WordPress themes are the most commonly used ones when it comes to designing websites. Representation of an individual’s style is best reflected with the help of these themes. But, when it comes to the compatibility and security of the scripts contained inside, there’s a lot of ignorance. No full-time guarantee is provided on the third-party scripts that are being uploaded to be compatible with WordPress. Such a lapse might reveal what’s lagging on your part too. The main query that arises is:
What does the word “compatible” mean for WordPress and how am I supposed to check whether I am making use of a degenerated script? Also, all the themes are supposed to be compatible as they work after getting installed. So, what’s the difference?
Well, the queries are intriguing in nature and require a detailed analysis. Some exclusive ideas are enlisted below that can help you find out the loose ends in your themes before using them.
A Thorough Scan for a Reliable and Accelerated Compatibility
Before dwelling over the technical aspect of running a scan, over the theme compatibility with WordPress, let’s take an insight into an easy method of identification. This ideology helps identify presence of bugs, deprecated functions and other inconsistencies that crop up in the theme.
Make Use of Free Plug-ins
Looking for your theme’s code compatibility with WordPress can be achieved with the help of free plug-ins. There are three plug-ins that are present for your assistance. Checks for the presence of bugs can also be made with their help.
This is a free plug-in that is mostly used by developers to check whether the theme is compatible with all the latest WordPress standards. The plug-in is amongst the other plug-ins that were used by the WordPress.org Theme Review Team to review the proposed themes on WordPress.org. Presence of enabling the Trac formatting feature helps to a great extent. This option helps in copying and pasting the error messages directly into the Trac ticket for the theme. Using the Trac feature for feedback on code is a viable option.
Being useful on the onset, this plug-in not only carries out an extensive debugging of the theme and presents the output result in the footer, but also reviews the current loaded page for validation.
This plug-in is also free and is used by developers. For checking deprecated functions, files and function arguments that the current theme is making use of, this plug-in is of great use. It makes sure that you are using all the latest WordPress core functionality of the current installed version. It even goes to the extent of logging the inappropriate function usage for all WordPress 3.1+ installations.
The above listed plug-ins help you get started as a developer or just validate your current installed theme for compatibility. Having discussed the plug-ins that help you check the compatibility, there are certain checkpoints that you have to keep in mind while wordpress theme development. The points stated below help you register a lower error count in your logs when you go about checking the final result.
A Big “No” to Deprecated Functions
Searching for the necessary codes that help you in your theme building can create a sense of dilemma in your mind. You might think whether the code is outdated or not, or you might come across a deprecated function and by-pass the fact. Well, there’s a certain way to go about such compatibility checks.
The questions that arises is how do we get to know whether the about to be used function is deprecated or not?
Well, the easiest way to go about finding the solution is to check the codex for the function. On getting to know the codex, you will come across a visible red colored text message on the top of the page highlighting it to be deprecated.
Here’s a technical look at what codex you should search for.
Taking the Code Quality and Integration into Consideration
This is extremely useful from the developers point of view. Using the appropriate code in the correct place is what is required. Getting elements like category, tag, comment section, date, etc. integrated in the theme must be done using the best foot forward. You should not go about re-inventing the wheel, but should always be on the look-out for the best available integration techniques, such as, script and style registering, en-queuing, generation of URLs to the theme, etc. Where functionality for a theme is at stake, WordPress has all the tools required.
Introspecting the Header, Footer and Sidebar
Some variables work fine at the initial stages, but descend if they are not implemented the proper way. For a theme’s functionality aspect the header and footer are an important part of the idea and also consist the sidebar.php files. These are the normal files that you will include in your theme code. These files are inter-related with the necessary code functionality and if not implemented correctly, then the theme will not be compatible with WordPress. Getting errors from the plug-ins might result in finding a missing or bad code written in one of these files.
The File Functions.php
Embracing the main code core functionality of any WordPress theme, it is the most important file. This is the “source” where all things are churned out. Registering your scripts, running all the hooks, creating the widgets and implementation is what takes place here. All the requirements of your theme are fed here. Turning to this file for errors will surely ease your nerves when you go for bug-hunting.
Consider the Core Features
Presence of a number of functions that you might include in your website are already present in WordPress. But, you should place them properly, Proper integration of the sidebar, the comments section, proper way of writing the loop and generating the header and footer appropriately are some of the functions that should be looked into for being compatible.
WordPress development has some basic rules and approaches to follow which must be adhered to while making the theme compatible and secure. It is better to re-check and test together with staying updated for all the versions for getting a better experience.