Out of the box, WordPress comes with a wealth of customization options. Moreover, there are thousands of plugins that can help you expand your site’s functionality. However, you may have a specific requirement that cannot be met by an existing tool or theme.
Fortunately, adding custom code to your site can help fill that gap. While this process may seem daunting if you have no coding experience, it’s actually easier than you might expect.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the reasons you might want to add custom code to your site. We’ll then walk you through the safest methods for adding code in WordPress. Let’s get started!
Why you might add code snippets to your site
As an open-source Content Management System (CMS), WordPress offers almost limitless possibilities when it comes to site design and development. Users can tweak existing plugins and themes, or create their own.
Fortunately, you don’t have to learn a coding language to enhance your site. There are plenty of online platforms where users can share and copy ready-made code snippets. This includes GitHub and the WordPress.org developer community.
There are several reasons you might need to add code snippets to your site. For instance, you might use them to fix a WordPress error or vulnerability. You can also use code to add new features or improve your site’s security.
Sometimes, using code snippets can be more practical than installing a new theme or plugin. Having too many plugins installed can slow down your site in some cases. Moreover, you may prefer to work with code rather than paying for a premium theme or plugin.
Adding code is fairly easy, but it’s important to ensure that it’s done properly. Otherwise, you may accidentally break your site or delete important data. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the safest ways to add code snippets to WordPress.
How to add code snippets to WordPress safely (3 ways)
There are three main methods you can use to add code snippets to your site. However, before you get started, you might want to perform a backup of your site. That way, if something goes wrong while adding your code, you can simply restore your content.
1. Create a child theme
WordPress themes offer a lot of customization options. However, you may wish to tweak your site’s design so that it meets your exact needs. This will entail adding code to your theme’s functions.php file.
The safest way to do this is to create a child theme. This is a sub-theme of the main theme you’re using (or the “parent theme”). Adding code to your child theme will help preserve these changes when you update your parent theme.
To get started, you’ll need to access your website via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client like FileZilla, or by using the file manager in your hosting account. Once you’ve logged in, navigate to wp-content > themes in your site’s directory.
There, you’ll see a folder for each
This article was written by Will Morris and originally published on ManageWP.