5 Ways WordPress Code Breaks
It’s common for beginners at WordPress to avoid experimenting with their site out of fear that something may break.
Unfortunately, this trial and error process may just be the one thing that prevents things from breaking in the future. Just about anything you do in WordPress can easily be undone, and learning from mistakes is the best way to learn how WordPress works. At the end of the day, it is almost impossible to break a WordPress site completely beyond repair, so try your best to be fearless.
If this pep talk didn’t help and you are still frozen in fear over breaking your WordPress site, there are several things you can avoid to ensure its survival.
These six sure-fire ways to break any WordPress site vary in severity. Some will break your site overnight, others will increase the chances of it getting hacked or broken otherwise.
1. Avoid WordPress Updates
Every update that WordPress puts out fixes critical bugs and addresses vulnerabilities in its security code. Since WordPress is open source, anyone can see exactly which bugs the updates are intended to fix, and exploit them on any sites that haven’t yet updated. If you enjoy the thrill of running a site that is at risk of being hacked at any moment, be sure to avoid these updates.
2. Install themes from a sketchy source
Not only is this one of the best ways to ensure that your site gets hacked, but its also a fantastic way to ruin your search engine rankings and SEO. It is a well documented reality that spammers and hackers use free WordPress themes to infiltrate innocent WordPress sites. Alternatively, downloading themes from the official WordPress Theme Directory is a surefire way to keep your site from breaking, every theme within the directory has been reviewed, meticulously, by the official WordPress Theme Review Team to make sure that both the quality and security are on point.
3. Install plugins that aren’t tested for your version of WordPress
By now I’m sure you’ve heard that there are thousands of magical WordPress plugins that let you do all kinds of amazing things with your site. As it turns out, a huge amount of these plugins are really old (no, seriously ancient in WordPress years). Lucky for us, the WordPress.org Plugin Directory provides info about every version’s compatibility with every plugin. If you’re trying to break your site, just stick with the plugins that are not compatible with your version and things will definitely fall apart. If you are trying to keep your site from breaking, well, you get the point.
4. Add random code to your theme’s functions.php file
This is especially true if you have no idea what it is or how it works, in which case you should definitely not be messing around in there! Functions.php is a magic file that lives inside of your theme folder. The code within it can do anything a plugin can do– its powerful, and this power makes it dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You could easily copy and paste code you found on some blog to this file, but if you don’t have a firm understanding of PHP or how it works, you could be in for a world of hurt. One thing you can expect to encounter is the dreaded “white screen of death” as well as hours of reading through your error logs to figure out what went wrong. If that doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend your day, you may just want to avoid adding random code to your functions.php file.
5. Upload files to your website using regular FTP rather than secure FTP
By using regular FTP, you increase the chances that hackers will intercept your password and break into your website at any given point in the future. This is actually more common than you would think, so common in fact that many good web hosting companies no longer allow regular FTP connections. If you’re hosting your site with one of the more conscientious web hosts which require secure FTP, you will have a hard time getting your website hacked (I know, bummer right?). Incidentally, there is almost no reason to use FTP with WordPress anymore as images, plugins, themes, and more can be easily uploaded through the WordPress admin interface. If you want to break your site, now you have the insider information on how to accomplish this. If by some chance you don’t want your site to break, we would recommend avoiding these at all costs.
Code, Programming, Web Development, wordpress