Form vs Function: Is that a WordPress Plugin or Theme?

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While WordPress offers unparalleled flexibility in adding functionality, it can sometimes cause confusion as to where a new feature should be added. This quick presentation helps explore what features should be added as theme components, and which should be added as independent plugins.

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Form vs Function: Is that a WordPress Plugin or Theme?

  1. 1. WILL YOU USE IT IF YOU SWITCH THEMES?If you only plan to use it in the current theme, add it to the theme• Slideshows• Accordions, tabbed content and other JavaScript tweaks• Page navigation (WP-PageNavi, etc.)• CSS tweaksIf it requires editing your theme (like WP-PageNavi), it should really be atheme function
  2. 2. IT’S A PLUGINIf you plan to use it no matter which theme is being used, make it a plugin• Custom post types• Permalink/title/content manipulation (shortcodes, Page Links To, etc.)• Spam, backup and security measures• SEO & analytics info• External resources (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  3. 3. WHAT’S A MU-PLUGIN?If you want it to be active network-wide, no matter what theme or pluginsare active, make it a mu-plugin• Cannot be deactivated• Don’t need plugin header• Active network-wide
  4. 4. NEED SOME HELP?Curtiss Grymala curtiss@ten-321.com http://ten-321.com/ cgrymala@umw.edu http://umw.eduResources for Writing Plugins Writing custom functions for end-users - http://j.mp/oQkLsu Creating a site-specific snippets plugin - http://otto42.com/ar Writing a WordPress plugin - http://j.mp/p7vrKACreating a WordPress Theme Theme development - http://j.mp/o3fbXR Child Themes - http://j.mp/qzV2OW What are frameworks, parent themes & child themes? - http://j.mp/pPOmAQ Including files in WordPress themes - http://j.mp/o0C6e4

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