Common WordPress Theme Mistakes and How to Prevent Them

Common WordPress Theme Mistakes and How to Prevent Them

Adam Morgan

Using a theme within WordPress can be handy, but it could also be causing you to make mistakes. Below, we’ll go through common WordPress theme mistakes and how you could prevent them before they occur.

Use your Functions Wisely

If you’re focused on creating functions that save you time, be aware that this could cost you time in the long run. Creating functions that work for you, rather than the site can cause your code to get messy. This means further down the line, you might struggle to amend this as it’s linked to so many other pieces of the site.

Don’t Plan too much Ahead

Although it’s tempting to try to get all of your ducks in a row in advance, this can put you into a hypothetical tangle. If you want to add in options or displays, you might start thinking about the future of this feature.

So you create a function that can work outside of the loop, which creates unnecessary code and makes things a lot more complicated. When it comes to it, you might not ever need this feature to perform outside of the loop, and that’s where you’ve wasted your time!

Pay attention to the needs and demands of the project at the time, not the future.

Optimise Correctly, Not Prematurely

Prematurely optimising your code can also cause you problems with your WordPress theme. You want to save yourself time by assigning value to a variable, but in reality, this won’t actually save you much time. This means you’re spending more time on assigning that value, than actually using it.

It can be habitual to optimise your code, but stop to consider whether this is worth your time. More function calls doesn’t always mean sloppy code, as you should consider what works best in the project at hand.

Reduce Variables in your WordPress Theme Template Files

Creating too many variables makes your code difficult to read and to understand. Avoiding variables in your template files will improve readability and remove the dead weight. With too many variables, your code starts to look messy and it’s all unnecessary data for the most part. These template files should be used to show content, not to fetch it.

Don’t define your variables, extract them into functions. This makes your code more readable and gets rid of all that clutter. You’re still getting the same result, but you don’t need to overcomplicate those template files.

Don’t Use Outdated Versions

WordPress has the habit of updating quite a lot and your code should evolve alongside this. Use the latest best practice in order to keep your code dynamic. Stay up to date and don’t be afraid to question what you’re doing.

For those that are building these WordPress theme elements to be used by others, look into the codex often to find out if there’s a better way to do the same functions. This might just save you time too.

Creating themes within WordPress can be useful, keep these tips in mind to ensure you’re creating the best product.