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How to add a code snippet to your site

From time to time, you might need to add a small amount of code to your site to modify a plugin’s behaviour or output. There are two recommended ways to do this:

Please read the Troubleshooting step below before implementing either of these methods.

Via your child theme’s functions.php file

If you are using a commercial theme, you should have created a child theme. This will allow you to add new code and modify the theme without the fear of your changes getting overwritten the next time the parent theme is updated.

You can create a child theme in a couple of different ways:

Whatever method you use, you should always add any code snippets to the functions.php file of your child theme, not the parent theme.

Use a snippets plugin

As an alternative to using your child theme’s functions.php file, you can install a plugin specifically designed to allow you to add snippets. The advantage of this is that you don’t need to edit theme files, you can add the snippets direct in your WordPress dashboard.

I recommend the free Code Snippets plugin for adding snippets to your site.

Troubleshooting

This snippet is written in PHP – the coding language that WordPress runs on. When you are adding this snippet using either of the methods above, note that the snippet begins with the PHP tag <?php.

Please note that you might not need to include this tag when you add the snippet.

All your PHP code needs to be inside <?php and ?> tags. If your functions.php or snippets file already has an opening <?php tag then you don’t need to add another one.

If you need more information, please read through this article, particularly the section on Troubleshooting.

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