Some WordPress Basics

-- 2016-03-14 --

Here are some basics on keeping your site healthy and working for you in the future or your posterity. Not applying these basics will result in a massive headache for you or someone else later on...

  • When Building a new site always start building with a child theme. Many themes come pre-packaged with a child theme and that's great - you should totally use it. If not, you have to make it yourself.
    You can follow the steps here to create one or use a plugin like Once Click Child Theme - which is great for beginners.

  • Don't rename the Parent theme. Keep it the same name that the vendor created it with, doing otherwise will make it so you can't update the theme in many circumstances. Side note: you're not kidding anyone by renaming a theme... It's obvious you didn't make it from scratch, so stop being a douchebag and leave a little cred for the theme devs. 😉

  • NEVER EVER make a change to the parent theme. Doing this will allow your changes to get overwritten on the next update and you always want to keep your themes and plugin up-to-date to get the latest security patches and code updates.

  • If you have to edit WooCommerce files, do so in your child theme following these instructions: Template Structure. Thoroughly comment out any changes you make as WooCommerce does make changes to template files every now and then and you need to be able to update those customized files if needed.

  • If you are using the DIVI theme or an Elegant Themes plugin be sure to install the Elegant Themes Updater to get the latest plugin/theme updates.

  • If you are using any theme from Theme Forest be sure to install the Envato WordPress Toolkit plugin and hook up the API following their instructions. This way you can easily download any updates. This has to be downloaded from GitHub ( Envato WordPress Toolkit )

  • If you are using any plugin or theme from WooCommerce (besides the basic WooCommerce plugin), then you must install the WooTheme Helper plugin. This will enable you to update your premium WooCommerce plugins.

When using the WooTheme Helper, Envato WordPress Toolkit or the Elegant Themes Updater be sure to hook it up with their respective APIs as per their site's instructions.

If you don't apply these you're going to have a bad time. Not to mention Magicarp will come after you.


And you don't want that to happen.

-- Cameron Eckelberry