Some of you are like me: “frequent theme changer guy”. Here’s a trick I’ve learned to keep from having to re-write code every time I get bored with a theme: I use the “Must Use” Plugin.
A “Must Use” Plugin is a perfect solution for setting up Custom Post Types, Taxonomies, Google Analytics, and other important – but not necessarily “updatable” code that would otherwise be lost upon a theme change.
The general consensus among the WordPress elite is: CPT’s & Taxonomies should NOT be handled at the theme level, but rather, at the plugin level. A “Must Use” Plugin is code that cannot be deactivated or deleted unless you have FTP access.
Why not create a normal plugin or use functions.php?
You could. But there are extra steps to get it activated if you’re running a multi-site network. Furthermore, if others have access to the Plugins section of the WP Dashboard, there’s a chance it could be deleted or deactivated by mistake. Functions.php? You loose everything when change themes. By using a “Must Use” plugin, the code will always be available – no matter what network, theme, or curious guest blogger might do otherwise.
Ok, how do I create a “Must Use” Plugin?
- You need to create a directory: /wp-content/mu-plugins/
- Next, create a PHP file. You can name it anything you want. Mine is named grd_functions.php. The full path would look like: /wp-content/mu-plugins/grd_functions.php.
- Make sure you start the contents of the file with a <?php
- Now add your code, save your file and upload
That’s it! Really!
How about an example?
Here is grd_functions.php, which runs this web site:
Each and every time I change themes around here, I don’t have to re-create CPT’s, Taxonomies, Google Analytics, Custom Scripts, etc…Feel free to try my example, and never lose or have to re-write custom code again!Image Credit: Armand9x