Is Your ‘functions.php’ File Tired?


I didn’t know a WordPress ‘functions.php’ file could get tired, did you?

What I did know, is that it’s usually better to code changes to WordPress oppose to over using and relying on Plugins to do all your lifting. One place that a lot of code changes and modifications goes is in the ‘functions.php’ of your theme file. After reading a great article on How to create your own WordPress functionality plugin, there’s an even a better way to go about making changes.

There are some other reasons why you should be careful about pouring so much into the file, too.

The reason this is a bad idea, in short, is that it will tie your critical site functionality to a theme that will eventually change. Good news, though: there is a much better, smarter alternative. It’s called a functionality plugin.

Putting particular functionality changes in a plugin vs. the theme, can make changing, updating, and moding a theme easier, since it won’t alter some of the core changes you’re trying to make: i.e. Custom Post Types.

If you feel hesitant about digging into plugin work, don’t.

First of all, the thing to realize with plugins is that, for all intents and purposes, they behave no differently than your theme’s functions.php file. I won’t say there are no differences, of course, but a plugin file should not be treated as something foreign and strange. If you’ve edited your functions.php file — even if you’ve just edited it by dropping in PHP that you found searching online — then you are familiar enough to manage your own plugins.

How exciting is that!

So, give Ryan Imel‘s tutorial a read. It isn’t just a tutorial, either. He does a great job of explaining what should and shouldn’t go in the ‘functions.php’ and what should go in your newly coded “functionality plugin.”

Be sure to comb through the comments, too. Many times you can glean some extra education!


[via WP Candy]


Eric Dye

I am a blogger, business owner and lover of coffee. I spend most of my time as Programs Director for Open Church, but you'll also find me as a writer and editor for ChurchMag, as well as working on Live Theme and ChurchMag Press. All while enjoying my family and sipping espresso in Italy.


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