Today, we are going to introduce you to one of the best practices to follow when managing a website: never modify your plugins. Unless it’s a bug fixing (and that this correction is done by a professional), there is NO good reason to EVER modify directly the plugin files. So don’t do it. In this article, we will explain why this is so important!
Why is it not advisable to modify the files of its plugins?
When it comes to modifying an extension, all beginners have the same reflex: they directly modify the source code of the plugin. But this is a major mistake! If plugins are able to work on WordPress, it is due to updates.
Therefore, it is essential to regularly update your plugins. On the other hand, modifying the files of your plugins to add functionalities or correct security flaws is a bad idea.
First, your changes will not be preserved during the plugin update (and all your efforts will be in vain). Secondly, you might create more problems on your WordPress environment by increasing the vulnerability of the plugin. Third, a developer will find it harder to help you because they will have to clean up the changes before they can do their job. It is like a painter who has to remove wallpaper before applying primer. The cost of the service will be more expensive.
Fortunately, there are other ways to modify the functionality of a plugin. Let’s find out about it together.
How can I customize my plugins?
If for any reason you feel the need to customize a plugin, we advise you to start by talking to its author. To do so, use the plugin’s support. Maybe the plugin’s creator will be able to give you an easier solution than modifying the plugin’s source code. For example, he could implement the desired change in his own code.
Web developers often use the built-in editor to make the appropriate changes. To do this, they use :
- A hook ;
- A filter in the plugin;
If you are not at ease with computers and/or you are afraid to jeopardize the performance of your website, we strongly advise you to call a professional!
In conclusion: it’s better to never (ever) modify your plugins!
As you can see, the alternatives to modify a plugin without touching its code are technical. And the risks involved in modifying plugin files are significant.
So, in case of dissatisfaction, we advise you to contact the author, to try another plugin or to ask a web developer for help.