Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

A Simple Guide On How To Edit Functions.php In WordPress | WP Buff

WordPress developers sometimes need to add code snippets in order for a website to function as desired. A standard way to do this is to edit the theme’s functions.php file.

If you are new to WordPress, changing theme files can seem intimidating. No matter how good a developer you become, this fear doesn’t go away, but you can reduce the risk of something going wrong by wisely deciding how to modify your website’s functions.php file. Let’s start with a discussion of what the functions.php file does, then move on to how to edit functions.php in WordPress and what you need to know while working on it.

How to Edit Functions.php in WordPress, Access Locations in FileZilla

What is functions.php file?

There is a functions.php file located within every WordPress theme. That file is the source code for defining one or more functions using a block of code and called for use in other areas of programming.

In short, it stores action code for other classes of programming to access and use. You can find your tasks. PHP file convert specific post types into blog pages, add Google Analytics, or house code that makes your theme unique.

Reasons to be careful while editing functions.php

Before making any changes to your functions.php file, some essentials to understand include:

  • Changes are theme-specific: each theme has a functions.php file.
  • A theme update or reinstall may cause your changes to be lost, as it saves the file.
  • Coding errors in the functions.php file can land you off site or lead to other errors.

The functions.php file is necessary for your site to function properly, and making changes may break your website. Being able to quickly undo your previous changes can reduce downtime, especially for retail sites, so make sure you:

  • test your changes on the staging site
  • Back up the file before converting it
  • Be prepared to roll back changes by making one change at a time (when possible)
  • Do this only when necessary and usually only for a child theme
  • Instead consider a site-specific plugin to manage code snippets

Check out our article on WordPress Problem Solved to understand how to fix common WordPress problems faced by developers of all levels.

How to use a plugin instead of an edit function. php directly (most secure way)

One of the safest ways to edit site functionality is to use plugins, such as code snippets, instead of editing the functions.php file. Using a plugin will ensure that your code remains active with updates or changes, as it operates independently of the theme and, therefore, is not overwritten if the theme is updated or reinstalled Is.

Image of the Code Snippets plugin on

Additionally, most plugins that manage code snippets will also work with WordPress Multisite. Instructions will vary with the plugin used.

How to edit functions.php in WordPress using Admin Theme Editor?

Editing the functions.php file through the theme editor is as easy as editing the source code in WordPress. WordPress’s design includes a built-in editor that enables you to modify your theme files using the online admin portal.

NOTE: This method should not be used on a live (production) website unless absolutely necessary, as any mistake has the potential to take the site offline and you may need to be an administrator to fix the problem. Unable to access theme editor.

If your site is accessible through wp-admin, you can edit files using the default WordPress menu options.

  1. Log in to your site via wp-admin as an administrator.
  2. Access your site’s source code under Appearance > Theme Editor.
  3. Verify the theme or choose a new one using the Select Theme dropdown menu. to edit and click on select.
  4. in the menu theme files, Select the functions.php file by clicking on the corresponding title.
  5. Make your edits and click update file To save changes.

Note: Each theme has a functions.php file, so it is important to make sure you are working in the correct theme files, or your edits will be saved in the wrong place and not visible on the website.

Access the function via an FTP client. php file

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a fast way to access files related to your site. If you prefer to access your functions.php file via an FTP/SFTP client, there are many different programs to choose from for a number of costs.

FileZilla application image linked to a site showing how to edit functions.php in WordPress
FileZilla Application Connected to a WordPress Site

To access your functions.php file through the FTP client, follow these steps:

  1. Access your site using your preferred FTP program and your login credentials
  2. You should see your local files and websites files side by side: navigate to the desired theme’s files and locate the functions.php file. Note: You may need to navigate to a different folder to find the functions.php file,
  3. Upload your new functions.php file to your WordPress site

Note: Wait until the upload is complete, or you may create a corrupt file that breaks your site.

Use a Professional or Managed Services

There’s no shame in knowing when to partner with a professional or use a managed service provider if the work you need to do is beyond your comfort or skill level. If your time is valuable, let a WordPress managed service provider like us handle your website for you.

We, the WP Buffs, have a range of WordPress care plans and maintenance packages designed to make your website stress-free, including making changes to your WordPress backend.

frequently Asked question

How do I edit functions.php in WordPress?

You can edit the functions.php file in WordPress by using the WordPress admin theme editor or the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program. Alternatively, you can use a plugin to add code snippets directly without changing your theme’s functions.php file.

How do I access the functions.php file in WordPress?

You can access a functions.php file using the built-in theme editor in WordPress. Log in to your site using an administrator account and access the Theme Editor under the Appearance section.

How do I add code to functions.php in WordPress?

You can add code to functions.php in WordPress by accessing the file in a WordPress theme editor, FTP or SFTP program, or by using a plugin designed to add code snippets without changing theme files.

Where is the Functions.php file located?

functions.php is in the theme’s source files. Each theme has a functions.php file, which means that changes made to functions.php get overwritten with updates. Changing the theme will also eliminate code functionality unless each is moved to a functions.php file or added using a plugin.

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