Return to site

Top Five Tips for Improving the Quality of WordPress Themes and Plugins

· improve wordpress performance,optimize wordpress theme,WordPress Theme Development,wordpress theme optimization,tips for improving wordpress themes

Most developers criticize the quality of code in some themes available on the net. As a WordPress user, buying themes or plugins is essential but one has to be confident that each of them is reliable and secure.

If you’re a WordPress developer, you create themes and plugins and even strive to make sites secure, reliable, and uncluttered. Here are my top five tips used for WordPress theme development, so that you know how to improve the quality of WordPress themes and plugins.

1. Make sure the code is standards-compliant

The first rule of any code is that it should be compliant with W3C web standards. All compliant code works as intended in all browsers, including mobile devices and tablets. Some of the most important elements of standards-compliant code are:

  • Semantic code using HTML5
  • Structure using the document tree according to standards for correct markup and right elements.
  • Avoid the use of unnecessary classes.
  • Use CSS for presentation avoiding the use of tables.
  • Ensure images are coded in HTML and part of the content
  • Ensure compatibility with multiple devices and browsers.
  • Use of heading elements correctly and in order
  • Ensure the code is accessible

Check if the code validates, with the help of W3C’s HTML and CSS validator tools too.

2. Conform to the coding standards of WordPress

WordPress also has its own coding standards that need to be confirmed as part of good quality metrics even while using PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

While using PHP, one should adhere to standards like:

  • Longhand PHP tags usage
  • Use of Single/ double quotes.
  • Perfect use of Indentation and braces
  • Use of adequate spaces after commas
  • Use of functions for database access.
  • Use of Naming conventions
  • Ensure Code Readability.

The WordPress coding standards aid in enhancing the quality of your code and its readability. The right functions, hooks, and classes need to be used in the code too. HTML standards also incorporate W3C standards, hence if the code is W3C compliant, it is automatically WordPress HTML standard-compliant.

The WordPress CSS standards on the other hand necessitate legible structure of stylesheets, avoidance of underscores and capitals, a grouping of similar properties, proper syntax in spaces, semicolons, etc., indentation of media queries, and grouped at the bottom of stylesheets. The JavaScript standards, include liberal use of spaces, long object declarations split across lines, use of semicolons, and correct use of braces, line breaks, var to declare variables, arrays, objects, and iterations.

3. Use logical structure for all files

If your code meets W3C and WordPress coding standards, it can be maintainable. But in WordPress, one also needs to structure themes correctly and use template files sparingly. One should also avoid any duplicate code in the theme template files and even use filters and plugins to allow users to override code without the need for a hack.

Use hooks in themes for users to add extra content without having to infiltrate the theme. Themes should be used for presentation while plugins can help in extending functionality but do not overdo both.

  • Make good use of comments in the code for better understanding among new coders
  • Add comments while including files to notify the source of the file being called
  • Structure files logically while separating stylesheets and scripts
  • Include notes at the beginning of files to give an introduction to the file
  • Provide code documentation.

4. Avoid bloat with efficient coding habits

Ensure the efficiency of the code by gauging if the code is easier to work with, and by assessing if the code can make the sites faster.

  • Ensure the code is written tightly
  • Avoid any repetition of code – use a function instead so that you can use it in multiple locations
  • Adhere to the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle.
  • Use the WordPress functions and classes accurately.
  • Get existing WordPress functions for use before making a custom one
  • Try using a filter instead of a new function to override an existing function.
  • Use the template files you need for making themes.
  • Consider using a separate plugin for user activation instead of adding a new feature.

5. Ensure the security of the code

Lastly, your code needs to be secure and not vulnerable to attack on the sites it will be used.

  • Validate data input to settings screens
  • Use nonces to ensure links are used if absolutely required.
  • Monitor and update code in case of security issues
  • Avoid writing to files from plugins unless necessary and secure
  • Avoid pulling code from different sources, especially any sort of executable code
  • Avoid any usage of obfuscated code
  • Don’t collect user data without getting explicit permission.


The above tips will go a long way in improving the quality of WordPress Themes and Plugins. For more such advice and to know more about custom WordPress theme development services, visit today!


All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly