Here are ten mistakes that developers frequently make:
1. Using Common Names for Functions, Variables, Classes, or Constants by WordPress Developer.
When creating a plugin, try using a naming convention that intercepts code conflict in case of other plugins having the same name. Therefore, a lot of developers prefix their function names and variables with something distinctive and affiliated with the plugin itself. It also simplifies finding things when a lot of plugins have been enabled.
Some developers, on the other hand, prefer using PHP namespaces to encapsulate items and solve the main two problems applications and authors of libraries face when creating reusable code elements like functions or classes:
- Name collisions in the middle of the code they create, and internal PHP, or third-party classes, functions, party, or constants
- The Ability to alias Extra_Long_Names designed to fix the initial problem or improve the readability of source code. This helps developers read and manage the code without having to fret about having lengthy unique names.
2. Not Leveraging Existing WordPress Core Functionality to Its Full Potential
WordPress has a suite of regularly updated libraries that can be used in themes and plugins. It’s better to use the existing core functionality. Some programmers add files the asset directories of their WordPress themes and plugins that already exist in the WordPress core files(e.g., Color Picker, jQuery)
Utilize what WordPress has to offer because the libraries are regularly updated by the WordPress core team. Therefore, you have lightweight and the project is much easier to maintain. By having the latest version of WordPress, you have access to more features(may it be themes, plugins, or WordPress core itself) and make the site safer in case of vulnerability found in the old code release.
One of the most common mistakes found is, some developers place all the libraries being used for the premium theme, including the custom code, into a single file usually named theme.js, custom.js, or main.js. This can be very harmful for the following reasons:
- The file can expand exponentially as the theme grows new features and sometimes the files can be as large as 1 MB. It makes the file a loaded site-wide, even if you need 10% of the code. This can make it longer for pages to download and render slowly.
4. Not Making the Theme or Plugin Easy to Alter
Never edit a WordPress theme or plugin directly, unless, you are directly contributing to the code of that package and involved with its development. All direct changes would be lost if automatic update is performed. Thus, having you to edit the files all over again.
Therefore, using filters and actions as well as creating a Child theme are the most efficient ways to alter a theme since you can modify the existing functionality without editing the plugin or the parent theme itself. Furthermore, if you’re offering a free plugin and would, later on, create a premium version that would depend on the parent plugin, then you should develop the free version in such a way that it would be easy to extend and add premium extensions to.
5. Developing with WP_DEBUG Set to false
The WP_DEBUG constant is set to ‘false’ by default, in order to avoid printing any warnings, notices, and PHP errors. In a live environment, this is a recommended choice. It keeps private scripts and paths hidden from the public view, which is great for security reasons. However, during the development stage, having it set to ‘true’. By doing so, it will notify the developers of any error in their code. Even if the errors don’t affect the functionality, it will often force developers to write better code and help them develop better coding habits. This also ensures that the theme or plugin developed doesn’t generate PHP errors in any WordPress installation.
This error is something even veteran developers make, especially when in a rush. Thus maintaining WordPress coding standards, while keeping an eye on PHP best practices, is of the utmost importance
So whenever you hire a remote WordPress developer, it’s important to test their knowledge on some of the more common mistakes WordPress developers make. Companies often prefer hiring service providers like Gaper who can provide the best of the best so as to avoid running into such problems later.