plugins – Add Plugins), and the plugin repository is an immensely useful resource for finding what you want.

    Jetpack is a package manager within a package manager. Using what has already been built, Jetpack could be a “guide” plugin to discover those other plugins.

Either way, I highly recommend installing BruteProtect. Attacks on wp-login.php URLs have become so prevalent my web host even monitors for this specifically, and locks access automatically.

  1. This is the link on the list of Automattic plugins, but it appears the plugin is no longer listed there.