The Beginner’s Guide To Testing WordPress Themes

By June 22, 2015 Blog No Comments
The Beginner's Guide To Testing WordPress Themes

Whether you’re working on a free or a premium theme, or even developing a theme for a noncommercial personal use, you’ll want to make sure you check the code for bugs and test the actual performance of the theme before you start promoting it, or publish your website. To help you cut through the clutter of endless techniques for testing WordPress themes, we’ve gathered some of the most effective tips in one place to get your theme ready for public release.

Enable Debugging

While this may sound like an obvious one, you’d be surprised how many developers actually can’t be bothered to enable debugging when coding a theme. WordPress development is all about working smarter, not necessarily harder, and enabling debugging will save you a lot of headache down the road once you finish coding and start testing WordPress themes. Simply make sure that WP_DEBUG is set to true in wp-config.php, and you’ll get warnings about any possible errors, and even if you’re using a deprecated function.

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A/B Testing For Designers

Even though technically not a guideline for testing WordPress themes during the development stage, A/B testing can greatly affect the sales and the overall look and feel of your theme. During the designing stage, there are countless decisions you have to make, from the layout to the nitty-gritty details such as button shapes and colors, and even icons. Luckily, there are many free and premium services and plugins that track the effect certain layouts, themes, or even theme elements like shapes of the buttons have on the visitors, giving you some vital insight into what appeals to visitors and what doesn’t.

Disable Script Concatenation When Testing WordPress Themes

Disabling script concatenation in WordPress can be a tricky thing to understand, but it can help you get a better understanding of how WordPress does certain things. Simply adding the line define(‘CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS’, false); in wp-config.php will pull in your scripts separately. However, don’t forget to enable it for actual environments!

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Disable The Trash

While it is a great feature, the trash can cause you quite a lot of problems when testing WordPress themes. While developing the theme, you’ll be creating and deleting posts, pages, and other elements, all of which will end up in the trash. When testing the theme, make sure you disable the trash and the theme posts, as the bugs in the trash can affect your theme. Simply open the wp-config.php file and add define(‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 0);.

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