Single Purpose Plugins Explained

WordPress Navigation Block

Close Burger Menu when clicking in the outdoor area

This plugin only fulfills one task – and is a good example of the advantages of a single purpose plugin.

A clean solution to a single problem

Single purpose plugins are plugins that only fulfill exactly one task – but as perfectly as possible and without ballast. Our “SV Close Modal on Click Outside for Navigation Block” is just such a plugin.

Currently, the navigation block for the WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg) is not yet where many users would like it to be. The Gutenberg developers must always consider whether a user request should also be fulfilled by them. For example, for a customer project, we need the following function enhancement for the Navigation Block:

If the burger menu is open, it should also be closed again if you click outside the menu.

Not every project needs such a feature. The Gutenberg developers would therefore have to weigh up:

  • Is this function absolutely expected by the user
  • How does this feature affect other areas?
  • If this function can be switched on or off
  • If this function is enabled by default
  • What would an ideal implementation look like?

The above function usually requires Javascript, which means that it has an impact on the performance and loading time of a website, no matter how minimal. And an additional decision or function in a Gutenberg block quickly leads to feature creep.

So if it is not a mandatory feature, the result of the decision by the Gutenberg developers could also be that a solution is Plugin Territory . Until this decision, let alone the release as part of a WordPress version, years can pass.

And this is where the Single Purpose Plugin approach comes into play:

  • A much-needed feature for some is immediately available
  • The solution can either be adapted by the Gutenberg developers or taken over directly
  • Until then, the Single Purpose Plugin can be easily activated or deactivated


Fire & Forget

Single purpose plugins solve only one problem and make configuration options obsolete. If the function is later mapped via WordPress itself, the entire plugin can be removed. Since it has no unnecessary ballast, the website remains performant.

Our recommendation

Multi-purpose plugins often promise a lot and usually deliver little. Single purpose plugins do just the opposite. If you have a problem, a single purpose plugin could save a lot of time, money and nerves. The plugin from the above example is available in the WordPress repository: