Can you edit WordPress plugins? WordPress is an open-source content management system.
This means that the code for WordPress is offered up free under a license that allows anyone and everyone to study, change, and distribute changes and additions to anyone and for any purpose. So you can edit WordPress plugins, but there are important things to consider.
Is It Legal To Edit The Plugins?
This means that any engineer can produce a plugin that can be integrated into the WordPress platform. By editing a plugin you aren’t violating any considerations with WordPress. It may limit your ability to get support from the Plugin developer, but that will be discussed in a further section. But, generally, there are no legal issues from editing plugins for personal use.
When Is It Right To Edit Plugins?
There are a plethora of plugins on the open market. You may find exactly what you are looking for if you take the time and explore. However, there are times when you need certain functionality out of your plugin and just can’t get it.
If there truly isn’t anything on the market to help you out then you need to do one of two things:
Can You Edit WordPress Plugins? – If There’s no Solution in the Market
Hire A Freelancer To Build A Fully Fresh Plugin
You may want to just pull the trigger and hire a WordPress developer to build you a brand new plugin. This could be time consuming and expensive. It may be worth it though if your requirements exceed the general use of any of the available plugins.
Alter The Code In The Plugin
However, if you just need a simple edit or two to slightly change the functionality of the plugin, you should consider altering the plugin itself. This is potentially much quicker and much less expensive than the first option.
You can do this yourself if you are capable and experienced with editing WordPress code. Using the Plugin Editor Dialogue Box in WordPress you can easily access the code of the targeted plugin. From here you can make all the changes you need. There really isn’t anything to it besides that.
Hire Professional Company
The other option is to hire a WordPress developer or developer company to edit the code for you. This is a great option for those that can use WordPress but don’t know the language. Partnering with developers gives you the flexibility to work on other things and the connections to help fix any issues that arise down the road.
CreativeMinds has an interesting article on how to hire WordPress developers.
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When Is It Wrong To Edit Plugins?
There are a lot of reasons why you should not go the route of editing plugins. Read through the list below and consider if any of these issues apply to your situation.
You Can’t Code
Don’t feel bad. You’ve got other excellent qualities! However, this is a problem if you need to edit the plugin. You could wait and learn the language, but if that isn’t an option editing the code probably isn’t either unless to hire a developer.
You Want To Continue Updating That Plugin
If you rely on the plugin and need to keep it up to date you may not want to consider altering it. Developer updates may completely overwrite any changes that you’ve made. However, this can easily be avoided with a continuing relationship with the same developer that edited the code the first time around.
You Are Worried About Security
Edits alter the basic functionality of the plugin and may introduce unnecessary vulnerabilities in the code. This is a security issue. However, simple cosmetic alterations won’t cause any problems. Further, as long as you hire a trustworthy developer they will make sure that any alterations to the code don’t open you up to unnecessary risk.