Don’t Fight with your WordPress Theme

You will lose.

A client asked how he could make some more space below some text after the excerpt on a page of posts. The answer is … not pretty. That would involve some CSS (cascading style sheet) to a file in the theme or maybe just change some CSS to alter the space after the posts.

OK, not kidding, even just contemplating this makes me queasy.

But hey, I’m a recovering programmer. I try to no longer customize code. No longer break into what’s already working–and usually working quite well.

The thing with customizing someone else’s code is that it’s a bit like lying: you have to remember what you lied about so you don’t get caught up in your lies later on. If you just tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything special, you just have to continue to tell the truth. But when you like, OK, OK, you get the idea.

Take updating the theme. If you changed something like that padding question above after the post(s) on an archive or index page, you’d have to remember what you did (or what someone else did) and then either save your changes and put them back or just do them over or, if you really know what you’re doing, make your changes to a child theme so that when you update the theme it doesn’t break everything.

But you have to take a step back and think about it. It just took me 10 minutes to write up this bit about code. It’s going to take your programmer, I don’t know, at least 10 minutes (bus possibly 100 minutes) to make the changes. Then later, when you’re going to update the theme, you’ll need to contact your programmer to ask if it’s OK to update the theme. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Just stop lying. Just don’t make the change.

I know, I know, I’m so closed minded! Not open to change an opportunity! No, I’m future proofing things. I’m giving us some rest from the time wasting of the future when we have to do things like remember and contact and hope and cross fingers and back up and stress. If you don’t make the change, there’s nothing to worry about.

See how much time, energy and stress I’ve saved you? Feels good, doesn’t it. Now go do something more creating than thinking about changing a little bit of code with all of that free time. That will be more productive, effective and efficient anyway.

2017-05-25T22:49:46+00:00

About the Author:

I’ve done the big corporate thing. I’ve done the creative writer thing. Now I’m happily in the middle. I like to help small businesses who are interested in “working their website before their website works them.” I’m also interested in creating beautiful sites with powerful WordPress themes. Google+

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