Writing Maintainable WordPress Themes

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One of the most difficult aspects of building any type of software is the amount of work that’s required to maintain the project after its release.

Sure, shipping an initial version is challenging and this is not to understate the amount of planning, feedback, iterating, and general work that goes into a project; however, once it’s out in the wild and more and more people begin to use it, discover bugs, hammer on it, and so on, and additional ideas for features are developed, it becomes an entirely different challenge to keep the project rolling.

And though people would argue whether or not WordPress themes (or plugins or any script-based utility, for that matter) constitutes actual software, the truth is that it’s still subject to the same rules and methodologies as different software projects.

As such, one of the challenges of theming is actually writing maintainable WordPress themes such that they can continue to be improved over time. So in my latest series for Envato, I’m writing exactly on that topic.

Maintainable WordPress Themes

Maintainable WordPress Themes

Over the course of several articles, I’m going to be talking about various things that can be done in order to make maintaining themes much easier over a long period of time.

Many of the things that I’m opting to share are opinions – that is, they’re subjective and there are likely other ways (and perhaps better ways) to do them – but I’m sharing things that I’ve used over time and that I’ve found to be successful when building themes both for clients and for sale in WordPress.

This post will serve as the landing page for the series.

  1. Directories
  2. Naming Conventions
  3. Tools

Ultimately, the goal is to help provide tips for designers and developers that helps take the pain out of what happens after a theme is shipped. Additionally, the posts are also meant to spark discussion in order to us discuss other strategies that we’ve found useful over time.

With that said, check out the linked articles above and feel free to offer your feedback!