One of the reasons WordPress is so popular among users and developers is its versatility and customizability, and it’s also why the number of developers trying to earn a little extra cash on the side by developing WordPress themes keeps growing. Since so many developers are writing code for the same platform, a new problem is bound to arise: code readability. This is where standard WordPress coding techniques and best practices come in to save the day.
Essential WordPress Coding Techniques That Can Make Or Break Your Project
The PHP parser doesn’t care how you format the code while you’re writing it, so why should you bother with formatting? In reality, the format of your code makes an enormous difference in every way imaginable. At the end of the day, a well-written code is easier to maintain. You might know what’s going on today, but what about a year from now? Will other developers be able to tweak and edit your code on their own without wasting hours of their time on untangling the code?
One of the best WordPress coding techniques for improving readability and usability of the code is indentation. You’ll use it throughout your code, from HTML to PHP, which makes it one of the most useful and most used WordPress coding techniques for all developers. Use tabs at the beginning of lines, and use spaces for mid-line indentation.
Hooks Are Essential
In order to do pretty much anything out of the ordinary with WordPress, you’ll have to learn to use hooks. They’ll allow you to extend the functionality of the WordPress without actually having to touch the core files. At the end of the day, using hooks is one of the most effective WordPress coding techniques to keep the code simple and modular, and it will save you a lot of headache down the road.
Play Nice With Others
Whenever you’re working on a new feature or a unique functionality, resist the temptation to hardcode it into your theme. A much better idea would be to develop a separate plugin, which will make your buyer’s life a lot easier. Let’s say you set up a custom post type and your buyers decide to switch to another theme years down the road. If the new theme doesn’t support the custom post type, your buyers will lose all their content. Separating things like custom posts into a plugin is not only one of the most important WordPress coding techniques, but it’s also downright the right thing to do.