Adding Custom Code to Your WordPress Site: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Add Custom Code to Your WordPress Site

Writing PHP, CSS, and HTML5 to modify a WordPress site can get pretty frustrating, but a good guide can make it easier. This is not that guide. This is just about how to add the code to your site once it’s already done. Don’t worry, though – that’s just as important. As there are quite a few ways to add custom code to your WordPress site, we’ll cover some of the most common methods in this article.

1. Using a Plugin

One of the easiest ways to add custom code to your WordPress site is by using a plugin. There are several plugins available that allow you to insert code snippets without modifying your theme files directly. Some popular options include Code Snippets, Insert Headers and Footers, and Simple Custom CSS and JS.

To use a plugin, simply install and activate it from the WordPress dashboard. Once activated, you can access the plugin’s settings page and paste your custom code into the designated area. Make sure to save your changes, and the code will be added to your site.

2. Editing Theme Files

If you’re comfortable with editing theme files, you can add custom code directly to your theme’s files. This method requires some knowledge of PHP, CSS, and HTML5, so proceed with caution if you’re not familiar with coding.

To add custom code using this method, access your WordPress theme files through an FTP client or the file manager in your hosting control panel. Look for the file you want to edit, such as header.php or functions.php, and open it in a text editor.

Insert your custom code in the appropriate location within the file. Be careful not to delete any existing code or make any syntax errors. Save the file and upload it back to your server. The custom code will now be active on your site.

3. Using a Child Theme

If you’re using a custom theme or have made modifications to your theme files, it’s recommended to use a child theme to add custom code. A child theme allows you to make changes to your site without affecting the original theme files. This way, you can update your theme without losing your customizations.

To create a child theme, start by creating a new folder in your WordPress themes directory. Name the folder something like “my-child-theme”. Inside this folder, create a new file called “style.css” and add the following code:


Theme Name: My Child Theme

Template: parent-theme-folder-name


Replace “parent-theme-folder-name” with the name of your parent theme’s folder. Save the file and upload it to your server.

Next, create a new file called “functions.php” inside the child theme folder. This file will be used to add your custom code. Open the file in a text editor and insert your custom code. Save the file and upload it to your server.

Activate the child theme from the WordPress dashboard, and your custom code will be applied to your site.

4. Using Customizer or Theme Options

Some themes come with built-in options to add custom code without the need for plugins or editing theme files. These options can usually be found in the WordPress Customizer or the theme’s settings page.

To access these options, go to the WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Customize or Theme Options. Look for a section or tab labeled “Custom Code” or something similar. Paste your custom code into the provided textarea and save your changes. The code will now be added to your site.


Adding custom code to your WordPress site doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and methods, you can easily incorporate PHP, CSS, and HTML5 modifications to enhance your site’s functionality and design. Whether you choose to use a plugin, edit theme files, create a child theme, or utilize built-in options, make sure to test your code thoroughly and backup your site before making any changes. Happy coding!

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