Customizing WordPress Plugins Benefits & Issues
If WordPress is the most popular Content Management System in the world, apart from its core architecture a lot of credit would go to the close to 40,000 third-party plugins available for easy download. These allow a WordPress development company to achieve different features and functionalities on your blog, website or ecommerce store. They ease development as you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and can simply install these on your site to achieve functionalities ranging from a shopping cart to slideshows and social sharing. However there are situations when the standard plugins don’t match your niche needs and in such a case you may need to customize them. Let us take a look at the benefits of walking this path and some of the issues that you are likely to encounter.
Benefits of Plugin Customization
- Adding New Functionality – Plugins are developed for mass usage and hence the developers often consider the needs of the masses during the development process. With customization you would be able to add a new functionality that is vital for your site’s performance.
- Modify Functionality – If the standard functionality that is available with the plugin isn’t meeting your needs or you see a scope of improving that functionality customization comes to your rescue and helps you get more out of the plugins.
- Removing Functionality – There are occasions where you don’t need a certain functionality of the plugin as it may be eating up your resources. In such cases you can remove certain functionality while retaining the others.
Issues with Plugin CustomizationFrom the outside plugin customization may seem to be very easy as most plugins in WordPress are free and hacking one may not sound like walking on the moon. But as you dive into it you realise the problems associated with it. Here are some issues that you are likely to face.
- Security Issues – Once you jailbreak a plugin you are likely to forego regular developer updates. Most of the updates as you know patches for the known security issues and thus sticking to an outdated version of the plugin increase the risk of attacks.
- Maintenance Issue – As mentioned above you are likely to stop the regular updates and hence you will need to maintain the plugin by yourself. If you choose to download the latest updates you would need to write the custom code again to achieve your much needed functionality.
- Compatibility Issues – The forked version of the plugin may conflict with WordPress or other plugins that are installed on the site. It may also give you nightmares when you need to update to the latest version of WordPress.