Customization is the key in today’s WordPress development. You will come across numerous occasions when you need to have a customized function in your website to attract your visitors and serve their needs. This can be done using the custom functionality file or ‘functions.php’ which allows you to add custom functions to an existing WordPress theme, hence the name. Basically, it acts like a plugin and finds its usage in many ways in custom WordPress development. However it is different from a plugin as it requires no specific header.
You can access this file under the theme subdirectory wp-content/themes and it loads automatically during theme utilization. If the custom functionality file isn’t present you can create functions.php in the themes folder and defining a function in it. Although its advantages are many, some WordPress developers are wary of using this file due to some of its disadvantages. There are also some misconceptions about this file that prevents many developers from using it. Let us take a look at some of the pros and cons of custom functionality plugin for WordPress.
- A function filed can be used both in PHP and built-in WordPress to define a custom function. This is very useful when you are unable to find a third-party plugin to match your needs. You can edit the functions.php file and you shall have a custom function defined for your website.
- If you have a child theme for a micro site under your main website you can make use of it and can have its own functions.php. This allows you to achieve functionality in the micro site which is independent of the main theme.
- This file is a great help for developers who want to apply certain functions across multiple websites running on WordPress. This is ideal for the businesses which use multiple websites to promote their products and services with all of them having similarities in how they appear and function.
- Functionality file scores over the third-party plugins, thanks to the fact that the file can be used to define numerous attributes and functions in a WordPress theme. Whereas plugins usually perform only one functionality in the theme.
- This file can be edited by anyone with basic knowledge of PHP. Thus any developer who has knowledge of PHP coding can easily define the custom functionality in your website and make its functionally appealing to the users.
- One of the major disadvantages of using the custom functionality plugins is that it tends to create issues when it comes to upgrading WordPress. You have chances of losing custom functionality of your website during an upgrade.
- The functions.php file is theme specific and only the functions file in the active theme affects the appearance of your website. If you are upgrading to a new version of WordPress, you need to edit the functions.php file in the new theme.
- The custom functionality plugin can interfere with the functioning of premium WordPress themes. So using this plugins might spoil the whole idea of investing huge amounts of money in buying a premium theme.
The above argument clearly show that there are pros and cons of using the functions.php file in WordPress as it appeals to some while others prefer to keep away from it. However this tool was never meant to be a suit for all utility in WordPress. Nonetheless custom functionality plugin is a very useful tool in achieving customized functionality in your WordPress website. There are many websites that allow you to download pre-coded functions.php and allows you to achieve the functionality you are looking for in the click of a button.
Thank you for stopping by. Loved this one? Subscribe us now to keep-up with our blog updates. And if you were seeking help related to custom WordPress plugin development, we are always up for that. Give us a line!