External Libraries used by WordPress

New Chart – Total External Libraries

Rami Yushuvaev 0 Comments

Introducing the Total External Libraries chart. Historical chart displaying the total amount of external libraries used by each major WordPress version.


The external libraries list is based on the data displayed in the credits screen in the WordPress dashboard.


The credits screen was introduced in WordPress 3.2 to to credit the work done by external developers building libraries use in each WordPress version.


Modern development is much easier than ever before, you rely on 3rd party solutions to build your app. This way you decrease your development time and go faster to market. Dependency management tools help developers thrive in this environment. Sometimes you don’t really need to develop anything new to build your app, you just need to combine the right blocks (i.e. libraries) and use them smartly.

Over the years you would expect to see an increase in the total amount of external libraries used by WordPress core. But surprisingly enough, the increase was very moderate. From 22 external libraries used in WordPress 3.2 to 32 libraries in WordPress 4.8 is a 45% increase. While it seems like a high number, the increase is not really significant because the process was done over 16 versions and over 6 years.

The chart may seem dull but it shows us that WordPress core development is done mostly manual (build highly tailored components vs. using existing solutions) with as minimum dependencies as possible. Therefore developers can conclude that they need to develop their own code or use their own external libraries – they won’t find an abundance of libraries in WordPress core. From a development point of view it’s a very important and informative insight.

Have any insights? Share them in the comments area below.

Rami Yushuvaev

I'm a fullstack developer, a blogger and an entrepreneur. I contribute to open source projects. Creator of ChartsCSS.org, GenerateWP.com, DisplayWP.com and many other projects. I work mainly with Israeli startups, providing development services.

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