Add Custom Code in WordPress Easily & Safely Without Breaking Your Website

We'll talk about update-proof ways to make changes or also add custom code to WordPress sites easily and safely without breaking your Website

By Larissa Lopes
Updated on July 25, 2022
Add Custom Code in WordPress Easily & Safely Without Breaking Your Website

Know how to easily and safely add custom code in WordPress without breaking your Website. You often want to tweak plugins, add a code snippet, or change your WordPress site. However, users make these deadlines in a way that is not feasible in the long run. So and should not include these changes in WordPress as they will change for your theme as they will change when you update your theme plugins.

Add Custom Code in WordPress Easily & Safely Without Breaking Your Website

Add Custom Code in WordPress Easily & Safely Without Breaking Your Website

Some users use this not to update themes or plugins, but this is also not a good strategy. Features may contain security or bugs like new ones that you will want to use.

Instead of making some changes in a way that can’t stand the test of time and doesn’t limit what you can do on your site, here are update-proof ways to make changes or also add custom code to WordPress sites without breaking your Website (in order of preference change).

What not to do

Before we suggest some suggested methods, let’s discuss what not to do.

You don’t want to change a plugin or theme directly when you use a plugin or theme. And for example, let’s say I want to change some text generated by a plugin. I can change the function that generates this text in the plugin, but I’ll replace it as soon as I update it. When you make changes like this, it becomes very difficult to make changes.

You also often get an extra features.php theme. If you can avoid this, you should. You can use the tips below to create or use a plugin, but it’s best to change its functionality. Also, it helps if you’ve never used the parent theme’s functions.php – cry a child theme.

Finally, you must prefix any functions you add to your code. For example, suppose I want to add code to Visualmodocom. And I usually add a skyverge_ prefix to function names to ensure they don’t conflict with other content in my theme or plugin.

Now, let’s see how to safely add and update this code to your Website.

Add custom code to WordPress sites

They are located in the order of preference on how customized to WordPress.

1 – Use the code snippets plugin

Code snippet plugins are a great way to add code to your WordPress site, making it easier to create your plugin. It serves the purpose of its plugin and can add custom code without using your theme and in a safe way to update.

A new Snippet menu is added to your Website, which allows you to name and add new snippets. And each snippet will have space for the code and a description for more information about the code (if I find a useful snippet from a website, Add the URL using the description and remember where the URL came from).

Add Custom Code in WordPress Easily & Safely Without Breaking Your Website

You can enable and disable your code snippets as plugins (which makes debugging easier) and export them to PHP files. Custom snippets sometimes cause conflicts or issues with plugins or themes, so disabling all custom code is useful for addressing issues.

2 – Use a custom plugin

Custom plugins are the best way to add code snippets. Then, you can keep those snippets as you change themes and turn them on or off as needed. If you like adding your plugins, I prefer this route to the Code Snippets plugin, but it’s a little harder.

The WordPress Codex has a great resource for writing plugins, and we have a tutorial on creating custom WooCommerce plugins to get you started, but they go beyond basic plugin setup.

Very simple plugins require some components to use on your Website. However, this is an easy way to add code in an organized way that you can update as needed. For example, instead of using my functions.php, I use a custom plugin to add custom shortcodes to my Website.

First, to add custom code WordPress, you need to create a folder and give it a name – this will be the name of your plugin. And can use something like Visualmodo shortcodes for my shortcode plugin. Create a name that uses hyphens instead of spaces.

Next, you need the plugin’s main file. This includes the plugin title, description, and basic information. And we’ll also add a line of code to deny external access to the plugin and name it Visualmodo-shortcodes.php (or whatever). Moreover, PHP is the language WordPress is written in. So we want to add this file extension to tell the WordPress plugin what language to use.

You can create this file using a text editor such as Notepad, NotePad ++, TextWrangler, TextEdit, etc. Don’t use Microsoft Word, which adds formatting data to the text. All the editors I just listed are free – if you have a Windows computer, you already have NotePad (though NotePad++ is better). Mac comes with TextEdit, but I prefer Text Wrangler/bbEdit.

Here’s what to add to the file:

<?php /** * Plugin Name: Visualmodo Shortcodes * Plugin URI: * Description: Adds custom Visualmodo to Visualmodo websites. * Author: Visualmodo * Author URI: * Version: 1.0 * Text Domain: Visualmodo-shortcodes * * Copyright: (c) 2014 Visualmodo, Inc. ( * * License: GNU General Public License v3.0 * License URI: * * @author visualmodo * @copyright Copyright (c) 2014, visualmodo, Inc. * @license GNU General Public License v3.0 * */ defined( ‘ABSPATH’ ) or exit;

You’ll then add your custom code below that. You don’t need to add any closing PHP tags at the end of this document. Moreover, your WordPress admin displays the plugin name, URI, description, and author in the “Plugins” list. You may replace any Visualmodo information with your information.

Once you’ve added all the custom code in WordPress to your shiny new plugin file. You can place it in the plugin folder and compress it into a .zip file. Then, it’s ready to be uploaded to your Website! You can use this for all custom code and update it as needed by deleting it and adding it back in or replacing it via FTP.

3 – Use your Functions.php child theme

I know I said don’t use your theme’s functions.php file. However, for some modifications, it’s a good option.

This is probably best for code that is directly related to your theme (or how it is displayed on your Website) rather than a plugin like WooCommerce. This way, the custom code will disappear when your theme disappears, and you won’t need it anymore. And, it still needs to be added to the child theme, not the parent theme, so it’s safe to update.

If you absolutely cannot use the first two solutions for WordPress-specific plugins or custom code, you can use the child theme’s functions.php file instead of the child theme’s function usage. .php file. your primary theme.

When adding code to your functions.php, look for closing PHP tags (they look like this: ?>). If your theme file ends with one of these files, you will need to put custom code on it.

Add Custom Code WordPress: Conclusions

Make sure the future – you appreciate the past – don’t make site updates complicated, and don’t try the future – you avoid doing them. Instead, securely add custom code to WordPress, switch from theme to theme, and make it easy to debug if something goes wrong.